The blog of Dr Glenn Andrew Peoples on Theology, Philosophy, and Social Issues

RIP William Alston (1921-2009)


This is a brief note to acknowledge the passing of one of the bright lights in contemporary philosophy, and Christian philosophy in particular. William Alston has passed away. Although he reached the respectable age of 87, his death came after being recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (the same thing that has also just ended the life of Patrick Swayze, incidentally).

Rest in peace.


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  1. Kenny

    A sad loss, not only for Christian philosophy, but for all of philosophy. Rest in peace Bill.

  2. His contribution to philosophy will live on and continue to be valued by future scholars. What a legacy.

  3. This arrived earlier today in my inbox, from the mailing list of IPRA (International Philosophy of Religion Association):

    Dear Friends,

    Linda Zagzebski sadly informed us that Bill Alston, 87, died earlier today, September 13, 2009, at his home in Jamesville, NY. He had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just the week before last.

    A key figure in the founding of the Society of Christian Philosophers, Bill was a past president of both SCP and the Central APA and made significant contributions in the fields of epistemology and philosophy of religion. His work, leadership, and exemplary model of Christian philosophy has inspired many.

    Please remember his widow, Valerie, and the rest of his family in your prayers, giving thanks for Bill’s many gifts. We will provide further details as they become available.

    James K.A. Smith, PhD
    Associate Professor of Philosophy
    Adjunct Professor of Congregational and Ministry Studies
    Calvin College

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