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Bio and CV from the author's website.
Most of Hatcher's works are online at this site.

Mirrored with permission from

William S. Hatcher 1935-2005

compiled by Jonah Winters.
William S. Hatcher Library, 2008
Bio, from

William S. Hatcher was a mathematician, philosopher, and educator. He held a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. A specialist in the philosophical interpenetration of science and religion, he held, for over forty years, university positions and lectured widely in North America, Europe, and Russia.

He was the author or co-author of over fifty professional articles, books and monographs in the mathematical sciences, logic, and philosophy. Among his works are: The Foundations of Mathematics (1968); Absolute Algebra (1978); The Science of Religion (1980); The Logical Foundations of Mathematics (1982); The Bahá’í Faith: The Emerging Global Religion (1985; 1989; 1998; 2002) co-authored with J. Douglas Martin; Logic and Logos: Essays on Science, Religion and Philosophy (1990); The Law of Love Enshrined: Selected Essays (1996) co-authored with John S. Hatcher; The Ethics of Authenticity (1997; 2001); Love, Power, and Justice (1998; 2002); and Minimalism: A Bridge Between Classical Philosophy and the Bahá’í Revelation (2002; 2004). He is one of eight Platonist philosophers listed for the second half of the twentieth century in the highly regarded Encyclopédie Philosophique Universelle (Presses Universitaires de France, 1992).

Raised in the Protestant religion, Dr. Hatcher had determined to enter the ministry upon completing his undergraduate studies and toward that end had received a scholarship to attend Yale Divinity School. However, after having studied the Bahá’í Faith for several years, he became a Bahá’í in 1957 and thus changed his professional orientation to a career in mathematics. Since that time, he served the Bahá’í community is a wide variety of capacities. Upon his death in 2005, the Universal House of Justice wrote: ”The Bahá’í world has lost one of its brightest minds, one of its most prolific pens. He will long be remembered for his stalwart faith, forceful exposition, and penetrating insights.” He is survived by his wife Judith, three children and seven grandchildren.

CV, from

Vital statistics. Born 20 September 1935 in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States. Died 27 November 2005, at Stratford, Ontario, Canada. Married on 6 June 1959 to Judith Bernstein, for 46 years. Three children: Sharon Nur (born on 6 March 1962 in Neuchâtel, Switzerland), family physician and professor of family medicine; Carmel Lynne (born on 22 October 1964 in Neuchâtel, Switzerland), child and family therapist; and Benjamin Faizi (born on 31 March 1968 in Toledo, Ohio, United States), professional dancer, choreographer and teacher. Seven grandchildren.

Citzenship. Canadian by naturalization and American by birth.

Post-secondary education. Docteur ès sciences (mathematics), University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, 1963. Supervised by professor Jean-Blaise Grize. Subject: A study, based on an original theoretical framework, of the structure of formal logical systems and of their equivalence. M.A.T. (Master’s), Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A, 1958. B.A. cum laude, Vanderbilt University, 1957.

Professional positions held. Chair, Department of Ethics, Landegg International University, Switzerland, 1997-2003. Invited researcher, Steklov Mathematical Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia, 1995-1997. Professeur titulaire, Department of mathematics and statistics, Laval University, Quebec, Canada, 1972-1995. Invited professor, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland, 1972-73. Professeur agrégé,
Department of mathematics and statistics, Laval University, 1968-1972. Associate professor of mathematics, University of Toledo, Ohio, United States, 1965-1968. Instructor, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, 1964-1965.

Research. Majority of mathematical research was in mathematical logic. Also did work in algebra and in computer science. In logic, main interest was model theory (preservation theory, and also model theory related to nonstandard analysis), the lambda calculus, and foundations of mathematics. Primary algebraic interests were universal algebra and category theory. In computer science, his contributions were to artificial intelligence, data structures, and programming theory. Had strong interest in philosophy, and increasingly devoted research efforts to that field. Main concerns in philosophy were 1) philosophical interpenetration of science and religion and 2) ethics. Particularly concerned with development of system of universal and transcultural ethics. Published books, monographs, and articles in each of these various fields.

Teaching. University professor for forty continuous years. In mathematics at undergraduate level, taught courses in differential and integral calculus, differential equations, real analysis, algebra (linear algebra, group theory, commutative algebra), number theory, mathematical logic, foundations of mathematics, combinatorics, discrete mathematics, and elementary probability theory. On graduate level, taught courses in functional analysis, topological vector spaces, algebra (category theory, universal algebra, field theory), and mathematical logic (model theory, recursive function theory, proof theory, axiomatic set theory). In philosophy, taught courses in ethics at both undergraduate and graduate levels and course in philosophy of science and religion at graduate level.

Supervision of theses. Successfully supervised graduate students’ research for two doctoral and two masters’ theses on model theory as well as graduate students’ research for one doctoral thesis on the lambda-calculus and its models and one master’s thesis on artificial intelligence (automatic theorem-proving).

Research grants, scholarships and honors. Honorable mention in Westinghouse Science Talent Search, 1953. DuPont Fellow, 1957-58. Scholarship recipient from Swiss National Fund for Scientific Research, 1962-1964. Recipient of research grant from I.B.M. Company, 1973-1974. Recipient of successive grants from F.C.A.R. granting agency in Quebec Province. Recipient of continuous support from National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, 1968-1990. Invited professor at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, 1972-1973. Election in 1978 for three-year term as member of Council of Association for Symbolic Logic. Listed as one of eight Platonist philosophers of second half of twentieth century in Encyclopédie Philosophique Universelle (Presses Universitaires de France,1992).

Other professional activities. Author for several reviewing agencies in mathematical sciences and in philosophy. Referee and reviewer for many scientific and philosophical journals. Invited speaker for numerous scientific talks at universities in Europe, the United States, Russia, and Canada. Frequent participant at scientific meetings and congresses in many different parts of the world.

Administrative experience. Interim head of mathematics department at Laval University (one year). Evaluator of new graduate programs in mathematics for Quebec (Province) Ministry of Education. President (two years) and member (one year) of mathematics grant committee of F.C.A.R granting agency in Quebec Province. Member for three-year term of Council of Association for Symbolic Logic. Chair of Department of Ethics at Landegg International University. Election as member of the National Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahá’ís of Switzerland, of Canada, and of Russia for total of thirteen years of service.

Languages. Spoke, read and wrote fluently in both English and French, and spoke and read some Russian.

Extra-professional interests and activities. Chess, swimming, bicycling and cross-country skiing. Community service and development of the Bahá’í Community.

Publications/bibliography, from

English Publications in Philosophy and Religion


1. Minimalism: A Bridge between Classical Philosophy and the Bahá’í Revelation, Juxta Publishing Limited, Hong Kong, 2002, 128 pages; 2nd edition, 2004.

2. Love, Power, and Justice: The Dynamics of Authentic Morality, Bahá’í Publishing Trust, Wilmette, 1998, xvii+155 pages; 2nd edition, 2002, xxii+165 pages.

3. (With Vadim Nomokonov and Leonid Osokin) The Ethics of Authenticity, International Moral Education Project, Axios, 1997, vi+104 pages; 2nd edition, 2001, Images International, Chattanooga, 117 pages.

4. (With John S. Hatcher) The Law of Love Enshrined: Selected Essays, George Ronald, Oxford, 1996, xv+285 pages.

*5. Logic and Logos: Essays on Science, Religion and Philosophy, George Ronald, Oxford, 1990, x+147 pages.

**6. (With Douglas Martin) The Bahá’í Faith: The Emerging Global Religion, Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1985, xvii+228 pages; 1st softcover edition, 1989; 2nd revised edition, Bahá’í Publishing Trust, Wilmette, 1998, xviii+253 pages; revised and republished 2002, Bahá’í Publishing, Wilmette, xvi+253 pages.


1. “Epistemological Implications of the Gradated Claims to Divine Authority in the Bahá’í Writings,” Journal of Bahá’í Studies, 17; 1 (2007), 69-84.

2. “Reflections on Infallibility,” Journal of Bahá’í Studies, 17; 1 (2007), 85-100.

3. “Universal Values,” in The Science of Morality: Collected Papers, Royal College of Physicians of London, 2007, 117-124.

4. “Love, Power, and Justice,” Sixteenth Hasan M. Balyúzí Memorial Lecture, Journal of Bahá’í Studies, 9; 3 (1999), 1-23.

5. “Author’s response to Commentary on ‘A Scientific Proof of the Existence of God’,” Journal of Bahá’í Studies, 8; 1 (1997), 73-86.

6. “Paradigms of Revelation: the Embrace of East and West,” in Revelation and the Environment AD 95-1995, (1997), World Scientific Publishing, 152-156.

7. “The Philosophy of Spirituality: A Bahá’í Viewpoint,” Dialogue and Universalism, 11-12 (1996), 137-144.

8. “A Scientific Proof of the Existence of God,” Journal of Bahá’í Studies, 5; 4 (1993-1994), 1-16.

9. “The Kitáb-i-Aqdas: The Causality Principle in the World of Being,” The Bahá’í World 1993-1994, World Centre Publications, 1994, 189-236.

10. “Scholarship: A Bahá’í Perspective,” Journal of Bahá’í Studies, 1; 2 (1988-1989), 35-46.

11. “Human Nature and Human Society: A Bahá’í Viewpoint,” in The Bahá’í Faith and Marxism, Bahá’í Studies Publications, 1987, 27-34.

12. (With Muhammad Afnán) “Note on MacEoin’s ‘Bahá’í Fundamentalism’,” Religion, 16 (1986), 187-192.

13. (With Muhammad Afnán) “Western Islamic Scholarship and Bahá’í Origins,” Religion, 15 (1985), 29-51.

14. “The Concept of Spirituality,” Bahá’í Studies, 11, Association for Bahá’í Studies, Ottawa, 1982, iii+25 pages.

15. “The Science of Religion,” Bahá’í Studies, 2, Association for Bahá’í Studies, Ottawa, 1980, iv+45 pages.

16. “Science and the Future of Mankind,” Bahá’í Studies Notebook, 1; 1 (1980), 105-112.

17. “Science and the Bahá’í Faith,” Zygon/Journal of Religion and Science, 14 (1979), 229-253.

18. “The Quest for the Metaphysical Jesus, a review of Udo Schaeffer’s ‘The Light Shineth in Darkness’,” World Order, 12; 4 (1978), 35-42.

19. “Science and the Bahá’í Faith,” Bahá’í Studies 1, Canadian Association for Studies on the Bahá’í Faith, London (Ontario), 1976, 52-85.

20. (With Hossain B. Danesh) “Errors in Jensen’s Analysis,” World Order, 11; 1 (1976), 52-60.

21. “The Unity of Religion and Science,” World Order, 9; 3 (1975), 22-38.

22. “The Relative Conception of Good and Evil,” Zygon/Journal of Religion and Science, 10 (1975), 446-448.

23. “Economics and Moral Values,” World Order, 9; 2 (1974) 14-27.

24. “A Logical Solution to the Problem of Evil,” Zygon/Journal of Religion and Science, 9; 3 (1974), 245-255.

25. “Science and Religion,” World Order, 3; 3 (1969), 7-19.

26. “Power to Renew the World,” with Winston Evans and Thomas L. Thompson, Bahá’í Publishing Trust, Wilmette, Illinois, (1965), 6-10.

*A descriptive and analytical résumé of this work has been included in Volume III of the Encyclopédie Philosophique Universelle, Presses Universitaires de France, 1992.

**This work has been designated by the Encyclopaedia Britannica as one of ten recent books “that have made significant contributions to knowledge and understanding” in the domain of religion (see 1986 Britannica Book of the Year, pages 62-64).

French Publications in Philosophy and Religion


1. (Avec J, Douglas Martin) La foi bahá’íe: L’émergence d’une religion mondiale, traduction par Françoise Saux, Maison d’éditions bahá’íes, Bruxelles,1997, 315 pages.


1. (Avec Lyne-Andrée Mathieu et Élizabeth Wright) “Le Báb, Bahá’u’lláh et la foi bahá’íe,” dans Le Livre des sagesses, Bayard, Paris, 2002, 778-783.

2. “Une preuve scientifique de l’existence de Dieu,” Association d’études bahá’íes (Europe francophone), Génève, 2001, 26 pages.

3. “La foi bahá’íe, un humanisme contre les fanatismes,” Le Monde diplomatique, Paris, juillet 1999, 25.

4. “La foi bahá’íe contre les fanatismes,” Le Monde diplomatique, Manière de voir 48, novembre-décembre 1999, 70-72.

5. “Autonomie dans un monde interdépendant,” dans Vers une éthique de l’interdépendance mondiale, Association d’études bahá’íes du Québec, 1993, 53-60.

6. “Les valeurs économiques et les valeurs morales,” Journal of Bahá’í Studies, 1; 4 (1988-1989), 41-58.

7. “L’avenir des peuples minoritaires: une perspective bahá’íe,” La Pensée bahá’íe, Nyon (Suisse),104 (1988), 12-22.

8. “Perspectives bahá’íes de la paix,” dans Approche pluridisciplinaire de la paix, Association européenne francophone pour les Études bahá’íes, 1986, 4-16.

9. “La Foi et la méthode scientifique,” La Pensée bahá’íe, Nyon (Suisse), 56 (1976), 7-19.

10. “Christ et Bahá’u’lláh,” La Pensée bahá’íe, 9, Genève (1964), 1-16.

Scientific Publications

Books and Monographs

1. (With Michel Hébert) Preservation Theory, Université Laval, 1994, 42 pages.

2. The Logical Foundations of Mathematics, Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1982, x+320 pages.

3. (With S. Whitney) Absolute Algebra, Teubner Texte zur Mathematik 17, Teubner, Leipzig, 1978, x+126 pages.

4. Foundations of Mathematics, W. B. Saunders and Co., London and Philadelphia, 1968, xiii+327 pages.

5. Theory and Applications of a Syntactical Notion of the Equivalence of Formal Logical Systems, L. A. Monnier, Neuchâtel, 1964, 83 pages.


1. “Causality, composition, and the origin of existence,” in The Law of Love Enshrined, George Ronald, Oxford, 1996, 19-42.

2. (With Marc Bergeron) “Models of linear logic,” Proceedings of the Steklov Mathematical Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia, Vol. 9, 1995, 23-35.

3. (With M. Tonga) “Pairings on lambda algebras,” Zeit. Math. Log. Grund. Math., 37 (1991), 343-352.

4. (With M. Tonga) “Pairings on lambda algebras,” Proceedings of the First International Conference on Algebraic Methodology and Software Technology, University of Iowa, 1989, 125-128.

5. “A certain measure of importance,” in Pensée naturelle (refereed collection of articles in honor of Jean-Blaise Grize), Droz, Genève, 1987, 61-73.

6. “Caractérisations algébriques des hyperréels R* et des hyperentiers N*,” Comptes Rendus Acad. Sci. Paris, 305 (1987), Série I, 155-157.

7. (With P. Scott) “Lambda algebras and C-monoids,” Zeit. Math. Log. Grund. Math., 32 (1986), 415-430.

8. “Elementary extension and the hyperreal numbers, Mathematical Logic and Formal Systems,” Marcel Dekker, New York, 1985, 205-219.

9. (With S. Whitney) “Characterizing categories of algebras,” Algebra Universalis, 19 (1984), 231-242.

10. “Clone embeddings and the hyperreal numbers,” Recent Trends in Mathematics, Kurke, Mecke, Triebel and Thiele, Ed., Teubner Texte zur Mathematik 50, Leipzig, 1983, 164-173.

11. (With Claude Laflamme) “On the order structure of the hyperreal line,” Zeit. Math. Log. Grund. Math., 29 (1983), 197-202.

12. “Calculus is algebra,” Amer. Math. Monthly, 89 (1982), 362-370.

13. (With B. R. Hodgson) “Complexity bounds on proofs,” The Journal of Symbolic Logic, 46 (1981), 255-258.

14. “A language for type-free algebra,” Zeit. Math. Log. Grund. Math., 24 (1978), 385-397.

15 (With T. Rus) “Context-free algebras,” Journal of Cybernetics, 6 (1976), 65-77.

16. (With A. Shafaat) “Categorical languages for algebraic structures,” Zeit. Math. Log. Grund. Math., 21 (1975), 433-438.

17. (With G. Coray) “A logical framework for large file information handling,” Information Sciences, 8 (1975), 27-38.

18. “A semantic basis for program verification,” Journal of Cybernetics, 4 (1974) 61-69.

19. “Les identités dans les catégories,” Comptes Rendus Acad. Sci. Paris, Série A, 275 (1972), 495-496.

20. “Foundations as a branch of mathematics,” Journal of Philosophical Logic, 1 (1972), 349-358.

21. (With J. Corcoran et J. Herring) “Variable binding term operators,” Zeit. Math. Log. Grund Math., 18 (1972), 177-182.

22. (With P. E. Réthier) “Une application du langage APL au problème de démonstration de théorèmes par ordinateur,” Colloque APL, IRIA (1971), Paris, 433-443.

23. “Quasiprimitive subcategories,” Mathematische Annalen, 190 (1970), 93-96.

24. “Birkhoff subcategories,” Revue Roumaine de Math. Pures et Appliquées, 15 (1970), 1421-1423.

25. “Sur un système de da Costa,” Comptes Rendus Acad. Sci. Paris, Série A, 268 (1969), 1443-1446.

26. “Remarques sur l’équivalence des systèmes logiques,” Comptes Rendus Acad. Sci. Paris, Série A, 267 (1968), 529-530.

27. “Logical truth and logical implication,” Journal of Symbolic Logic, 31 (1966), 561.

28. “Systèmes formels et catégories,” Comptes Rendus Acad. Sci. Paris, 260 (1965), 3525-3528.

29. “La notion d’équivalence entre systèmes formels,” L’Enseignement Mathématique, 10 (1964), 314-315.

30. “La notion d’équivalence entre systèmes formels et une généralisation inductive du système dit «New Foundations» de Quine,” Comptes Rendus Acad. Sci. Paris, 256 (1963), 563-566.

Russian Publications in Philosophy and Religion


1. Mimimalism, translated by Vadim Nomokonov, Axios, St-Petersburg, Russia, 2003, 119 pages.

2. (With Vadim Nomokonov and Leonid Osokin) The Ethics of Authentic Relationships, translated by Vadim Nomokonov, Axios, St-Petersburg, Russia, 1999, 155 pages.


1. “The Kitab-i-Aqdas: The Causality Principle in the World of Being,” translated by V. Zadikian, Axios, St-Petersburg, Russia, 1998, 48 pages.

2. (With Vadim Nomokonov and Leonid Osokin) “The Ethics of Authenticity,” Chapter 1, translated by Vadim Nomokonov, Axios, St-Petersburg, 1998, 80 pages.

3. “Ethics of Authenticity, A Course of Integrated Ethics for Youth and Young Adults” (in English), Axios, St-Petersburg, Russia, 1997, Book 1, 45 pages, Book 2, 56 pages.

4. “Talks on Religion, Science and Morality,” translated by Youli Ioannesyan, Axios, St-Petersburg, Russia, Part 1(1996), 30 pages; Part 2, (1996), 40 pages; Part 3,(1997); Part 4, (1997), 48 pages; Part 5, (1998), 48 pages.

5. “A Scientific Proof of the Existence of God,” translated by G. Litviak, Phoenix Press, Kiev, 1992, 18 pages; reprint, Kiev, 1994.

6. “The Concept of Spirituality,” translator unknown, Phoenix Press, Kiev, 1992, 72 pages.

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