Joseph Lynch, Obituary
Professor Joseph H. Lynch died unexpectedly on December 27, 2008 at
the age of 65. He held the Joe & Elizabeth Engle Chair in the
History of Christianity at The Ohio State University in Columbus
Ohio. He was a fellow of the Medieval Academy, past President of the
American Catholic Historical Association and was a long time member
of the International Medieval Sermon Studies Society. Joe was a
graduate of Boston College and earned the Ph.D. from Harvard
University in 1971 under Giles Constable. His first book, published
in 1976 as a revised dissertation, was Simoniacal Entry into the
Religious Life from 1000 to 1260: A Social, Economic and Legal
Study. He also published Godparents and Kinship in Early Medieval
Europe (Princeton, 1986) and Christianizing Kinship: Ritual
Sponsorship in Anglo-Saxon England (Cornell, 1998). He is perhaps
best known for his book The Medieval Church: A Brief History
(Longmans, 1992) and only a few weeks ago Oxford released his Early
Christianity: A Brief History which Joe completed just before his
death. He was a dedicated servant to his department and university.
He was a model advisor and friend to many graduate students over the
years, including your scribe. He earned many teaching awards at Ohio
State and held numerous distinguished fellowships throughout his
career. Joe was also a devout Catholic and loving father,
grandfather and husband. He will be greatly missed. Requiescat in
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