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Marilyn McCord Adams has died

Marilyn McCord Adams has died

We have heard that Marilyn McCord Adams, professor, author, philosopher and Episcopal priest has died.  Adams was a regular contributor to this site and thoughtful explorer of the human relationship with God; she will be deeply missed.

Her teaching and research in philosophy centered on medieval philosophy and philosophy of religion; her books include William Ockham (2 volumes) and Some Later Medieval Theories of the Eucharist: Thomas Aquinas, Giles of Rome, Duns Scotus, and William Ockham (one focus of which is the metaphysics of body).  She explored medieval theories of causality and how medieval doctrines of revealed theology provoked philosophical insights and renovations. She was also interested inthe problem of evil and wrote two books on the subject–­Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God and Christ and Horrors: the Coherence of Christology.


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Steven Wilson

Rest eternal grant to her, O Lord. A remarkable leader and teacher. May flights of angels lead her into paradise, Jerusalem the Golden.

Quinn, Frederick (Rev. Dr.)

When it was announced that Marilyn McCord Adams was preaching at Oxford’s Christ Church Cathedral, there was always a large turnout. Marilyn spent an intense Friday and Saturday preparing the sermon which she gave without notes on Sunday. Skilled for her writings on early Christian thinkers, and for church history and philosophy, she was a profoundly skilled pastor herself. Her deep probing of issues of good and evil required thoughtful responses from scholars and mental health professionals and pilgrims on the way. She was a good listener and conversationalist, with an outrageous sense of humor. She and Bob and Jane Shaw, Dean of Divinity at New College, and my wife and I were frequent dinner companions following a sung evensong, providing times for laughter and thoughtful reflection, and ideas and phrases that sometimes found their way in print. May the angels, saints, and martyrs accompany you into the Holy City, dear Marilyn, accompanied by the prayers of those whose way you aided in their encounters with your writing and preaching. Blessings for Bob and your wider network of family and friends.
(Rev. Dr.) Frederick Quinn
Washington National Cathedral (Retired)

Ron Choong

I am saddened to hear this news. Marilyn’s departure from this existence is a great loss to philosophical theology. One of the sharpest minds at Yale, I was privileged to study with her for two years, at her seminars on Scotus and Ockham. She was a wonderful tutor but did not suffer fools gladly. We all knew better than to be ill-prepared for class. Her profound intellect and deep love for the Church despite many misgivings will not soon be forgotten by her students, of which I am proud to count myself, some 17 years ago. STM ’04 YDS

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