Thursday, April 17, 2014

Our theology department at the University of St. Thomas is grieving at the loss of our colleague and friend Terry Nichols.  Terry was at UST since 1988 and was planning on retiring at the end of the semester.  

Many knew Terry much longer than I did and I learned a lot about him just in the last few days, such as the fact that he built his own house and that theology was a second career.  I knew Terry as the department chair and the one who gave me my first teaching position as well as the founder of the Muslim Christian Dialogue Center.  Our colleague Tom Bushlack has written a very nice post on his thoughts about Terry, and UST news has an item about his funeral.

The work on which Terry spent his last years was the hugely important issue of Muslim-Christian relations.  Below is a kind note from professors at the Dokuz Eylul University Divinity School faculty in Izmir, Turkey, and a video of what I believe is Terry's last public lecture, "The Hope of Muslim-Christian Dialogue."

Dear Family Members and Friends of Terry Nichols, 
We have heard with a great sadness the death of Prof. Terry Nichols who had an impressive effort to establish academic relations in terms of Christian Muslim dealings between St. Thomas and Dokuz Eylul Universities. We are sorry that we will not see him among us in our future meetings. He was a pioneer for such a great relations and an originator for any necessary task. 
This great man has visited Dokuz Eylul University and gave lectures for a week in late March 2014 while he was under the threat of cancer disease. He stayed a week in our institution with a huge pain in his body, but with a hope and happiness in his soul for better relations among members of the two divine religions: Christianity and Islam. While he was in class meetings in front of students he was very happy and do not feel any pain, after the class session he was searching a suitable place to have some rest. Every five days of his visit we witnessed his huge courage and great effort to do something what he believes. 
Because of this big and sudden lost we share your pain. On behalf of DEU Divinity School we wish to convey our sincere condolences to Terry’s family, friends, and all of his colleagues at St. Thomas University.
God rest his soul,
Dr. Dumlu, Dr. Acar, Dr. Turkeri, Dr. Aydin, Dr. Yitik, Dr. Coban

Isaac M. Alderman

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