Biographical Sketch of Charles S. Milligan
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Charles S. Milligan
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Charles Stuart Milligan was born (1918) in Sterling, Colorado, and graduated from public schools there. The son of three generations of Cumberland Presbyterian ministers, he himself was ordained in the United Church of Christ. He received his B.A. degree from the University of Denver in 1939 (double-majoring in Music and Philsophy and Religion, and minoring in Physics) and was Instructor in Music there during his seminary years, 1939-1942. At that time he also played French horn in the Denver Symphony Orchestra, the Denver Municipal Band, and the Central City Opera Orchestra.

Dr. Milligan graduated from Iliff School of Theology with the Th.M. in 1942, winning the coveted Elizabeth Iliff Warren Fellowship for further graduate studies in 1942-43, and again in 1946-47.

In 1942 he married Phyllis Krider, with whom he had four children: Kathleen (1943), Stacia (1946), Deborah (1950), and Stuart (1953). Additional study at Harvard culminated in a Master of Systematic Theology in 1948 (in social ethics) and Ph.D. in 1951. His dissertation was one of the few at the time devoted to Alfred North Whitehead’s philosophy. Having combined summer school sessions with transfer of credit for his year at Harvard, he received the Th.D. at Iliff in 1952, majoring in Philosophy of Religion under William H. Bernhardt.

Dr. Milligan served churches in Paonia, CO; Agawam, MA; East Derry, NH; an West Somerville, MA. From 1951-1957, he was Assistant (later Associate) Professor at the Crane School of Theology, Tufts University, teaching church history and then philosophy and theology, while simultaneously serving as Senior Minister of the West Somerville Congregational Church. In 1957, he joined the Iliff faculty as Associate Professor of Christian Ethics. The following year he became Editor the The Iliff Review, and in 1964 Professor Religion. Dr. Milligan did post-doctoral study at Hebrew University, the University of Illinois, the University of Basel, and the University of Guanajuato, Mexico.

Between 1965 and 1975, Dr. Milligan served as host/moderator on radio and television programs in various interview and panel discussion formats. One program, “Dialogues in Limbo,” for example, included conversations with Joan Baez, Daniel Schorr, Roger Baldwin, F. Lee Bailey, and Thich Nhat Hanh, among many others. In the 1970s and early 1980s, Dr. Milligan regularly taught in the summer Arts and Humanities Institute at Colorado College, and was Director of the Institute in 1978 and 1979.

Dr. Milligan has cited these activities as major influences in his own continuing education. Another strong influence, beyond the seminary, was involvement in the church, primarily at the parish rather than the organization level. He has served as an Interim Minister in more than 20 United Church of Christ churches in Colorado.

Dr. Milligan has also been very active in community and social action on issues related to peace and human rights. He held the position of Chair for the Colorado divisions of SANE, ACLU, Council to Abolish Capital Punishment, and various other committees, including service on the Mayor’s Commission on Community Relations. He was listed in Who’s Who in the West for a number of years.

His second wife, Nancy, was Executive Director of the Colorado Division of the United Nations Association, and active in the peace movement, women’s movement, programming for international visitors, and international relations.

Milligan was a popular and active Iliff professor. Besides editing The Iliff Review for 30 years, he spoke at many colleges, universities, and seminaries as Visiting Professor. Milligan retired from the Iliff School of Theology in 1988 as Professor Emeritus.

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© 2002. Marshall Eidson