- William Creighton Peden, III (1935–2016)
William Creighton Peden, III was born July 25, 1935 in Concord, North Carolina. He received a B.A. from Davidson College in 1957, an M.A. in Theology in 1960 and an M.A. in Divinity in 1962 from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in 1965 from St. Andrews University, Scotland. Peden was the Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Philosophy at Augusta University, where he remained in residence until 1990. At Augusta, he designed and directed the Cullum Third World Culture Program, which was selected in 1979 as one of the ten most innovative programs by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. He was the founding executive director of the Georgia Consortium for International Education (1970–1973), served on state and national panels for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Arts, and received numerous research and travel grants.
He retired in August of 2008 after twenty-one years as president of the Highlands Institute for American Religious and Philosophical Thought. Peden was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, the American Philosophical Association, the American Academy of Religion, the North American Society for Social Philosophy, and a Fellow of the Society of Philosophers in America. He chaired fifteen international conferences, served as a United States Information Services professor, and lectured at over forty universities in twelve countries. Peden was the founding editor of the Journal of Social Philosophy from 1970 to 1983 and the founding co-editor of the American Journal of Theology & Philosophy from 1980 to 1991. Peden also served as a contributing editor for Religious Humanism from 1992 to 2007. He was founding president of the North American Society for Social Philosophy from 1983 to 1990, was co-editor of ten volumes in the Social Philosophy Today book series, and remained on the editorial boards of Philosophy and Social Criticism, the Journal of Social Philosophy, and the American Journal of Theology and Philosophy.
In addition to his editorial duties, Peden wrote over one hundred articles and chapters, as well as being the author or editor of over twenty books, including Wieman’s Empirical Process Philosophy (author, 1977), H. N. Wieman’s Creative Freedom: Vocation of Liberal Religion (co-editor with Larry Axel, 1982), H. N. Wieman’s Science Serving Faith (co-editor with Charles Willig, 1987), White-head’s View of Reality (co-author with Charles Hartshorne, 1981), The Chicago School: Voices of Liberal Religious Thought (author, 1987), The Philosopher of Free Religion: Francis Ellingwood Abbot, 1836–1903 (author, 1992), The Chicago [End Page 1] School of Theology: Pioneers in Religious Inquiry, Vol. I–II (co-editor with J. A. Stone, 1996), The Collected Essays of Francis Ellingwood Abbot (1836–1903), American Philosopher and Free Religionist, Vol. I–IV (co-editor with E. J. Tarbox, Jr., 1996), Civil War Pulpit to World’s Parliament of Religion: The Thought of William James Potter, 1829–1893 (author, 1996), Essays and Sermons of William James Potter (1829–1893), Unitarian Minister and Free-Thinker, Vol. I–II (co-editor with E. J. Tarbox, Jr., 2003), A Good Life in a World Made Good, Albert Eustace Haydon, 1880–1975 (author, 2006), Pragmatism and the Rise of Religious Humanism, The Writings of Albert Eustace Haydon, 1880–1975, Vol. I, II, III (co-editor with John Gaston, 2006), An Intellectual Biography of David Atwood Wasson (1823–1887): An American Transcendentalist Thinker (author, 2008), Evolutionary Theist: An Intellectual Biography of Minot Judson Savage, 1841–1918 (author, 2009), Empirical Tradition in American Liberal Religious Thought, 1860–1960 (author, 2010), Life and Thought of Bernard Eugene Meland: American Constructive Theologian (author, 2010), Life and Thought of Henry Nelson Wieman, 1884–1975 (author, 2010), Christian Pragmatism: An Intellectual Biography of Edward Scribner Ames, 1870–1958 (author, 2011), From Authority Religion to Spirit Religion: An Intellectual Biography of George Burman Foster, 1875–1918 (author, 2013), Religion of Democracy: An Intellectual Biography of Gerald Birney Smith, 1868–1929 (author, 2014), and From Evolution to Humanism in 19th & 20th Century America (author, 2015). [End Page 2]