Dr. Raymond Francis Bulman, a theology professor and author, died at Good Shepherd Hospice in Port Jefferson on Saturday following a stroke. He was 79 and had been ill for a month.
Mr. Bulman was considered an important scholar in the field of systematic theology and the philosophy of religion, his family said. He was a professor, since 1963, in the department of theology and religious studies at St. John’s University in Jamaica, Queens, where he was to have been honored last week for his 50 years of service. He was also to have been inducted into the American Theological Society at Princeton University the week before.
He is survived by his wife, the former Carole Kasbar, whom he met at Main Beach in East Hampton in 1974. They were married on July 8, 1978.
The couple had a son, Raymond Bulman of Brooklyn, who also survives. The family spent summers in East Hampton, and then, in 2002, had a house built in Wainscott. His parents had “a remarkable love affair,” Mr. Bulman said, and East Hampton “was their paradise.” From 1978 to 2010, the Bulmans also lived in Fort Lee, N.J.
Born on April 13, 1933, in the Bronx, the son of William Bulman and the former Anne Doherty, Mr. Bulman grew up in that borough and in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Throughout his life, he had also lived in Rome; Oxford, England; the Midwest, and on a Sioux Indian reservation in South Dakota, where he taught.
Mr. Bulman attended Gregorian University in Rome from 1957 to 1960, and was a special research student at Oxford University in England in 1970 and 1971. He earned a doctorate in the philosophy of religion at Columbia University from 1964 through 1973.
Since 1993, he was chairman of the seminars on studies in religion at Columbia.
His 1981 book, “A Blueprint for Humanity: Paul Tillich’s Theology of Culture,” was named an “outstanding academic book” by Choice, a library journal. Mr. Bulman also wrote “The Lure of the Millennium: The Year 2000 and Beyond,” published by Orbis Books in 1999, and co-edited three other volumes.
He spoke fluent Latin, Italian, and French, and could read ancient Greek, Hebrew, and German.
An “incredibly loving, wise, and good-spirited person,” he was “an exemplary husband and an incomparable father whose depth of experience and insight enriched the lives of those around him,” according to his son.
Besides his wife and son, Mr. Bulman is survived by a brother, William Bulman of Mays Landing, N.J.
Mr. Bulman was cremated. He was a member of Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in East Hampton, where a service will be held at 11:30 a.m. on April 6, the Rev. Donald Hanson officiating.
Memorial contributions have been suggested to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, Tenn., 38105, or to Most Holy Trinity Parish, 57 Buell Lane, East Hampton 11937.