Richard Parish (1948-2022)

St Catherine’s College is saddened to share the news that Professor Richard Parish, Emeritus Fellow, has died aged 73.

Professor Parish, the College’s longest-serving Tutorial Fellow, was Tutor in French from 1976 to 2015 and had been an Emeritus Fellow since his retirement.

He was an undergraduate at the University of Newcastle, before coming to Oxford to study for his doctorate at Keble College. After a short spell as lecturer at the University of Liverpool, he returned to Oxford, this time to St Catherine’s.

Professor Parish was a specialist in seventeenth-century French literature, with expertise in many areas, ranging from drama to philosophy and theology. In 2009, he delivered the prestigious Bampton Lectures, in which he explored the complexities of Christian thought in seventeenth-century France.

In recognition of his services to French culture, he was created commandeur dans l’ordre des Palmes académiques by the French government.

At St Catherine’s, he served the College as Vice-Master, Senior Tutor, President of the Senior Common Room and, until last year, Dean of Degrees.

Richard combined a refined intelligence and meticulous scholarship with wit, urbanity, and charm. He was a valued colleague, and inspired loyalty and affection in generations of students, many of whom became friends.

The College’s flag is flying at half mast to mark his passing.

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