Chicago, Illinois


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SMITH--Jonathan Z., passed away on December 30, 2017. He was the Robert O. Anderson Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of the Humanities at the University of Chicago. Professor Smith received his PhD from Yale, in Religious Studies, in 1969. In 2013, Smith was awarded an Honorary Lifetime...

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Jon at Haverford was a giant. Funny, endlessly knowledgeable, solicitous and with a remarkable sense of play. I was in a group that hung on his words and yearned for his attention. Those were days.

Jonathan Smith was perhaps my closest friend when we were students at Hunter College Elementary School. We pretty much lost touch after that. I am always amazed when I read of someone with whom I attended school eons ago who has become a sort of spectacular human being, and it appears that Johnny was one of those. But I also remember that even as a child, he was exceptionally kind and also exceptionally interested in what I would almost have to describe as "spiritual" things, way...

My condolences to Elaine and the children. This is an enormous loss for the thousands of his students and colleagues who had the privilege of learning from him.

My deepest sympathy to you and your family for your loss. His generous support for me and others who studied with him will keep his memory bright.

My sincerest condolences. I have just now heard of your loss. Mr. Smith was an extraordinary scholar, but twenty-five years later, what stands out is his generosity, kindness, and patience. I have often found myself wondering how I would have made it through school without him. I will miss him greatly.

My deepest condolences to the family!
- Veikko Anttonen, Vice-President of the IAHR, University of Turku, Finland

A generous human being and among the most gifted, critically-minded, witty, and thus influential scholars of religion in the history of the field.

My sincere condolences to the family for the loss of your loved one. May prayers strengthen you and memories comfort you, and may our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father, who loves us, comfort your hearts and "make you firm". -2 Thessalonians 2:16,17