William R. Hutchison: Dies at age 75

Historians in the News

William R. Hutchison, 75, a leading scholar of American religious history, died Friday at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. The cause of death was stomach cancer, according to his daughter, Elizabeth.

At the time of his death, Dr. Hutchison was Charles Warren research professor of American religious history at Harvard Divinity School.

Dr. Hutchison was `'the dean of American religious historians," David Hollinger, chairman of the history department at the University of California, Berkeley, said yesterday.

He was the author of several books, including The Transcendentalist Ministers: Church Reform in the New England Renaissance, The Modernist Impulse in American Protestantism , and Religious Pluralism in America: The Contentious History of a Founding Ideal.

[Editor: Mr. Hutchison labored in recent months over an article for HNN. We published it just two weeks ago.]

The following notice appeared in the Boston Globe on 12-20-05:

William Hutchison: Of Cambridge, MA, died of cancer on December 16. Born in San Francisco, CA on May 21, 1930. Hutchison was a professor at Harvard Divinity School for 32 years and authored numerous important works on American religious history. He leaves his beloved wife Virginia (Quay); four children: Joseph of Ridgefield CT, Catherine Winnie, of Rochester NY, Margaret of Berkeley CA, and Elizabeth of Albuquerque NM; 10 grandchildren; and a sister, Mary Fletcher of FL. Memorial services will be held at Cambridge Friends Meeting, 5 Longfellow Park, on January 21 at 2 PM and at Memorial Church, Harvard University, on April 28. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the William R. Hutchison Fund, which supports doctoral students in religion at Harvard University. (Checks should be made out to Harvard University, and mailed to the William R. Hutchison Fund, Office of Development and External Relations, Harvard Divinity School, 45 Francis Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138.) Arrangements handled by the Rogers Funeral Home, CAMBRIDGE.

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