Deaths: Robert R. Williams

Robert R. Williams

Robert R. Williams, 78, professor emeritus of Germanic studies and religious studies, died March 10.

Williams, who also was an affiliated professor in philosophy, had teaching and research interests in continental philosophy and German thought from Immanuel Kant to Friedrich Nietzsche, specializing in G. W. F. Hegel.

In 2017, Oxford University Press published his last book, Hegel on the Proofs and the Personhood of God: Studies in Hegel’s Logic and Philosophy of Religion. It will be the subject of a special memorial issue of the Owl of Minerva, the journal from the Hegel Society of America, which Williams led as president from 1998 to 2000.

Some of his other books include Tragedy, Recognition, and the Death of God: Studies in Hegel and Nietzsche, Recognition: Fichte and Hegel on the Other, and Hegel’s Ethics of Recognition. He also published two translations, and numerous journal articles and book chapters.

His career awards include a Fulbright senior research professorship in Germany during the 1981-82 academic year, several National Endowment for the Humanities grants, and a UIC Institute for the Humanities fellowship during the 2002-03 academic year.

He was hired as professor at UIC in 2000 and retired nine years later. He also taught at DePaul University, Hiram College, Northland College and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Williams, who was born in Cleveland, Ohio, received a bachelor’s degree from DePauw University and his doctoral degree from Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University.

He is survived by his wife, Irma Olmedo, associate professor emerita of curriculum and instruction in the College of Education; and two children, Diana and Daniel.

A memorial service will be held at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago at 3 p.m. April 21.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Journeycare Hospice; The SelfHelp Home, or Fourth Presbyterian Church.

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