Norris Clarke, S.J., professor emeritus of philosophy, died Tuesday, June 10 at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx following a stroke. He was 93. Viewings will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, June 15 in the Loyola Hall Chapel on the Rose Hill campus. Services are set for 10:30 a.m. on Monday, June 16 in the University Church.
A native New Yorker, Father Clarke was born in 1915 and attended Loyola High School. He graduated, enrolled at Georgetown University in 1931 and entered the Society of Jesus two years later. His deepening interest in Thomist philosophy was developed at College St. Louis in England in 1936. He continued his studies at Fordham, earning a master’s in philosophy in 1939. He earned his doctorate from Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, where he studied under Roman Catholic philosopher Louis De Raeymaeker. Father Clarke was ordained into the priesthood in 1945 and joined the Fordham faculty 10 years later as an assistant professor of philosophy.
Father Clarke considered his philosophical journey as one moving from strict Thomism to a perspective revitalizing Thomistic philosophy to include an “implicit dimension of personalism.” He felt that the latter was inspired by the writings of Pope John Paul II.The colloquium coincided with publication of a revised edition of his 1979 book, The Philosophical Approach To God (Fordham University Press, 2007). Additionally, the Press will publish a book of his essays on Thomistic philosophy in the fall of 2008, The Creative Retrieval of Saint Thomas Aquinas.
Read an awesome reflection and personal insight on Fr. Clarke, by fellow Jesuit and former student Joe Koczera, his blog City and the World offers a rich and exciting view of a contemporary Jesuit, read his post entitled, Remembering W. Norris Clarke, S.J. (here)