Friday, August 29, 2008

Tribute to Paul

From the Lancaster Guardian,

"A Lancaster University lecturer has died suddenly during an academic trip to Australia. Religious Studies lecturer Dr Paul Fletcher, 43, died in Sydney and leaves a partner, Deborah, and a baby daughter, May.

Paul had led a very active and committed life. As a young man he served with The Irish Christian Brothers, working in the most deprived inner city areas of Liverpool and in war-torn Liberia. He then trained as a theologian at Durham University before being appointed as lecturer in Christian theology at Lancaster in 1997.

An enquiring and demanding scholar, Paul was also a very popular teacher and supervisor of research students. Director of Undergraduate Studies for Religious Studies, and one-time convenor of its research seminars, Paul also served as a board member of the university's Institute for Advanced Studies.

Steeped in the tradition and theology of the Christian church, he was especially interested in the relationship between religion and politics in modern times. Pursuing that interest in the most collaborative and engaging of ways, Paul rapidly formed a wide alliance of intellectual friends and collaborators across the university from the Faculties of Arts and Social Science to the Management School. Paul's work was inter-disciplinary, and his research took him into many different areas of academic life from modern theology and continental philosophy to popular culture and global politics.

His openness, lively conversation and quick wit earned him many friends among staff and faculty on the campus. Generous with his time and his learning, among his closest collaborators Paul was cherished with the deepest respect and affection.

In addition to his work on Christian theology, he published in political theology, international politics and cultural research. His first publication at Lancaster typically arose out of a collaborative conference on violence and the sacred. He currently has a book, Disciplining the Divine, in press and another, The Messianic, Now, in preparation."
I think about him at least once a day. All of the philosophy that I'm reading and writing about at the moment reminds me of him. We've been told that there will be a memorial service for Paul when the new university term starts in October.