It is with great sadness that we report each year the passing of esteemed colleagues and members of the Society for Pastoral Theology community. SPT will honor these colleagues each year at the Annual Society for Pastoral Theology meeting.
If you would like to share a loss with the Society, please send details to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rev. Dr. Larry Kent Graham was a Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Theology and Care at Iliff School of Theology, Dr. Graham was a leader in his field, an inspired teacher who influenced generations of students, a trusted colleague and friend and a tireless worker for social justice. Dr. Graham earned his doctorate from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1978 and was a faculty member at Iliff School of Theology from 1977 to his retirement in 2014. Dr. Graham’s family was the center of his life. He is survived by Dr. Sheila Greeve Davaney, his spouse of 33 years. Dr. Davaney was his colleague at Iliff School of Theology, his thought partner and his dearest friend.
Dr. Graham was a leader in his field of pastoral theology. His publications include three volumes that expanded the horizons of the fields of pastoral theology and care: Moral Injury: Restoring Wounded Souls (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2017), Discovering Images of God: Narratives of Care with Lesbians and Gays (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1997) and Care of Persons, Care of Worlds: A Psychosystems Approach to Pastoral Care and Counseling (Nashville: Abingdon, 1992) as well as 43 book chapters and articles. His most recent book and articles on the moral injury, political dimensions of pastoral care, forgiveness for veteran guilt, and the impact of war on families demonstrate the ways he continued to push the field of pastoral theology in new and challenging directions.
His leadership in establishing the Society of Pastoral Theology in 1985 shaped the field of pastoral theology in profound ways. He helped to co-create an academic guild for pastoral theologians and practitioners—a guild that found ways to enact social justice in its governance and practices. The Society created a mentoring community and established the Journal of Pastoral Theology, both of which helped many emergent scholars—notably African American and feminist scholars—publish and gain tenure. He was one of the early co-editors of the journal. When SPT met in Denver in 2006 he organized an immersion experience commemorating the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, and he gave the plenary address on “Pastoral Theology and Catastrophic Disaster.” He was truly an amazing mentor who shaped past and future generations of scholars in the field of pastoral theology.