William Hamilton (theologian)

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William Hughes Hamilton
Born (1924-03-09)March 9, 1924
Evanston, Illinois
Died February 28, 2012(2012-02-28) (aged 87)
Portland, Oregon
Nationality American
Notable work Radical Theology and the Death of God (1966)
Spouse(s) Mary Jean (Golden) Hamilton
Children 5: Ross, Donald, Catherine, Patrick, Jean
Theological work

William Hughes Hamilton (March 9, 1924 – February 28, 2012) was a theologian and proponent of the Death of God/Is God Dead? movement. Hamilton died in 2012 at age 87 in Portland, Oregon.[1]

Education and career[edit]

Hamilton was born in 1924 in Evanston, Illinois.[2] In 1943 Hamilton graduated from Oberlin College. He served in the United States Navy during World War II, then earned a master's degree from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York in 1949. In 1952 Hamilton received a doctorate in theology from the University of St Andrews in Scotland.[1]

Hamilton and fellow theologian Thomas J. J. Altizer co-authored the book Radical Theology and the Death of God (1966). Time magazine published the article "Is God Dead?" that same year.[2] Hamilton taught Theology at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School until he lost his endowed chair in 1967. He then taught religion at New College in Sarasota, Florida before becoming a faculty member at Portland State University in 1970.[1] There he served as dean of arts and letters until his retirement in 1986.[2]

Hamilton died of complications from congestive heart failure in 2012 at age 87 in Portland, Oregon.[2] He was survived by his wife Mary Jean and five children.[1]

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