A Life for Mankind

The Biography of Hugh Joseph Schonfield

Schonfield – controversial figure

There is probably no other figure in modern Jewish historical research who is more controversial or famous than Hugh J. Schonfield.
It would seem that since his death in 1988, his popularity and the interest in his prodigious work, which included over 40 books, has drawn increasing attention, particularly outside Judaism. In fact, it is probably fair to say that his contribution to the Gentile understanding of Jewish aspirations amongst those within the Christian cultural framework has been without parallel.

The Passover Plot

In true Christian tradition, he has also been the cause of much contention, particularly exacerbated by his best-selling book, ‘The Passover Plot’. At the time, he found himself in the good company of many sensational and controversial authors who addressed a fascinated audience hungry to discover the ‘true Jesus’ at a time when many were searching for the meaning of life to fill the void left by a Church which seemed no longer able to communicate its message.

It is thus timely that detailed research should be conducted into Hugh’s work and thinking, particularly while a few remain, such as the current researcher, who have him in living memory. Already, most of his nearest and dearest are no longer with us and unfortunately are unable to be consulted.

Schonfield’s thinking

However, to concentrate alone on those aspects which led to his fame would do justice neither to Schonfield the historian nor to Schonfield the literary scholar nor to Schonfield the Messianic visionary. And this can only take place in a view which includes as much relevant reference to his life, activities and interests as possible. Reference to his critics is also an important component of such a study.

The second Albert Schweizer

As Dr. Robert M. Price states in his review of ‘The Mystery of the Messiah’, Hugh J. Schonfield, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, is revealed as ‘a second Albert Schweizer’.

Unfolding Schonfield’s thinking

On this site we will progressively try to reconstruct and analyse as much of Schonfield’s thinking as possible by providing information, articles and links to both supporters and critics.

If you have any knowledge, comments or contribution which you feel you can make to this work, please get in touch with the author at:


Stephen A. Engelking MBA, BSc, FCMI, FCIM

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