Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Geoffrey Bromiley (1915-2009)

Geoffrey Bromiley, one of the great church historians and historical theologians of the 20th century whose translation work is also responsible for a number of important volumes, went to be with the Lord last Friday (August 7, 2009). From Fuller's announcement:
Bromiley significantly influenced English-language Christianity over the past six decades, translating and editing—from several original languages—thousands upon thousands of pages of theological works from such notables as Karl Barth, Jacques Ellul, Helmut Thielicke, and others.

Among his many translations widely used by English-language readers are the 10-volume Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, edited by Gerhard Kittel; extensive portions of Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics; Wolfhart Pannenberg's three-volume Systematic Theology; and Commentary on Romans by Ernst Kasemann.

Bromiley was also the English-language editor of the monumental Encyclopedia of Christianity (translated from a German language resource), the fifth volume of which he completed in 2007—past his 90th year. “His work as the English-language editor of these five volumes is without question among the most painstaking work a scholar can be called upon to do. Few there are who are equal to the challenge,” said Robert P. Meye, the former dean of Fuller’s School of Theology, who served during many of the years while Bromiley was Professor of Church History and Historical Theology at Fuller.

“Geoffrey Bromiley was one of Fuller’s most accomplished faculty members, distinguishing himself as a professor, scholar, author, translator, and mentor,” said Howard Loewen, dean of the School of Theology and professor of theology and ethics at Fuller. Loewen, who was a PhD student under Bromiley, remembers Bromiley’s vocational life and theological work as “characterized by a passion for the church and its ministry in the world. He embodied and advanced in a remarkable way the evangelical identity and ecumenical mission of Fuller Seminary, and contributed to the theological formation of a generation of seminary students and church leaders.”
Mark Galli offers some remembrances here.

Ben Myers argues that Bromiley was "the single most influential figure in modern English-language theology." "If you tried to subtract Bromiley from the story of modern theology, most of our own recent history would simply become inconceivable."