Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

In Memoriam: James E. Griffiss 1928-2003

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

In Memoriam: James E. Griffiss 1928-2003

Article excerpt

Following an extended illness, death came on Tuesday, June 17, 2003 to James Edward Griffiss, 74, one of the most significant theologians of the contemporary Episcopal Church and formerly Canon Theologian to the Presiding Bishop as well as Editor of the Anglican Theological Review. Widely regarded as a leading authority on Anglican theology, he and his many publications were highly acclaimed and his personal influence in the theological formation of future clergy was considerable.

Griffiss was born in Baltimore in 1928 and graduated from Johns Hopkins University and the General Theological Seminary, taking his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1962. After ordination and sewing curacies at St. David's Church in Baltimore and Christ Church in New Haven, he became in 1959-1960 a Fellow and Tutor at the General Seminary in New York, where many years later he served for one term as Visiting Professor. He was chosen in 1961 as a member of the entirely new faculty for the recently founded Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Caribbean in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he stayed until 1971. He moved to the faculty of Nashotah House in Wisconsin, where he served as the William Adams Professor of Philosophical and Systematic Theology from 1971 to 1990. Upon retirement in 1990, he served one year as Visiting Professor at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (Berkeley, 1990-1991), afterwards moving to Evanston where he continued to serve as Visiting Professor at the Seabury-Western Theological Seminary from 1992 until his death.

A witty lecturer whose wide reading and comprehensive but critical point of view were much appreciated by his students, Griffiss s contributions to the theological life of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion extended far beyond the classroom, to encompass both his leadership within the community of thought as well as his written output. In some ways his most enduring contribution to Anglican scholarship may prove to be his editorship of the Anglican Theological Review, which he took up only in 1992 after his official retirement and which he continued right down to last year. He brought judicious guidance to the scholarly contents of this quarterly journal, as well as his own regular editorial contributions. Already back in the early 1960s Griffiss was one of the founders of the Conference of Anglican Theologians (CAT), which later expanded to become the Society of Anglican and Lutheran Theologians (SALT). …

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