Arthur F. Holmes

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Arthur Frank Holmes
Born March 15, 1924
Dover, England, UK
Died October 8, 2011
Wheaton, Illinois
Residence Wheaton, Illinois
Nationality English
Alma mater Wheaton College, AB, MA (Bible & theology); Northwestern University, PhD (philosophy)
Occupation Educator, Philosopher,
College Professor,
Ethicist, Author
Known for Chair of Philosophy Department at Wheaton College, Christian perspectives in philosophy and to Christian higher education (14 books and numerous articles related), cofounder of the Society of Christian Philosophers, ethical decision making as an Evangelical Christian, World War II Royal Air Force pilot
Spouse(s) Alice
Children Paul Holmes, Mark Holmes
Awards Wheaton College Teacher of the Year 1966, 1983; Illinois Professor of the Year 1987; Mark Hatfield Award (from the Coalition for Christian Colleges and Universities) 1998; two (2) honorary doctoral degrees.

Arthur Frank Holmes (March 15, 1924 – October 8, 2011) was Professor of Philosophy at Wheaton College, Illinois (1951–1994). He is remembered for his contribution to Christian higher education in the United States not only by teaching and building the philosophy department at Wheaton, but also by writing influential books and articles about the philosophy of Christian education, participating in the creation of the Society of Christian Philosophers,[1] and encouraging his students to go on for graduate study and become academic leaders in their own rights. Wheaton College President Philip Ryken said "It would be hard to think of anyone who has had a greater impact on Christian higher education than Arthur Holmes."[2] Holmes died in Wheaton, Illinois, on October 8, 2011, at age 87.[3][4]

Education and career at Wheaton College[edit]

A native of Dover, England, Holmes came to the United States in 1947 after serving in the Royal Air Force during World War II.[4] He earned a bachelor's degree (1950) and a master's degree (1952) in Bible and theology[2] from Wheaton College and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Northwestern University in Chicago (1957).[5]

Holmes began teaching at his alma mater while still pursuing his graduate degrees, and would remain there for his entire 43-year career. He was instrumental in convincing the college to establish a philosophy department independent of the Bible and theology division,[1] and he served as the chair of that department for more than two decades.[5] He started the annual Wheaton Philosophy Conference in 1954, which eventually led to the creation of the Society of Christian Philosophers in 1978.[6] He was especially well known as a teacher for the year-long history of philosophy sequence that was a foundational course in the philosophy major, which Wheaton College made available online in 2015.[7] Holmes retired in 1994 and was named Professor Emeritus, but continued to teach occasionally even after his retirement.[3]

Honors and awards[edit]

In 1998, the Arthur F. Holmes Chair of Faith and Learning was established at Wheaton College in his honor, supporting and honoring the work of scholars in philosophy, history, or English who have given particular attention to one of the major themes of Holmes' academic career: the integration of faith and learning.[5]

Holmes also served as a guest lecturer at many colleges, universities, and conferences. He received two honorary doctoral degrees.[4]

Notable students[edit]

Holmes' colleagues and students recall his "grand vision" for the Wheaton College philosophy department: that it would produce 100 graduates who would go on to earn Ph.D.s in philosophy.[1] Several years after Holmes' death, former student Clifford Williams decided to investigate whether that ambition had been achieved. He was able to identify at least 116 of Holmes' former students who had earned doctorates in philosophy. In addition, many of Holmes' former students pursued advanced study in other fields, such as history, literature, and Biblical studies. Another former student, C. Stephen Evans, noted in his eulogy of Holmes that "Many of the brightest Christian scholars in many fields ... were transformed by being Art's students. And that is not to mention the contributions Art's students have made in theology, biblical studies, the law, medicine, and even the business world."[9] Among his notable students are:

Published writings[edit]

Holmes was author or editor of 14 books and many articles on topics related to philosophy, including ethics, philosophy applied to Christian higher education, and historical interactions between Christianity and philosophy. His publications include:

  • Christianity and Philosophy (Inter-Varsity Press, 1963) OCLC 220537127; republished as Philosophy: A Christian Perspective (Inter-Varsity Press, 1978) ISBN 0877844240
  • Christian Philosophy in the Twentieth Century: An Essay in Philosophical Methodology (Craig Press, 1969) OCLC 120465
  • Faith Seeks Understanding: A Christian Approach to Knowledge (Eerdmans, 1971) OCLC 952866952
  • The Idea of a Christian College (Eerdmans, first edition 1975; revised edition 1987) ISBN 0802815928; ISBN 0802802583
  • All Truth is God's Truth (Eerdmans, 1977) ISBN 0-8028-1701-7
  • Contours of a World View (Eerdmans, 1983) ISBN 0802819575
  • Ethics: Approaching Moral Decisions (InterVarsity Press, first edition 1989; second edition 2007) ISBN 0877843422; ISBN 0830828036
  • Shaping Character: Moral Education in the Christian College (Eerdmans, 1990) ISBN 0802804977
  • Fact, Value, and God (Eerdmans, 1997) ISBN 0-8028-4312-3
  • Building the Christian Academy (Eerdmans, 2001) ISBN 0-8028-4744-7

As Editor:

  • War and Christian Ethics: Classic and Contemporary Readings on the Morality of War (Baker, first edition 1975; second edition 2005) ISBN 0801041384; ISBN 0801031133
  • The Making of a Christian Mind : A Christian World View & the Academic Enterprise (InterVarsity, 1985) ISBN 0877845255

Reference list[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Jones, Martyn Wendell (Winter 2017). "The Holmes Hundred". Wheaton Magazine. 20:1. 
  2. ^ a b Daday, Eileen O. (October 16, 2011). "Arthur Holmes was a Wheaton College philosopher, professor and mentor". Daily Herald. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Arthur F. Holmes '50 M.A. '52 (1924–2011): Influential Christian Philosopher | Wheaton". Wheaton.edu. 2011-10-10. Archived from the original on 2011-12-21. Retrieved 2011-12-09. 
  4. ^ a b c "Obituary for Dr. Arthur Frank Holmes at Hultgren Funeral Home". www.meaningfulfunerals.net. Retrieved 2017-05-17. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Arthur F. Holmes Papers (pamphlet)" (PDF). Wheaton College Archives & Special Collections. October 14, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Hommel, Dannie. "How Wheaton's philosophy department helped transform American philosophy". The Wheaton Record. 
  7. ^ "Arthur Homes: A History of Philosophy". YouTube. Retrieved 2018-02-19. 
  8. ^ "CCCU Awards". Archived from the original on 2010-02-19. Retrieved June 3, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c Evans, C. Stephen (January–February 2012). "Arthur Holmes: A Life Well-Lived". Books & Culture. 
  10. ^ Noll, Mark (October 11, 2017). "Remembering Arthur F. Homes (1924–2011)". Eerdword. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]