Monday, 6 December 2010

R Travers Herford

Robert Travers Herford (1860 - 1950) was a great Unitarian scholar. He entered into Jewish life and thought, and often described himself as a "Jewnitarian". He rehabilitated the reputation of the Pharisees from the hammering they get in the Gospels, and also wrote scholarly works interpreting the Torah and Talmud.

I have scanned and uploaded a PDF of the appreciation of Herford's life and work which was produced after his death by H McLachlan.

Some of his books are available to view at Google Books.
The Idea of the Kingdom of God (PDF) is available from the Cambridge Unitarians website.

As can be seen from this quote (quoted by Andrew Brown), Herford regarded all faiths as divinely inspired:
"The Kingdom of God, as the rule of God in the heart, the love and service of him, and the consequent love and service of all men as children of the one Father, that is not limited by any doctrinal definitions. No one but a Christian ever did, or ever could, work for the Church. But all can work for the Kingdom of God, not Christians only but all who consciously own God, whether Christian or Jew, Mohammedan [sic] or Brahmin, or any other of those to whom God has revealed himself "by diverse portions and in diverse manners" (The Idea of the Kingdom of God, R. Travers Herford, Lindsey Press 1929 p. 13).

I am also glad to see that the plaque commemorating the fact that Robert Travers Herford lived and worked at Dr William's Library is listed at Open Plaques.


  1. Thank you ever so much for brining this interesting individual and his works to our attention.

  2. I first heard about him on an interfaith mailing list, where a Jewish member of the list brought him to my attention, as we were discussing the Pharisees.