An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Pittenger, W. Norman

(July 23, 1905-June 19, 1997). Leading process theologian. He was born in Bogota, New Jersey. Pittenger received his S.T.B. from the General Theological Seminary in 1936. He was ordained deacon on June 11, 1936, and priest on Feb. 24, 1937. He began teaching at General Seminary while still a student in 1935. He taught apologetics at General Seminary until his retirement in 1966. Pittenger was made an honorary senior member of King's College, Cambridge, in 1964. He was a senior resident at King's College from 1966 until 1970. He was vice president of the American Church Congress, 1942-1948, lecturer in doctrine, liturgics and ethics at the New York Training School for Deaconesses, 1944-1947, president of the American Theological Society, 1948-1949, and chairman of the North American Section of the Theological Commission of the World Council of Churches, 1962-1966. Pittenger was a visiting professor at universities around the world. As a scholar he produced an extensive bibliography. Many of his books were popular in the sense that they were “designed to bring the truth of Christianity out of the cloister or the study and give it currency in the living thought of men and women today.” At the same time, his book, The Incarnate Word (1959), has been counted among the foremost studies in Christology in modern times. Pittenger was influenced by the theology of William Porcher DuBose, and he edited a collection of essays by DuBose which was published as Unity in the Faith (1957). He had a special interest in human sexuality and was supportive of gay and lesbian Christians. A festschrift, Lux in Lumine: Essays to Honor W. Norman Pittenger (1966), was presented to him at the time of his retirement. Pittenger died in Cambridge, England.

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