Happel, Stephen (Paul) 1944-2003

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HAPPEL, Stephen (Paul) 1944-2003


See index for CA sketch: Born August 8, 1944, in Indianapolis, IN; died of a heart attack October 4, 2003, in Washington, DC. Priest, educator, and author. Happel was a scholar of systemic theology and dean of the School of Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America. Finishing his undergraduate work at the St. Meinrad School of Theology in 1966, he went on to receive an M.A. in English literature from Indiana University—Bloomington in 1969, an S.T.L. from the Catholic University of America in 1970, a Ph.B. from Hoger Instituut voor Wijsbegeerte in Belgium in 1973, and a Ph.D. in 1977 and S.T.D. in 1979 from Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven in Belgium. Ordained a priest in 1970, Happel was a pastor in Indianapolis for a year before embarking on an academic career. From 1973 to 1978 he was assistant professor of theology at the Catholic University of America; then he joined the faculty at St. Meinrad for five years as an associate professor of systematic theology. In 1983 he returned to the Catholic University of America as an associate professor of religion and culture; he then chaired the religion department from 1994 to 1999 and was made dean of the School of Religious Studies in 1999. Happel was particularly respected for his knowledge of the foundational teachings of the Church, and in 2002 he was made a theological consultant to Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick; this work led to his being made a monsignor by Pope John Paul II that year. Happel was also the author of several books, including Coleridge's Religious Imagination (1983), A Catholic Vision (1984), written with David Tracy, and Metaphors for God's Time in Science and Religion (2002).



Directory of American Scholars, tenth edition, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2001.


Indianapolis Star, October 10, 2003, p. B6.

Washington Post, October 9, 2003, p. B5.


Catholic University of American Office of Public Affairs,http://publicaffairs.cua.edu/ (October 7, 2003), "University Pays Respects to Dean Stephen Happel at Memorial Mass."