An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Tucker, Irwin St. John

(Jan. 10, 1886-Jan. 8, 1982). Priest and social activist. He was born in Mobile, Alabama. Tucker received his B.D. from the General Theological Seminary in 1913. He was ordained deacon on June 2, 1912, and priest on May 18, 1913. In 1914 Tucker left New York for Chicago where he became managing editor of the Christian Socialist, the organ of the Christian Socialist Fellowship. He served as a non-parochial priest. In 1917 he opposed American involvement in World War I and became a leading antiwar propagandist. From 1927 until 1954 Tucker was priest-in-charge of St. Stephen's Church, Chicago. In 1954 he converted to Roman Catholicism. Tucker was deposed from the ordained ministry of the Episcopal Church on Nov. 30, 1954. He was a layman until he was reinstated as an Episcopal priest on June 5, 1970, at the age of eighty-four. During much of his time in Chicago he worked for the Chicago Herald American, a newspaper. He stressed that Christianity and socialism share the ideal of economic and social justice and an emphasis on the unity of humanity. Tucker insisted that “Socialism without Christianity is a corpse and Christianity without Socialism is little better than a ghost.” Tucker died in Chicago.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.