Wilson College Professor Emeritus Raymond Kemp Anderson recently published his latest work, An American Scholar Recalls Karl Barth’s Golden Years as a Teacher (1958-1964). The Wilson College community had the opportunity to celebrate this momentous occasion with him on Thursday, April 24. After an introduction from President Mistick and Dr. David True, Dr. Anderson spoke about the topic of his book: Karl Barth, one of the greatest Christian theorists of recent times. Dr. Anderson was one of the last doctoral students under Karl Barth at the University of Basel, in Switzerland.
“It is such a privilege to hear Ray speak about Karl Barth. His knowledge is both deep and personal. It’s like having privileged access to one of the most significant Protestant theologians of the twentieth century,” stated Reverend Rosie Magee.
During his talk, Dr. Anderson emphasized, “Radiant joy should be taught in church and in life,” a lesson he learned from Barth.
Prof. David True declared, “I had a great time seeing everyone there to celebrate Ray’s book and I loved his reminder that our studies–teaching and learning–can, in a liberal arts context, be thought of as a play.”
Dr. Anderson taught Religion here at Wilson from 1965 to 2003. He also chaired the Department of Philosophy and Religion for part of that period.
Cindy Shoemaker remembers him well, “I had Dr. Anderson as a religion studies professor when I was a student here at Wilson back in the 70’s. He was instrumental in challenging me to think and process in ways I had never done before. He allowed me to explore the existential questions that were swirling around in my young mind. Today, I have the pleasure of being in a class with Ray every Sunday morning. In his gentle way of presenting theology, he continues to stretch me to question and explore. He has had a major impact on my life, both intellectually and spiritually.”
The celebration continued with refreshments as attendees were able to personally talk with Dr. Anderson, while getting their own copies of the books personally autographed. It is obvious that Dr. Anderson not only left a mark on the Wilson College community, but in the discipline of theology as well.