William S. Hatcher (1935-2005)
William S. Hatcher was a mathematician, philosopher, and educator. He held a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. A specialist in the philosophical interpenetration of science and religion, he held, for over forty years, university positions and lectured widely in North America, Europe, and Russia.
He was the author or co-author of over fifty professional articles, books and monographs in the mathematical sciences, logic, and philosophy. Among his works are: The Foundations of Mathematics (1968); Absolute Algebra (1978); The Science of Religion (1980); The Logical Foundations of Mathematics (1982); The Bahá’í Faith: The Emerging Global Religion (1985; 1989; 1998; 2002) co-authored with J. Douglas Martin; Logic and Logos: Essays on Science, Religion and Philosophy (1990); The Law of Love Enshrined: Selected Essays (1996) co-authored with John S. Hatcher; The Ethics of Authenticity (1997; 2001); Love, Power, and Justice (1998; 2002); and Minimalism: A Bridge Between Classical Philosophy and the Bahá’í Revelation (2002; 2004). He is one of eight Platonist philosophers listed for the second half of the twentieth century in the highly regarded Encyclopédie Philosophique Universelle (Presses Universitaires de France, 1992).
Raised in the Protestant religion, Dr. Hatcher had determined to enter the ministry upon completing his undergraduate studies and toward that end had received a scholarship to attend Yale Divinity School. However, after having studied the Bahá’í Faith for several years, he became a Bahá’í in 1957 and thus changed his professional orientation to a career in mathematics. Since that time, he served the Bahá’í community is a wide variety of capacities. Upon his death in 2005, the Universal House of Justice wrote: ”The Bahá’í world has lost one of its brightest minds, one of its most prolific pens. He will long be remembered for his stalwart faith, forceful exposition, and penetrating insights.” He is survived by his wife Judith, three children and seven grandchildren.