David Harned

November 10, 2017

David Baily Harned, first son of Mary Martha Baily and William Biechele Harned of Allentown, Pennsylvania, passed away in the arms of his devoted wife Elaine Paula Heydenreich Harned on Friday, November 10, 2017. David was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania on June 5, 1932 and spent 85 productive and successful years before joining his Lord and Savior in Heaven. David retired and spent his final days at Westminster-Canterbury of the Blue Ridge in Charlottesville, Virginia.

David attended elementary school in Allentown and went on to St. Andrew’s Preparatory School in Middletown, Delaware. After his graduation he served as a Winant Volunteer in London, UK, a prestigious exchange volunteer program that provided David with his first exposure to another culture and fostered his love of London and travel in general, a love that he would never lose.

David received his B.A. from Yale College, his M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale Graduate School and his B.D. from Yale Divinity School. After receipt of his B.A. degree, he also studied at The University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Scotland. During his educational years David received many awards, including: a Rockefeller Doctoral Scholarship; a Hooker-Dwight Fellowship; a Kent Fellowship; a Sterling Fellowship; and a Fellowship from the National Council for Religion and Higher Education, amongst others. David was ordained into the Lutheran Church of America in 1961.

David was an educator his entire adult life. He taught Religious Studies at Yale University, Williams College, Smith College and The University of Virginia, where he was a Professor and Chairman of the Department of Religious Studies for 13 years until 1980, a department that he was invited to create in 1967. While at UVA he received the Phi Beta Kappa Award for most distinguished scholarly work of the year and also received the University’s Distinguished Professor Award, amongst many others. As a part of his role as Chairman in 1969, David was one of only ten Westerners invited to India for the 500th Anniversary celebration of the Sikh religious tradition, where he received funds from Prime Minister Gandhi to personally travel throughout India.

David was also a key academic administrator serving as President of Allegheny College and Dean of the Arts and Sciences at Louisiana State University, where he also served at both institutions as a Professor of Religious Studies. David has served as a visiting Professor or Fellow at many other academic institutions including The University of Edinburgh, Princeton University and Punjabi University in Patiala, India.

David was a prolific writer with countless articles and publications. He also authored several books, including: Creed and Personal Identity; Images for Self-Recognition; Faith and Virtue; Grace and Common Life; The Ambiguity of Religion; Theology and the Arts; Secularization and the Protestant Prospect; Patience: How we wait upon the world; and, most recently, Strange Bedfellows and Mrs. Gandhi’s Guest, which he co-wrote with his wife Elaine.

David is survived by his wife of 56 years, Elaine, whom he married on July 1, 1961, and his two sons, Christopher and Timothy, and their beloved wives Elizabeth and Marla. David was also blessed with five grandchildren: Ellie, Kit, William, Alec and Milena. In addition, David is survived by his brother Joseph and his wife Antoinette, along with their children and grandchildren.

Burial will take place in Northfield, Massachusetts at the convenience of the family.

At David’s request, all memorials should be guided toward helping to feed and clothe the less fortunate, specifically to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Box 937, Verona, Virginia 24482 or to the Westminster-Canterbury Fellowship Fund at 250 Pantops Mountain Road, Charlottesville, Virginia 22911.

Kidder Funeral Home, 1 Parker Ave, Northfield, MA is in charge of arrangements.