Norman Kretzmann


Norman Kretzmann

Norman J. Kretzmann (4 November 1928 — 1 August 1998)[1] was a Professor of Philosophy at Cornell University who specialised in the history of medieval philosophy and the philosophy of religion.

Kretzmann joined Cornell's Department of Philosophy in 1966. His work as a teacher and scholar was recognized in 1970, when he was appointed Chairman of the Department of Philosophy, and in 1977 when he was elected a Susan Linn Sage Professor of Philosophy by the University Board of Trustees. In 1992, he received a Graduate Teaching Award from the Northeastern Association of Graduate Deans for his excellence and creativity in the teaching of graduate students. He became a Susan Linn Sage Professor Emeritus in 1995. He published numerous books, articles, essays, and editions of medieval texts. He served as the principal editor of The Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy (1982), and as an editor of the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.[2]

Kretzmann was brought up a Lutheran and descended from a long line of Lutheran pastors, but he lost his Lutheran faith while at college. He returned to Christian faith in his forties, and he spent the remainder of his life as a committed Christian. He was for many years an active member of the Society of Christian Philosophers. In his early sixties, he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and given less than two years to live; in the event, he lived seven more years and completed two volumes of his projected three-volume work on Aquinas's Summa contra Gentiles. When his friends and colleagues wept because they knew he was dying, he consoled them by saying, "You are not a philosopher or a Christian if you are not ready to welcome death." When a colleague commented that he was treating his illness very philosophically, he replied "of course - I have a PhD in that subject."[3]

Notes and references

  1. ^ Social Security Death Index - Number: 201-16-9077; Issue State: Pennsylvania; Issue Date: Before 1951
  2. ^ Cornell University bio outline
  3. ^ Anthony Kenny What I Believe pp105-106

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