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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: January ::
Obituary: Roland Mushat Frye
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0161  Thursday, 27 January 2005

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Date:           Wednesday, 26 Jan 2005 12:58:14 -0500
Subject:        Obituary: Roland Mushat Frye

University of Pennsylvania Almanac (January 25, 2005)
  Dr. Frye, English Literature
  Dr. Roland Mushat Frye, Schelling Professor Emeritus of English
Literature, died on January 13, at the age of 83.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. Frye received three degrees, including
his Ph.D,. from Princeton University. He served in the Army during World
War II, fighting in the Battle of the Bulge-earning a Bronze Star for
his service. After the War, he joined the faculty of Emory University in
Atlanta and became a research professor in residence at the Folger
Shakespeare Library in Washington.  He returned to teaching in 1965,
accepting a professorship at Penn. He became the Felix E. Schelling
Professor of English Literature in 1978, a title which he retained when
he became emeritus in 1983. He also cofounded the Center of Theological
Inquiry, an independent, ecumenical institution for advanced theological
research in Princeton in 1978.
Dr. Frye was the author of ten books and hundreds of scholarly articles.
He wrote the award-winning book Milton's Imagery and the Visual Arts:
Iconographic Tradition in the Epic Poems, and Is God a Creationist: The
Religious Case Against Creation-Science.

Dr. Frye-who received the Thomas Jefferson Medal for Distinguished
Achievement in the Humanities in 1997 from the American Philosophical
Society-was described by William Golden, then vice president of the
Society as "a brilliant scholar of English literature from Shakespeare
to Milton, who ...interpreted the writings of important literary figures
in the context of the human experience of their times."

Some of the many honors Dr. Frye received include: a Guggenheim
Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton;
membership in the American Philosophical Society; an American Council of
Learned Societies (ACLS) grant;

The John Frederick Lewis Prize of the American Philosophical Society;
the Milton Society's James Holly Hanford Award. He was a member of the
Academy of Arts and Sciences.  In 1980, Dr. Frye was named curator of
the Furness Memorial Library at Penn.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Jean Elbert; son, Roland Jr.,
and grandson, Joseph. Memorial donations may be made to the Center for
Theological Inquiry, Stockton St., Princeton, NJ 08540, or the American
Philosophical Society, 104 South 5th St., Philadelphia, PA 19106.

        And another from *The Philadelphia Inquirer* (January 19, 2005):

  R. Frye, scholar and author
  By Kristin E. Holmes, Inquirer Staff Writer

Roland Mushat Frye, 83, of Strafford, an English literature scholar
awarded the Bronze Star during World War II, died of complications from
heart disease Thursday at Waverly Heights retirement community in Gladwyne.

Dr. Frye combined his expertise in literature, theology and art history
to produce thoughtful tomes on subjects such as imagery in the works of
John Milton, feminist language for God, and creationism.

He wrote 10 books and hundreds of scholarly articles, frequently
exploring religious topics. In 1978, he cofounded the Center of
Theological Inquiry in Princeton, an independent, ecumenical institution
for advanced theological research.

Dr. Frye was a Presbyterian elder, most recently at Bryn Mawr
Presbyterian Church. His faith was "central," said his wife, Jean
Steiner Frye, "but he was also a very, very good scholar."

Born in Birmingham, Ala., Dr. Frye earned three degrees, including his
doctorate, from Princeton University. In 1943, he interrupted his
studies to serve as an Army officer in World War II. He fought in the
Battle of the Bulge and earned a Bronze Star for his service.

After the war, Dr. Frye joined the faculty of Emory University in
Atlanta, where he worked with government officials to integrate the
public schools. He became a research professor in residence at the
Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, but missed teaching so much
that he took a post at the University of Pennsylvania in 1965. He was
the Schelling Professor of English Literature until his retirement in 1983.

Dr. Frye's books include the award-winning Milton's Imagery and the
Visual Arts and Is God a Creationist: The Religious Case Against
Creation-Science. Among his many awards are the American Philosophical
Society's highest honor, the Thomas Jefferson Award.

In addition to his wife of 58 years, Dr. Frye is survived by son Roland
M. Jr.  and one grandson.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the chapel at Bryn
Mawr Presbyterian Church, 625 Montgomery Ave., Bryn Mawr. Burial is private.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Philosophical Society,
104 S.  Fifth St., Philadelphia 19106.

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