Joshua Katz

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The articles by *Joshua Katzi n First Things ("My Confessions" , October 2021), by his wife in Bari Weiss's Substack on treacherous friends, and by his mother-in-law on the loss of the scholar-student relationship in The Spectator are amazingly good, even if you don't care about Joshua Katz in particular.


(February 4, 2021) but see the harsh criticisms of that article at "Editorial: "McCarthyism at the Daily Princetonian", Princetonians for Free Speech and the Elizabeth Bogan letter that the Princetonian wouldn't publish.

Early in my career, however, I made a grave mistake, by which I mean something beyond the bounds of “merely” bad behavior, something sinful: I had a relationship with a student whom I was at the same time teaching. It was a consensual relationship between adults; it took place at a time when Princeton’s rules permitted students and faculty to engage in sexual contact, provided there was no pedagogical or supervisory conflict; and there was no Title IX violation. Still, it was a sin.

It is a sin I lived with every day. It ate away at me. But I lived with it alone. Alone, that is, until weeks after the #MeToo movement took off in late 2017, when an anonymous complainant—not the woman ­herself—informed Princeton about the more-than-a-decade-old affair. The result was an internal investigation, which culminated in a one-year suspension without pay.

Even before I knew that my life was about to change, I had begun reading theology and occasionally attending church (in that order—once a bookish academic, always a bookish academic). The fact is that I was sad, I was making a mess of my personal life, and I needed help.

Then I learned of the investigation, learned that I would likely be suspended, and found myself in need of help on an entirely different level. I was on sabbatical in London at the time, and my future mother-in-law—I had only just begun dating her daughter, a former (yes, former) student of mine who was now at Cambridge—gave me the following firm instruction: Get myself to the Temple Church, whose Master (senior cleric), the Rev. Robin Griffith-Jones, she had heard preach a few years earlier in New York. ... Two reporters at the main student newspaper spent seven months digging into my private life. Surmising that I had been suspended, they published an article about me in the first week of February that “threw away basic journalistic standards” (in the words of Princetonians for Free Speech) in its reliance on hearsay, innuendo, and hostile anonymous sources.


He was fired. New York Post and Princeton Paw an dAcademe (NAS); New York Times (pro-Katz!); the Washington Post is anti-Katz, about the only article I could find against him and thus useful. Princetonians for Free Speech defended him.

  • Defense of Katz by The World Socialist Website of the 4th International. Old marxists weren't idiots like the Wokesters, even if they were evil.