Beloit College Magazine

Beloit College Magazine

Spring 2016 (April 13, 2016 at 8:00 am)

Allan Patriquin, professor emeritus of philosophy and religion


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April 6, 2016 at 2:48 pm

[S16] Allan Patriquin
Photo by: Dennis Damon Moore

Allan Patriquin, a professor of philosophy and religion at Beloit for 33 years and an ordained minister, died on Nov. 20, 2015, in South Hadley, Mass. A native of Mansfield, Mass., Patriquin joined the Beloit College faculty in 1968 and chaired the department from 1982 to 1991. He retired in 2001.

“He single-handedly sustained the study of religion at Beloit College for at least 20 years,” recalled Professor Debra Majeed, one of Patriquin’s colleagues in religious studies. “I am a better teacher and ours is a stronger program because of the standards he set.”

Patriquin’s areas of focus were Islamic religion and culture, ethics in modern society, and interpretations of the Bible. His interests in the Arab world led him to serve as a Malone Faculty Fellow, which took him to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia under the auspices of the National Council on U.S.-Arab relations. He wrote in the 1980s that he was interested in “investigating Islamic resources for peacemaking within the larger context of Islam’s historical development as a religion of social reform.” This research contributed to his teaching of world religions as well as an ethics course he developed around violence and non-violence.

His undergraduate degree was from Harvard. He earned a master’s degree in divinity from Garrett Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University.

Patriquin was known as a thoughtful, well-organized contributor to the work and life of the college. He served on numerous college committees and directed the World Outlook Program in Hamburg, Germany. He also preached in local churches and performed the weddings of many former students and colleagues. His involvement in community causes reflected his interests in ethics—in strengthening the Beloit area community and making it more equitable. Among other things, he fought illiteracy among area children by studying literacy programs and working to expand and improve upon them. 
“I don’t think the problem of illiteracy can be solved 100 percent,” he once wrote. “But great improvements can be made.”

Patriquin is survived by his wife, Charlotte Slocum Patriquin, daughters Lisa Patriquin and Mary Everett-Patriquin, and one grandson.

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