The Jewish Institute of Religion, 40 West Sixty-eighth street, began its thirteenth academic year yesterday following formal opening exercises Tuesday night, when Professor Reinhold Niebuhr of Union Theological Seminary spoke on “The Resources of Prophetic Religion for Our Day.”
Judge Julian W. Mack introduced Dr. Niebuhr, who pleaded for an element of religion in the radical ideas of the day.
“Marxism,” he declared, “is a modern form of Jewish prophecy.” He asserted that the same love of social justice underlies the preachings of the biblical prophet, Amos, and Karl Marx.
“Marxism was born out of the heart of the Jewish prophet and the working man,” said Dr. Niebuhr. “The working man, suffering from hunger, couldn’t see the bourgeois idea of progress. To him civilization was rotten because it left him unemployed.”
“Radicalism,” he pointed out, “is modern prophecy secularized.”