Thursday, June 19, 2008

Revd Prof Henry Chadwick, RIP

Cambridge University is sad to announce the death of former Master of Peterhouse and Fellow of Trinity College Reverend Professor Henry Chadwick, FBE, KBE who died on Tuesday 17 June at the age of 88.

Professor Chadwick was born on 23 June 1920 in London. He was educated at Eton and Magdalene College, Cambridge where he was a music scholar. He was briefly an assistant Master at Wellington College before becoming a Fellow of Queens’ College Cambridge from 1946 to 1958.

He became Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University and a Canon of Christ Church in 1959, then Dean of Christ Church in 1969.

In 1979 he returned to Cambridge as the Cambridge Regius Professor of Divinity until his retirement in 1983. He was a Fellow of Magdalene College from 1979 to 1987 and thereafter an Honorary Fellow He was an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College from 1987 and a Fellow of Eton College from 1976 to 1979.

In 1987 he was elected Master of Peterhouse where he served until his retirement in 1993.

Professor Chadwick’s academic career started with an article on Origen, an early Christian scholar and theologian. Soon after in 1953 he wrote a new translation of Origen’s Contra Celsum which became a classic in its field. Overall he published over 125 books and articles. He maintained his role as editor of the Journal of Theological Studies for more than three decades.

His interest in religion spread among many issues of Christianity and especially ecumenism which he described as ‘a good cause to die in’. Professor Chadwick worked on the Anglican-Roman Catholic and Anglican-Orthodox Commissions.

His contribution has been so significant that he was presented with two Festschriften, each being a collection of writings, to honour his work in Church history and ecumenism. Professor Chadwick was a Fellow of the British Academy, a member of the American Philosophical Society and the French Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, and Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and held honorary doctorates from Uppsala, Harvard, Yale and Chicago universities and Rhineland and Göttingen academies.

Professor Chadwick had a lifelong passion for music in general and Church music, particularly interested in the role music plays in religious practice.

His funeral will take place on Wednesday 25th June at 11 am in Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford.


Canon Tallis said...

Having read and re-read his book on the early Church so many times I felt that I should know him.It was a book that reinforced for me the wisdom of the Anglican canon of "one canon, two testaments, three creeds, four councils and five centuries."
I shall now have to begin the re-reading of his important books, a task that I believe would benefit most of us.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

His The Early Church from The Pelican History of the Church series (Penguin Books), is a standard for every student of Church History.

Anonymous said...

He was a classic; as Father Hart noted, his Church history series is a gem.

Rest eternal grant unto him, O Lord; and let light perpetual shine upon him. May he rest in peace.

William Tighe said...

He sold out on WO, though, in the end.

William Tighe said...

And see this more temperate assessment: