Obituary for Fadlou Shehadi

The Philosophy Department regrets to announce that Professor Emeritus Fadlou Albert Shehadi died at his home on February 29, 2012. He was 86.

    Professor Shehadi, a beloved teacher and scholar, joined the Douglass College Department of Philosophy at Rutgers University Department 1953 after receiving his Ph.D. from Princeton.  He taught at Rutgers until his retirement in 1994. He chaired the Philosophy Department at Douglass College for a total of nine years, and twice directed the Rutgers Study Abroad program in France.

    He is best known, in philosophy, for his pioneering work in the study of Islamic philosophy. His first book, Ghazali’s Unique Unknowable God (1964) brought contemporary philosophical acumen to the study of Ghazali’s work, and in his Metaphysics in Islamic Philosophy (1982), he broadened the scope of his work to metaphysical issues generally. His last book, Philosophies of Music in Medieval Islam (1995), is the first book on the subject.

    In addition to his career in philosophy as a scholar and teacher, Fadlou Shehadi was a skilled and accomplished baritone who started his musical training in Beirut at the Institut de Musique, an affiliate of the École Normale de Paris, and received his diploma with distinction in 1948. He continued his musical education throughout his life, studying with Bernard Diamant while on a Rockefeller Fellowship at McGill University, with Jennie Tourel at Juilliard, and in Paris with Pierre Bernac.  He was noted for his musicality and gifted interpretation and he gave many recitals in the U.S.A., Canada, Europe and his native Lebanon.  He also sang roles in Boris Godunov with the Montreal Opera under Emil Cooper, in the Eastern premiere of The Trial of Lucullus by Roger Sessions, the U.S. premiere of Handel's Imeneo and in Monteverdi's Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Chlorinde at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia with the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra. As a soloist, he appeared with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, the Princeton Chamber Orchestra, the Interlochen Chorus and Orchestra and the Bachman Choir with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. 

    On a more personal note, Fadlou Shehadi brought intelligence, dignity, and grace to our Department and to the Faculty at Rutgers.  He will be deeply missed.

    He is survived by his wife, neé Alison McDonald Shute, a daughter, Muna Shehadi Sill of Milwaukee, WI and a son, Charles Henry of Brooklyn, NY. His eldest son, Philip, was head of the Reuters Bureau in Algiers when he was killed in 1991.
A memorial service is being planned for this spring and will be announced on this website once the date and time are set.