Professor Pamela Sue Anderson (1955-2017)

On Sunday 12th March 2017, Regent’s Park College lost a much-loved friend, colleague and tutor, Professor Pamela Sue Anderson, who died after two years of living with cancer.  Pamela passed away peacefully in the company of members of her family.




Following studies at Yale University and Mansfield College, Oxford, Pamela enjoyed a distinguished academic career as a pioneer in the field of Feminist Philosophy of Religion.  She came to Regent’s Park in 2001 from the University of Sunderland, and she held a number of positions here, including Dean and Women’s Officer, alongside her academic role as Fellow and Director of Studies in Philosophy.  In the true spirit of Regent’s, Pamela combined academic rigour and acuity with an indomitable commitment to the welfare of her students.  She will be sorely missed by our whole community, past and present.


During her time in Oxford, Pamela also became a prominent figure in the Faculties of Theology and Philosophy, being in what she described as the ‘limbo’ between the two, as a Philosopher of Religion!  Her prodigious output of academic books and articles included the following: Ricoeur and Kant: Philosophy of the Will (1993); A Feminist Philosophy of Religion: The Rationality and Myths of Religious Belief (1997); Feminist Philosophy of Religion: Critical Readings, which she co-edited with Beverley Clack (2004); and Revisioning Gender in Philosophy of Religion: Reason, Love and Epistemic Locatedness (2012).  At the time of her death, Pamela was working on a book entitled, In Dialogue With Michèle Le Doeuff.  In recognition of her contribution to the study of Feminist Philosophy, she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Lund, Sweden, in 2009, and was made Professor of Modern European Philosophy of Religion by the University of Oxford in 2014.




Having discovered that her cancer was terminal, Pamela spent some time in conversation with colleagues at Regent’s about the form that her legacy to the academic world and Oxford, in particular, might take.  Alongside her body of publications, she leaves behind a student-support fund, the Pamela Sue Anderson Studentship for the Encouragement of the Place of Women in Philosophy.  The Anderson family has requested that donations in memory of Pamela be made towards this fund.  To make a contribution, of any size, visit Regent’s Park College’s page on the website of the Oxford Thinking campaign.  Benefactors from the USA should donate through Americans for Oxford; choose Regent’s Park College and add ‘Pamela Sue Anderson Studentship’ under ‘further information’.  Enquiries should be directed to the Director of Development, Ms Julie Reynolds:




On Wednesday 15th March 2017, colleagues and students gathered in the Chapel at Regent’s Park for a short service of remembrance; download the order of service here.  On Saturday 18th March, Pamela’s funeral took place at the Oxford Crematorium, followed by a Service of Thanksgiving in the Chapel of Mansfield College, which was full to capacity with family, friends, and others whose lives were enriched by Pamela; download the order of service here.  During the Thanksgiving service, two of Pamela’s close friends reflected on her life, character and many achievements; download the beautiful and thought-provoking eulogy given by The Revd Dr Susan Durber.


On Sunday 23rd April 2017 (Sunday 1st Week, Trinity Term), there will be another Service of Thanksgiving, principally for members of Regent’s Park College, especially current students, who were unable to be present on Saturday 18th March.