Theodore A. Gill, onetime managing editor of this magazine, died last month. Mine is the only name remaining on the masthead from his time at the magazine 47 years ago. Priscilla Noble Grundy, then an editorial assistant, and Tom F. Driver, then a contributing editor, are the only other survivors. Big-name folk like Martin Luther King Jr., James A. Pike and the rest have died. Gill, my office-mate, tutored me in the ways of ecumenism and mentored me in writing. So I have occasion and reason to reflect.
Ted was at the Century only briefly, like a kind of comet who whooshed through our world and orbited off. He came with an impressive neo-orthodox pedigree, having studied with Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Tillich, Karl Barth and Emil Brunner. Brunner appealed to Gill’s “natural theology” aesthetic side, and Barth won him over to Mozart.