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APPRECIATION Born in Kirkwood, Missouri September 18, 1927, Girard Etzkorn received his education at local primary and secondary schools prior to enrolling in a chemical engineering program at the University of Dayton in the fall of 1944. After his third semester of study in the program, however, he was drafted into the U.S. Armed Forces where he served in the forces of Occupation in Japan. Returning to the U.S. in 1948, Jerry joined the Franciscan Order and commenced his studies toward the B.A. in philosophy the following fall. After receiving his degree in philosophy in 1953, he was ordained a priest in 1956 and obtained his BTh. from the St. Joseph's Seminary in 1957. Since his religious superiors discerned in Jerry a fine scholar as well as a remarkable man, they sent him to the University of Louvain where he earned his doctorate in philosophy in the spring of 1961. After returning to the U.S. from Europe in 1961, Jerry taught for the next decade at Quincy College and Our Lady of the Angels Seminary in Quincy, Illinois for the next decade. During this period, he published numerous articles on medieval philosophy as well as Roger Marston's Quodlibeta in a collaborative effort with one of his teachers and mentors, Ignatius Brady. Resigning from the Franciscans in 1971, Jerry married his wife Linda, began his family of three children, and after a year of teaching spent at the University of Southern Illinois at Carbondale, came to the Franciscan Institute in the fall of 1973. Here at last he found the place where both his unique talents as a researcher and a teacher would be fully employed and appreciated. During the course of the next twenty-two years, Jerry functioned as Associate and eventually Chief Editor on the Institute's Research Projects. The Ockham Edition, under the general editorship of Gedeon Gal, was already in progress at Jerry's arrival and he was put to work immediately upon Ockham's Scriptum on the Sentences. Collaborating with the late Frank Kelley over the course of the next fifteen years, Jerry helped to produce five of the seventeen volumes of the Ockham edition. As the Ockham edition drew to a close in the mid 1980s, he was appointed the Director and Chief Editor of the Institute's new project, the Opera philosophica of John Duns Scotus. At the present writing, two volumes of the Opera philosophica have appeared with another two volumes expected shortly. Jerry's literary production was not by any means confined to the topics of the Institute's Projects or, for that matter, the Middle Ages. In 1989, Jerry published a critically acclaimed edition of John Peckham's Quodlibeta and in 1993 he revised his earlier edition of Marston's Quodlibeta to include research that had been published over the intervening twenty five years. Paying homage to one of the professor's at Louvain, he also translated two of Michel Henri's books for Martinus Nijhoff during the 1970's. But all of these accomplishments do not communicate the personal dimension of Jerry's life, the side of him that we have come to know and love over years of collaboration and research. Jerry's gentleness, intellectual humility, and kindness are qualities that all who have had the honor to work with him know and treasure. Whether helping a visiting scholar tidy up some obscure references in preparing a critical edition or patiently suggesting avenues of research to a younger colleague on the Scotus Project, he never seemed too busy to share the breadth of his philosophical and literary knowledge. Like one of his own favorite teachers, Fr. Allan Wolter, Jerry bears his learning very lightly, whether in a library or (more often these days) on the links. Never would he be too bothered to explain the doctrinal implications of, or sketch out historical developments that touched upon, a topic of discussion; yet his learning would also never become a barrier to the search for truth. In a word, he is a living example of the kind of man described by Cardinal Newman in his famous Idea of the University, a scholar and a gentleman...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. ix-x
Launched on MUSE
2013-07-03
Open Access
No
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