We at the Interpreter Foundation were deeply saddened to learn of the unexpected passing of our dear colleague, the Catholic philosopher and theologian Stephen H. Webb, on Saturday, 5 March 2016. Among other things, we had been looking forward to spending time with him this coming weekend; he was scheduled to speak at the Foundation’s symposium on science and Mormonism.
Stephen was a warm friend of the Latter-day Saints, both intellectually and personally. Among his many publications are Mormon Christianity: What Other Christians Can Learn from the Latter-day Saints (Oxford, 2013) and, with Alonzo L. Gaskill, Catholic and Mormon: A Theological Conversation (Oxford, 2015).
His remarks on “Why Mormon Materialism Matters,” delivered at the August 2015 FairMormon conference, are available online at http://www.fairmormon.org/perspectives/fair-conferences/2015-fairmormon-conference/why-mormon-materialism-matters, as is a video of his remarkable discussion with Margaret Barker at the Interpreter Foundation’s August 2015 birthday party (https://interpreterfoundation.org/an-evening-with-margaret-barker-stephen-webb/).
We had hoped and expected to hear much more from Stephen. More importantly, though, we are heartsick at this terrible loss. We pray that God’s comfort and blessing will rest upon his wife and their five children, and upon the many people who knew and loved him. And we look forward to the day when “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
I’m devastated. I’m starting divinity school this fall, and was so looking forward to drawing on Dr. Webb in my future attempts at Mormon theology and philosophy.
I met Dr. Webb last summer and asked him about D&C 88:37. After reading it he replied that he had not previously encountered it but that it was strikingly relevant to his research and he would investigate further. I was looking forward to following up with him this weekend, and in the future.
I’m sure he is irreplaceable, but can anyone point me to those who were most familiar with his work? I would love to participate in relaying the torch he carried.
Dr. Webb was a remarkable scholar and a rare friend of the Church. I was enthralled with his presentation at the FairMormon conference last August and was looking forward to hearing him at the Interpreter Foundation’s symposium coming up. We’ll miss him. May the Comforter be with his family and friends at this difficult time.
His newly adopted Mormon family will grieve for his unexpected absence from this mortality. More importantly, he will now get to see and learn more of some of the insights he gleaned in his research and study. We will miss his voice and clarity.
Very, very sad indeed. A great loss.
Condolences to the Webb family.
I attended several events where Dr. Webb spoke and I am heartbroken about this. My prayers are with his family.
I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Webb in August 2015 when he was in Provo. He was a delightful individual—funny, warm, and personally engaging. I’m so sorry to hear of his passing, and pray for God’s blessings to be with his family and loved ones during this difficult time.
Stephen was a rare soul: thoughtful, kind, easy to talk to, never diffident. It was always both interesting and fun to be with him and to discuss LDS and Catholic belief. Few outside the Church have written as fairly about us as he did. His family will miss him, and so will we.