"God is Dead" heralder dies in Portland

By Guest Opinion,

If you remember the “Death of God” Time Magazine cover, you may remember one of their movement’s spokesmen William Hamilton. It was announced today that William Hamilton died at age 87 in Portland from congestive heart failure.

The Oregonian comments on an early youth experience that led him to doubt his beliefs, “His teenage friends had been building pipe bombs. One, an Episcopalian boy, was dead. Another, a Catholic, lay on the grass fatally injured. And the third, the son of an atheist, emerged without a scratch.How, he wondered, could a just God allow this? Why do the innocent suffer? Does God intervene in human lives?”Theodicy came to dwell in my 14-year-old head that Sunday.” It was 1938.The questions haunted William Hamilton at his friends’ funeral, at school, in the Navy, at seminary and in his years as a theology professor at Colgate Rochester Divinity School. By 1966 he had an answer, and it landed him not only in Time and Playboy magazines, but also in the middle of a hornet’s nest”

KGW-TV AP reports, “Hamilton brought his ideas to a national audience on the Sunday morning CBS television show, “Look up and Live,” at one point airing excerpts from the Ingmar Bergman movie, “Winter Light,” which was about a pastor who decides God has died.The book and the ensuing 1966 Time magazine article “Is God Dead?” became part of a national questioning of establishment values that included the Civil Rights Movement and protest against the Vietnam War.”

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