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On Michael Goulder

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Crosstalk Cc: Synoptic, GPG On: Michael Goulder From: Bruce Thanks to Robert Brenchley for announcing his new blog on Crosstalk. I took a look at it, and
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 20 12:31 PM
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      To: Crosstalk
      Cc: Synoptic, GPG
      On: Michael Goulder
      From: Bruce

      Thanks to Robert Brenchley for announcing his new blog on Crosstalk. I
      took a look at it, and was surprised to learn from it of the death of
      Michael Goulder this past January. Somehow that fact deserved to be
      more than incidentally mentioned among us.

      Michael, in my eyes, was one of the great figures of 20th century NT
      scholarship; his work on the Psalms also seems likely to be enduring.
      His contribution was not a closed one, meaning only that there is
      still a place for the rest of us to try to add to what he did. And it
      was an optimistic one, perhaps reposing more confidence in the
      rationality of his colleagues in the field than the majority of them
      have yet justified in practice, but the current century is young yet,
      and we shall perhaps see.

      The wit and also the generosity of his contributions to the NT
      journals are also, in their way, permanent contributions to the field:
      This is how one can productively hold a discussion with those with
      whom one differs on this point or that. Lightness is a very suitable
      accompaniment to sobriety.

      Michael's exact dates were 31 May 1927 ? 6 January 2010. Should either
      of them be observed in the trade as an anniversary? Perhaps the
      preface date of one of his books would be a more suitable memorial to
      his monumental contribution. Life is a mountain which all of us reach
      the top of, sooner or later, but the heights achieved by Michael in
      some of his works, few can scale. Unfortunately for this thought, it
      seems to have been Michael's habit to date his prefaces by month and
      not by day. Perhaps someone who knows his life and work well can
      suggest a suitable occasion, to add to the calendar of remembrance.

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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