By Blake Sawicky
Yale Divinity School honored the memory of the Rev. Rowan Greer on Wednesday. The service consisted of the prayer book’s burial office with hymns and readings, all of which reflected on a life spent in pursuing knowledge of the love of God.
The Rev. Christopher Beeley, Greer’s successor as the Walter H. Gray professor of Anglican studies and patristics, was the celebrant and preacher. Members of Greer’s family were in attended the service, along with many friends, alumni, and members of the faculty and student body, and former students and colleagues.
Several speakers noted that Greer himself would likely have disapproved of a memorial service, citing his characteristic humility. Nevertheless, Beeley encouraged the congregation that giving thanks for his legacy of scholarship and personal holiness is only natural and right: not for the sake of Greer himself, but for the sake of God’s grace.
Beeley celebrated the lasting testament of Greer’s teaching, thought, and influence upon generations of scholars and clergy. He remarked with other speakers that the mission of theological education, and in particular Yale Divinity School, has been deeply shaped by Greer’s life and work.
Greer is perhaps best known for his scholarship in the field of patristics. He was also engaged in the field of pastoral theology, and was a devoted pastor himself. For a fuller reflection on his life and work, see Beeley’s essay “Rowan A. Greer III: A Generous Scholar-Priest.”
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