Friday, January 08, 2010

Michael Goulder: A Biblical Scholar

On the news of Michael Goulder's passing, I can't help but think of the time he came to Sheffield to speak to our Graduate Seminar, and being profoundly moved. Here was the epitome of a biblical scholar, someone who spent his life playing with the text, not in disservice to the text, but in order to understand it better, to think anew with the text, to never be satisfied with what some might call the "plain meaning" of a text. I remember his lecture starting with the acknowledgment that he could no longer read his own notes, thus signifying in my mind to expect a series of loosely connected meanderings, instead we got a lucid lecture that was easy to follow, yet rivaled the depth of any published monograph on the subject, I was amazed that he did this all from memory. There are few scholars that can stay relevant in a field like biblical studies throughout their lifetime. Michael Goulder was one, and the field was and is better for him.

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