Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Rev. Dr. Joanne McWilliam R.I.P. (Update: Obit added)

Joanne McWilliam died yesterday. She was unfailingly kind with good sense. While she could be diplomatic, she held her ground forthrightly. Her opinions were always worth hearing. She had a marvelous sense of humor and was quite self-effacing. And she loved dogs.

Dr. McWilliam was born and raised in Toronto, held degrees in history, philosophy and theology from St.Michael's College and was an honorary Doctor of Divinity of Queen's University. Professor Emerita of Religious Studies at the University of Toronto and of Theology at Trinity College, she was a former member of the Primate's Theological Commission. Cited as a pioneer among women in the academic study of theology, Prof. McWilliam was, among other achievements, the first woman to earn a graduate degree in theology from the University of St. Michael's College, the first ordained woman to be tenured in the Faculty of Divinity at Trinity College, the first woman holder of the Mary Crooke Hoffman Chair in Dogmatic Theology at the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church of the United States and the first woman president of the American Theological Society. A collection of essays is being written in her honor and much more about her life and scholarly contributions will now be said there.

Here's the obit. from the Globe and Mail.


Mary Ann said...

Thanks for remembering Prof. Joanne McWilliam. She was the only woman professor I had during doctoral studies at the University of St. Michael's College in Toronto. Always an encouraging mentor, she was a good friend, a terrific Augustine scholar who had a wry sense of humor. It was so fitting that she died on Canada Day. May she rest in peace.

Tobias Haller said...

Thanks for this remembrance. I had not heard of her death, and am sorry to hear of it now. In the brief systematics course at GTS in which I had the pleasure to learn from her, I came to appreciate a real example of good, old fashioned "wit" in every sense of the word.

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