Heidelberg Obituary: Dr. Leon J. Putnam

Dr. Leon J. Putnam, Heidelberg professor emeritus of religion and philosophy, died Nov. 6, 2017, at the age of 88.

Dr. Putnam joined the Heidelberg faculty in 1959 as professor of religion and philosophy, rising to the rank of full professor in 1966.  He spent his entire career – 35 years – at Heidelberg, serving as department chair for 20 years before retiring in 1994.  Dr. Putnam had taught contemporary Christian thought, psychology of religion, theology, history of philosophy, ethics and numerous other courses throughout his career.  In recent years, he was a regular attendee to the monthly Retiree Committee to Advise the President meetings.

A prolific scholar and author, he contributed many, many articles for journals and religious publications, books and book chapters.  He had served as a book reviewer for more than a quarter century.

In addition to preaching at a number of local churches through the years, he also had served on the board of Community Hospice Care (board president in 1985-86) and was a board member of the Ohio Humanities Council.

A Michigan native, Dr. Putnam received his A.B degree in philosophy from the University of Michigan in 1950, his A.M. degree in philosophy, also from the University of Michigan, in 1951, his B.D. degree from Colgate Rochester Divinity School in 1955 and his Ph.D. degree in history and philosophy of religion from Harvard University in 1961.  He is survived by his wife, Phyllis.

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