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Obituary for Robert F. Brown

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Robert F. Brown (1941–2024)

Robert Brown

Robert “Bob" Brown was born in St. Louis, MO on June 6, 1941. He attended DePauw University, graduating in 1963 with honors majors in philosophy and religion. Winning a Danforth Fellowship for graduate study, he attended Columbia University, receiving his PhD in religion in 1971.

Bob taught, as instructor through to full professor, in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Delaware from 1970 until 2007, when he became professor emeritus. He was a dedicated teacher and continued teaching part-time for a decade after officially retiring. He served as acting chairperson of the philosophy department in 1983–1984 and again in 1988–1989. He was director of the University of Delaware Honors Program in 1989–1998, leading it during a time of unprecedented growth. In the 1980–1981 academic year, he was a visiting lecturer at the University of Hull.

Bob's scholarly specialties were the history of philosophy, the philosophy of religion, and historical theology. He published two books and five scholarly articles on Schelling, as well as articles on other topics in the philosophy of religion and theology. He was, in addition, an internationally known translator of G.W.F. Hegel's works into English. His translations (all from Oxford University Press) include three volumes of Hegel's Lectures on the History of Philosophy, Hegel's Lectures on the Philosophy of Art, and with Dr. Peter Hodgson, Hegel's Lectures on the Philosophy of World History. With Dr. Hodgson, he also translated six volumes of the work of the nineteenth-century Hegelian theologian, Ferdinand Christian Baur. Remarkably, almost all these lengthy translations were completed after Bob had officially retired!

Bob was a member of the American Philosophical Association, the American Academy of Religion, the Society for Philosophy of Religion, and other professional societies. He was long involved in the Delaware Humanities Council and in 1993, he received the Council's Joseph P. del Tufo Award for Distinguished Service to the Humanities.

He is survived by his wife Mary Ann, six children and stepchildren, and five grandchildren.

- Department of Philosophy, University of Delaware​

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