Remembering Dean Guthrie: A Letter from Dean Douglas

Dear EDS Community:

It is with sadness that I share the news of the passing of the Rev. Dr. Harvey Guthrie, Jr. Dean Guthrie was admired and respected by so many in the Episcopal Divinity School family, including myself, and I am indebted to him for the legacy he has left.

Dean Guthrie served during a remarkable period in the life of the Episcopal Church and the United States. He traveled to Selma with Jonathan Daniels. He was one of the organizers of the 1974 ordination of the Philadelphia 11, and was one of the leaders of the General Convention struggle for the ordination of women. Having been dean of Episcopal Theological Seminary from 1969 to 1974, he helped guide that seminary as it joined with Philadelphia Divinity School in 1974 to form EDS.  Many of us will also continue to benefit from his writings, and I’m particularly grateful for his work “Theology as Thanksgiving: From Israel’s Psalms to the Church’s Eucharist.”

As I reflect on Dean Guthrie’s legacy, I am reminded of how he described what undergirded his faith. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, he noted, “For me, those commitments are rooted in my study of the thrust of the biblical message, which is first of all that the rights and privileges of being human are in every respect to be shared by all as gifts of God.”

My thoughts and prayers are with Dean Guthrie’s children and grandchildren, and with the entire EDS family in this time of mourning. May his soul rest in peace.


The Very Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas