CTS is grateful for Dr. Clark M. Williamson’s remarkable life of service to the church, the CTS community and theological education.
Clark M. Williamson (November 3, 1935- June 26th, 2021) was renowned for his work with neo-process theology, post-Shoah theology, and biblical theology. The author of more than twenty books, he was especially known for his pioneering work in eliminating anti-Jewish elements and implications in Christianity in his Has God Rejected His People? Anti-Judaism in the Christian Church (1982) and for his probing examination and restatement of major themes in Christian faith in the light of the Holocaust and official statements of the churches on these matters in Guest in the House of Israel: Post-Holocaust Church Theology (1993). He also wrote a systematic theology, Way of Blessing/Way of Life: A Christian Theology (1999) developing a constructive and comprehensive theology based on these themes and in conversation with process thinkers, Paul Tillich, post-Shoah theology, narrative theology, and feminist theology.
Clark Williamson was born 1935 in Memphis, Tennessee, where he grew up. Williamson was a member of Taylor Memorial Christian Church where his grandfather, J. Murray Taylor was minister. Williamson completed the AB in religion and philosophy at Transylvania University in 1957. He then studied at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago for the M.Div. (1961), M.A. (1963), and PhD (1969). While at the University of Chicago, Williamson was Paul Tillich’s assistant for Volume III of Tillich’s renowned Systematic Theology. In Chicago, Williamson served as assistant dean of Disciples Divinity House and as interim minister of University Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
In 1966, he was called to teach theology at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. He was the first to hold the Indiana Chair of Christian Thought and served as Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs, retiring in 2002. He was also visiting professor at the Ecumenical Institute of the World Council of Churches and at Claremont School of Theology. Transylvania University honored him with the Distinguished Achievement Award (2002) and with the D.D. (honoris causa) (2005). Disciples Divinity House of the University of Chicago named him Alumnus of the Year in 2015. He remained active in scholarship and education in his retirement, writing multiple commentaries on preaching and Biblical exegesis.
Generations of CTS students have paid testimony to the influence of Clark upon their thinking and praised him for his academic rigor, his deeply humane theological sensibilities, and his insistence that faithful ministry requires clear and brave thinking.
A memorial service has be scheduled for Saturday, September 25th at 2 p.m. at Central Christian Church in Indianapolis.