In Memoriam: Joseph H. Lynch

In Memoriam:

Professor Joseph H. Lynch died unexpectedly on December 27, 2008 at the age of 65.  He held the Joe & Elizabeth Engle Chair in the History of Christianity at The Ohio State University in Columbus Ohio. He was a fellow of the Medieval Academy, past President of the American Catholic Historical Association and was a long time member of the International Medieval Sermon Studies Society.  Joe was a graduate of Boston College and earned the Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1971 under Giles Constable. His first book, published in 1976 as a revised dissertation, was Simoniacal Entry into the Religious Life from 1000 to 1260: A Social, Economic and Legal Study.  He also published Godparents and Kinship in Early Medieval Europe (Princeton, 1986) and Christianizing Kinship: Ritual Sponsorship in Anglo-Saxon England (Cornell, 1998). He is perhaps best known for his book The Medieval Church: A Brief History (Longmans, 1992) and only a few weeks ago Oxford released his Early Christianity: A Brief History which Joe completed just before his death.

He was a dedicated servant to his department and university.  He was a model advisor and friend to many graduate students over the years, including your scribe. He earned many teaching awards at Ohio State and held numerous distinguished fellowships throughout his career.  Joe was also a devout Catholic and loving father, grandfather and husband.  He will be greatly missed.  Requiescat in pace.

Ronald J. Stansbury
Roberts Wesleyan College