Henry Chadwick: Scholar of Early Christianity, Dies at 87

Historians in the News

The Very Rev. Henry Chadwick, an Anglican priest, professor, editor, translator and author whose historical voyages into early Christianity won praise for depth, insight and evenhandedness and helped shed light on modern religious problems, died Tuesday in Oxford, England. He was 87.

His death was announced by Cambridge University, where Professor Chadwick taught and held administrative positions.

In an obituary written for the newspaper The Guardian, Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, called Professor Chadwick, who was knighted in 1989, an “aristocrat among Anglican scholars.”

The archbishop wrote, “His erudition was legendary, particularly in all areas of late antiquity.”

Professor Chadwick tried to put this powerful scholarship to use in the 1970s when he served on the Anglo-Roman Catholic International Commission, whose task was to find common ground between Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism. As a part of the path to denominational reconciliation, he put forward first principles that his research had shown had been shared by most early Christians.

Professor Chadwick once called ecumenism “a good cause to die for.”

comments powered by Disqus