Le Moyne mourns passing of chair of Religious Philosophy Dept.

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Le Moyne College community is morning the death of George V. Coyne, S.J., Ph.D. following a battle with cancer. He was 87.

Father Coyne served as the McDevitt Chair of Religious Philosophy since 2012. He came to Le Moyne after a 28-year career as director of the Vatican Observatory.

According to a news release from Le Moyne, “Father Coyne’s expertise in astronomy and his thoughtful views on the science versus religion debate propelled him to worldwide notoriety.”

He received a doctorate in astronomy from Georgetown University in 1962, and was ordained in the priesthood in 1965.

Father Coyne’s research studies included the lunar surface and the stars. He developed a new research tool that helped his studies of the stars and published more than a hundred articles in scientific journals.

Father Coyne also had an interest in the relationship between science and religion and led studies which sought an understanding of God’s action in the universe and from various fields of science.

“We are deeply and profoundly saddened by the passing of Father Coyne,” said Le Moyne President Linda LeMura. “His influence on so many fronts was profound. First and foremost, as an astronomer he was a world-class intellect highly respected by others for his research and scholarship. Le Moyne was privileged to have him here for the past eight years, and he spent the final years of his life doing what he loved – teaching young people about astronomy. He will be missed immensely by his fellow Jesuits, his faculty colleagues, and by everyone at the College.”

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