Thomas C. Oden, American theologian, Died at 85


Thomas Clark Oden was born on October 21, 1931, in Altus, Oklahoma and died on December 8, 2016.

He was an American United Methodist theologian and religious author.

Oden was Henry Anson Buttz Professor of Theology and Ethics at Drew University in New Jersey from 1980 until his retirement in 2004.

Thomas remained faculty emeritus until his death.

He was best known as a proponent of paleo-orthodoxy, an approach to theology that often relies on patristic sources.

Thomas has published a series of books that he says are tools for promoting “classical Christianity.”

He suggests that Christians need to rely upon the wisdom of the historical Church, particularly the early Church, rather than on modern scholarship and theology, which is often, in his view, tainted by political agendas.

He was the son of an attorney and music teacher.

As a youth, Thomas considered two vocations: lawyer or Methodist minister.

When he was ten years old, Oden’s family moved to Oklahoma City.

Following the Second World War, he went back to Altus and high school where he began his vocation of writing and speaking.

He earned a B.A. degree from the University of Oklahoma (1953), a B.D from Southern Methodist University (1956), and his M.A. (1958) and Ph.D. from Yale University (1960).

Thomas married Edrita Pokorny on August 10, 1952.

Together they had three children: Clark, Edward, and Laura

Thomas Clark Oden passed away at 85 years old.