Remembering Daniel J. Harrington, S.J.

On Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, Daniel J. Harrington, S.J., a Jesuit priest, professor of New Testament at Boston College and former "Books in the Bible" and "Word" columnist for America, died in Weston, Mass.

In the attached file you will find his response to the question, posed to him by James Martin, S.J., "If someone were to ask you: How can I find God' what would you say?"


Also included here are tributes to Father Harrington and other selections from his writings for America. May he rest in peace. 

A Scholars Life” (2/13/14) by Rev. Frank J. Matera

Daniel J. Harrington, S.J., R.I.P.” (2/8/14) by James Martin, S.J.

“Books on the Bible: Cultures Ancient and Modern,” (3/12/12) by Daniel J. Harrington, S.J.

“Books on the Bible: Intersections,” (3/8/10) 

“The Last Judgment,” (11/17/08) 

“Interreligious Dialogue,”(8/17/08) 

Like a House Built on Rock” (5/26/08) 

Forgiven Sinners” (6/4/07) 

Love Your Enemies” (2/12/07) 

“Accepting Suffering”(9/11/06) 

Count Your Blessings!” (7/3/06) 

Abiding in Love” (5/15/06) 

Serving the Noblest Cause” (1/30/06) 

Whose Kingdom?” (11/28/05) 

The Word Flourishes: Books on the Bible” (3/17/03) 

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Frank Bergen
4 years 8 months ago
Alas, I was taken aback by the news just encountered here that Dan has died. I barely knew him in 'the course' of Jesuit studies but spent enough time with him during a week of scripture study at Georgetown in 2009 to realize he was someone special. A renowned scholar, teacher, author, editor, and he took regular weekend calls in not one but two parishes in the Boston area. God rest thee merry, Dan.
Alan Mitchell
4 years 8 months ago
Frank, Dan lectured four times at the Institute on Sacred Scripture. The last was when we celebrated the Pauline year in 2009. He was a great Jesuit, a superb scholar, and just a very decent human being. He was my teacher at Weston and the editor of the Hebrews commentary I wrote for the Sacra Pagina series, but most importantly a good and dear friend. He always offered excellent advice, for which I am ever grateful. We will all miss him.
Catherine Rogers
4 years 8 months ago
I studied the New Testament with him at Weston Jesuit School of Theology more than 30 years ago. He was a wonderful teacher. I am saddened to learn of his passing. God rest his dear soul.
Bruce Snowden
4 years 8 months ago
I do a lot of posting because I’m interested in just about everything and find satisfaction in getting the opportunity to express ideas and opinions. But I do refrain from posting on matters of which I have little interest, or negligible knowledge, the latter covering much. One topic I do know a little bit about is “finding God” certainly not anywhere near the precision with which the late, great, Fr. Daniel J. Harrington, S.J. professed his knowledgeable Faith in classrooms and from lecterns. He is the forever teacher, continuing that mission from the heavenly kingdom through indelible memories of wisdom imprinted on hearts, minds and souls of all who sat at his feet, a maestro of the highest order! I never knew him personally but through the transparency of his Faith many see God more really including me. Why? Simply because he did. “Finding God” for me it’s not a matter of “seeking ever, finding never,” but more about “now you see Him, now you don’t!” God is so elusive including within the sacramentality of Faith. God can also be spotted in what I like to call the mechanics of nature, the precise, predictable ways in which God holds things together in the laminins of creative wisdom, even when creation misbehaves as in killer storms, even then following built-in mechanisms condusive to an intended end. I also find God in Revelation as did Fr. Harrington, but for me it’s a light that easily dims, but thankfully does allow a certain grasp of the Holy One, who is famous for playing the child’s game of “Hide and Seek.” My forever prayer, "Lord, I do believe, help my unbelief!" Yes, we do live by Faith in all its awe and wonder, through things that makes one wonder! it is very important to get to that point in life as minus faith life gets pretty meaningless. Some years ago as I was closing our Lower Church following the 7:30 PM Mass, a grandmother brought her five year old grandson for a visit. As the two entered the darkened Church I heard the grandmother say to the little boy, “God lives here!” Immediately the child began looking around and finally said, “I don’t see God!” They were my friends and at that point I said to the child, “God lives in that Gold Box on the altar. Come, let me show you.” At the altar I pointed out the Golden Bread Box shaped tabernacle and repeated, “God lives in that Gold Box!” The little boy looked intently at the tabernacle then gave a command, “God, come out of that Gold Box!” Scripture says, “Out of the mouth of babes thou hast perfected praise” and what a lesson in Faith I had just learned. On my word the boy really BELIEVED what I had said. That seemed huge to me. What am I trying to say? Simply this. Just as the boy believed what I said, so too, we believe, or put Faith in what others have told us about Jesus, about God. In Revelation we believe the witness of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul and others, including in our day the witness of Daniel J. Harrington. The Fifth Evangelist, Daniel, clearly one of the greatest in “finding God” did find God most clearly in Revelation as he said. I think that where I find God most clearly too. And its there that I mostly look especially when the light dims. I think I've managed to say what I wanted to say, I hope a useful post.


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