Herman Tristram Englehardt — Memory Eternal

Herman Tristram EnglehardtI first met H Tristram Englehardt three years ago at Holy Archangels Monastery in Kendalia, Texas. Boy, was I in for a surprise! He saw that I was wearing my Confederate ball-cap and he immediately started in on why the South should have won the War of Northern Aggression.

Dr Englehardt was sui generis. As my dear mother used to say, “when they made him they broke the mold”. Boy did they ever! Always a Texas cowboy/gentleman, “Tris” (as he was affectionately known) was a Renaissance man in every sense of the word. You wouldn’t know from listening to his Texas twang that he was a world-class bioethicist, medical doctor, philosopher and academician.

Tris started the Society of Orthodox Philosophers in America (SOPHIA) which has since branched to the Society of Orthodox Philosophers in Europe (SOPHIE). No topics were off the table but if you were going to make an assertion, you had better be prepared to back it up. You could say that he didn’t suffer fools gladly. Yet he always had a sense of humor.

Anyway, I could go on. I’m definitely going to miss seeing his gangly figure, outfitted in cowboy boots and other assorted western wear. I ask for all your prayers for his wife Sue and his many children and grandchildren.

Memory eternal!

[Editor’s Note: I was upset with the sound quality of the interview I did with our dear sister-in-Christ Gail Sheppard. I hope to work out the bugs quickly and to have it up again soon. She’s got a great story to tell and it deserves better quality. Please forgive me.]


Source: Orthodox Christian Laity

With hope in the resurrection, we share the news of the falling asleep of renowned bioethicist and SVS Press author H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr, also known as Reader Herman in the Orthodox Church. Dr Engelhardt (pictured on the right) passed away Thursday morning due to complications after a long battle against two different cancers. He was 77.

He was professor in the Department of Philosophy at Rice University and professor emeritus in the Department of Medicine and the Department of Community Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He was a member of St. George Orthodox Church in Houston and was tonsured a reader by His Grace, the Right Rev. Bishop BASIL, in 1996.

Dr. Engelhardt is the author, contributor, or editor of numerous books and dozens of peer-reviewed articles, including The Foundations of Bioethics (Oxford), The Foundations of Christian Bioethics (Scrivener), the recent SVS Press release After God: Morality and Bioethics in a Secular Age, and Turning East: Contemporary Philosophers and the Ancient Christian Faith (SVS Press). He was also senior editor of the journal Christian Bioethics and The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy.

May his memory be eternal!


An important voice in bioethics, gifted speaker and teacher, and ardent defender of Orthodoxy has reposed in the Lord. For those in the area:

  • Trisagion Prayers will be at 6:00pm Sunday, June 24 at St. George Orthodox Christian Church (5311 Mercer Street, Houston, TX 77005). Visitation will follow the Trisagion until 8:00pm. The Readings from the Psalter will follow the Visitation.
  • Funeral Service will be at 10:00am Monday, June 25 at St. George Orthodox Christian Church.
  • Interment will be at Holy Archangels Greek Orthodox Monastery (2191 Twin Sisters Drive, Kendalia, TX 78027).


  1. Herman was a titan in the world of speaking the truth of Orthodoxy. He is as close as Equal-to-the-Apostles as we have seen! Memory Eternal!

  2. Joseph Lipper says

    Remembering a conversation I had with Reader Herman about autocephaly in America, I mentioned to him how I felt the present state of Orthodoxy in America was something to be thankful for because it keeps us Americans humble.

    He stood there in his cowboy boots and told me he was looking forward to the day when there would be an autocephalous Orthodox Church of Texas. Now that’s a real visionary. Memory Eternal!

    • George Michalopulos says

      If memory serves, he called Austin “the fourth Rome”?

      • Pat Reardon says

        If memory serves, he called Austin “the fourth Rome”

        He was uncertain on the point. He also speculated that, if Texas were to be restored to its ancient dimensions, it would include the city of Holy Faith, Santa Fe. That, he said, would make an excellent capital of the Fourth Rome.

        He further speculated that the Texas Rangers, forming a new branch of Crusaders, would sail forth (probably from Galveston), under the banner of the double-eagle and the Bonny Blue flag, to retake the Holy Land, liberate Constantinople, and re-baptize the Pope of the Old Rome.

  3. Always larger than life, was Dr Engelhardt. I met him first in Dallas, where he was a speaker at a Day of Orthodoxy, a pan Orthodox outreach effort. I will never forget his response to someone who was bemoaning the post Christian culture, not to mention the “time of troubles” nonsense. He’d look you straight in the eye and say “I read clear to the end of the Book. We win!”

    May his memory be eternal!

  4. Patrick Henry Reardon says

    Some years ago, I was sitting with Tris at Notre Dame, listening to a lecture by Sister Helen Prejean, the author of Dead Man Walking.

    After about 20 minutes listening to her stream of self-adulation about her book, her opera, her movie, her critical influence on the history of Moral Theology, and so forth, Tris leaned over to me and said, “Dumb Nun Talking.”

  5. George C Michalopulos says