Theologian John Macquarrie dies at 87.

The Rev. Dr. John Macquarrie, Episcopal priest and theologian, died May 28th from stomach cancer, according to an obituary published in today’s New York Times.

He held several posts including professor of systematic theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at Oxford and canon of Christ Church Cathedral at Oxford, and wrote over thirty books including “Principles of Christian Theology” (1966).

Dr. Macquarrie wrote that all language about God was symbolic and not to be taken literally. But it must be taken seriously. To him, what separated believers from nonbelievers was that believers had experienced the revelation that the creation and its existence are good.

“Faith’s name for reality is God,” Dr. Macquarrie wrote in “Paths in Spirituality.”

The Times of London wrote:

A gracious, generous man, he was a traditionalist and opposed to the ordination of women but was never, in any way, a campaigner. A pastoral man, in retirement he helped out at St Andrew’s, Headington, and more than once gave a course of lectures to the congregation, revealing his mastery of his subject in the clarity of his expositions of theology. Always proud of his Celtic origin, he had an open heart, which embraced people of all sorts.

Macquarrie’s work influenced generations of Christians of every stripe and his influence is seen in a surprising spectrum of Episcopalians today. As we pray and give thanks for his ministry, some may wish to remember the ways his work touched our lives, thinking, preaching an spirituality in the comments below.

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