21 December 2017

Professor Peter Geach

Today is the obitus, or Year's Mind, of Peter Geach, whom readers will recall as a philosopher of distinction; he converted to Catholicism in the early 1940s while reading Greats at Oxford ... and married a no less distinguished philosopher, Elizabeth Anscombe, who also converted while reading Greats. The Geaches formed a last link with one of the principal philosophers of the twentieth century, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and helped to ensure that in extremis he had a priest at his bedside, and received a Catholic burial. Quorum omnium animabus propitietur Deus.

The young Geach proclaimed King Robert I & IV, in 1937, standing on the steps of the Martyrs' Memorial, wearing his scholar's gown and doffing his academic cap. He was not arrested. Not even by a stray passing bulldog. Newspapers in the distant and dusty climes of Texas and the Malay Straits as well as in England covered the event. It would be very jolly to know whom the fifty-odd gathering of undergraduates included.

I shall return to Geach and his Jacobitism in January, a month when you may need cheering up. What better cheer than a Toast to the King over the Water! And, I think, to Gear.


Luke Gormally said...

My late father-in-law, Professor Peter Geach, was received into the Church in 1938, in his final year at Balliol. My late mother-in-law, Professor Elizabeth Anscombe, was received into the Church that same year, towards the close of her first year at St Hugh's. Each received instruction from Fr Richard Kehoe OP, though they did not meet until after their reception into the Church; the meeting occurred on the occasion of the Corpus Christi procession at the then Servite Priory at Begbroke.
For an interesting account of Peter Geach's time at Balliol see the obituary by Sir Anthony Kenny in the current Balliol College Record.
Luke Gormally.

Cherub said...

Thanks Luke. Top man.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

The real successor to the throne is the Australian Catholic Plantagenet claimant, not some Scottish interloper.

Gervase Crouchback said...

Albrecht which one of my countrymen do you refer to.The prince of Finley??

Gervase Crouchback said...

Sorry the town before Finley and equally famous as being held up by the bushranger Ned Kelly

Liam Ronan said...

@Luke Gormally,

I will be enrolling your late father and mother-in-law as well as Father Kehoe in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society this very day. I heartily recommend the (free) enrollment of souls through the Society.


PS I read that your mother-in-law was from the County Limerick. God save Ireland and may she intervene before the Throne of God for us.

Woody said...

I certainly intend to return to Munich in the coming year, to pay my respects, at the Wittelsbach crypt in the Theatinerkirche, to His Majesty.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

Simon Abney-Hastings.