The article regarding Father Halton was not really accurate in characterizing Professor Walter Stace as “a self-professed atheist.” I remember much of the controversy that went on while I was an undergraduate.
Mr. Stace, an Englishman who had a religious conversion experience in his youth and served in the Indian Civil Service in Ceylon for 22 years, was heavily influenced by Eastern religion and wrote extensively on mysticism. He certainly did not believe in Father Halton’s brand of religion, but it is clear that anyone who could say “to ask for a proof of the existence of G0d is on a par with asking for a proof of the existence of beauty” is not your standard atheist. What Mr. Stace had was wisdom, not belief; I don’t think Father Halton was able to understand that.
Mr. Stace’s son, Noel, was a classmate and friend. He was killed in a naval air-training accident about five years after graduation. I wrote Mr. Stace, and he wrote back a touching letter saying “sometimes life can seem so utterly unfair.” The “seem” was typical of the man.