William C. Placher, an influential and widely admired theological scholar, died November 30 at age 60 of natural causes, according to a spokesperson at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, where he had taught for 34 years. Placher died in Minnesota where he was serving as a writer-in-residence at the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research at St. John’s University. Author of 13 books, including A History of Christian Theology, Narratives of a Vulnerable God and The Triune God, Placher was an editor at large for the Century and renowned for his lectures and guest sermons. A lay leader in Crawfordsville’s Wabash Avenue Presbyterian Church, Placher was the LaFollette Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at Wabash, his alma mater. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees at Yale in the mid-1970s. In 2002, the American Academy of Religion gave him its coveted Excellence in Teaching Award.


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