Dr William H. Brackney
With sadness we announce the loss of long-time friend of Regent’s Park College, Dr William H. Brackney.
Dr Brackney’s association with Regent’s began in 1982 when he visited with his wife, Kitty, receiving a warm welcome from Professor Paul Fiddes, who introduced them to the treasures in the College’s Angus Library and Archive. Several visits and a sabbatical stay followed, and Dr Brackney later became a Research Associate of the Centre for Baptist Studies. He wrote in Regent’s Now magazine that he profited hugely from the research support and editorial labours of Dr Larry Kreitzer and Professor Paul Fiddes in his quest to understand better the General Baptist movement of the 17th century, and in collaboration with Professor Fiddes in the Baptist World Alliance context.
In recognition of the support and friendship received from academics at Regent’s, in 2019 the Brackneys made a generous donation to the College to establish and endow the William H. and Kathryn E. Brackney Angus Travel Bursary. The facilities of the Angus Library and Archive are of huge benefit to scholars of Baptist and Nonconformist history and also to those pursuing wider academic interests, particularly but not exclusively in the areas of theology and history. This new travel bursary aims to enable younger scholars from North America to access the resources and facilities in the Angus in person, opening up huge potential for their research and facilitating connections between scholars with shared academic interests in Oxford and abroad. It is thanks to Dr Brackney’s vision and kindness that the Bursary is thriving and is now in its third year.
Dr Brackney had a distinguished academic career, latterly as Millard R Cherry Professor Emeritus at Acadia University. He published widely in the area of post-Reformation Protestant thought, focusing especially on Baptists. He also contributed to the field of human rights and global ethics, producing the five-volume Human Rights and the World’s Major Religions. His academic contributions as Research Associate of the Centre for Baptist Studies have been numerous and his friends here at Regent’s will miss his input immensely.