William Edelen Bio

William Edelen (1922 – 2015)
The Contrary Minister

Bill’s blog posts are here on Ukiah Blog


• 1957: B.S., Horticulture & Biology, Oklahoma State University
• 1960: M.A.T. (M.A., Theology), McCormick Theological Seminary
• 1969-71: Graduate School, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Colorado


• 1942-1954 U.S.M.C. fighter and transport pilot
• 1960-1990 Active ordained Presbyterian and Congregational minister
• 1973-1980 Adjunct Professor, Religious Studies & Anthropology, University of Puget Sound
• 1973-1980 Senior Minister, First Congregatonal Church, Tacoma, Washington
• 1981-1990 Minister, Community Congregational Church, McCall, Idaho
• 1990- Full time writing, speaking and lecturing

Endorsements and Testimonials

“William Edelen is an original thinker in the oldest of thinking worlds, that is, thinking about God. He’s in love with the truth. Edelen dares to do his own thinking. He has wide experience to enrich that thinking.” – Buckminster Fuller

“Your wonderful piece of writing which was waiting for me when I returned … is the best reward I have received to date from this years activities.” – Joseph Campell

“Your overall record of citizenship is indeed distinguished and for which I salute you. May I express admiration for the character of your career.” – Walter Annenberg

“Bill, I could not have been more pleased than when I was listening to your lecture. This is the sort of scholarship that I am always interested in.” – Charles Schulz of “Peanuts”

“Bill, you are helping move the world in the right direction during these chaotic times. Your columns are just superb. You are headed in the right direction, uphill against the general opinions and prejudices of our tragic time. Keep at it.” – Frank Waters (nominated twice for the Nobel Prize in Literature)

“Bill, with your keen intellectual awareness and your background in the biological sciences, you are obviously an unusual asset. I do want to tell you that I have come to have an increasing sense of gratitude to men such as you who uphold the spiritual values, without which the life of man is nothing. I salute you.” – Loren Eiseley (Distinguished Anthropologist and the Chairman of the Department of the Philosophy of Science, The University of Pennsylvania)

“Your lectures are indeed superlative … You must keep writing … keep speaking … you are much needed … ” – William O. Douglas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice

“William Edelen is the polymath of Sonoma County …” – Herb Caen, Pulitzer Prize winner and late, distinguished columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle

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