Saturday, December 05, 2015

Barbara Thiering 1930-2015

SAD NEWS: Academic and iconoclast Barbara Thiering exemplified tumultuous 1960's ethos (Sydney Morning Herald).
Historian, feminist and iconoclast Barbara Thiering once observed that, for a woman of her temperament, she had been born at a fortunate time in Australia. She was too young for World War II, was a young adult in the prosperous 1950s, an intellectual during the 1960s and 1970s, when the world was ripe for such things, and a successful writer and academic in her later years.

She participated in a time of great growth and change when opportunities were opening up for women, which she applauded and encouraged. The combination of her high intelligence, strong will and independent free-thought created a path for her life, reflecting the changing position of women and the political and religious turbulence of the later 20th century.

Her Wikipedia profile, which as of this writing has not yet been updated to note her death, is here. Inevitably she will be remembered for her controversial work on Jesus, which no one follows. But it is also worth mentioning her work on the prosody of Qumran poetry, which remains useful today.
Barbara Thiering, "The Poetic Forms of the Hodayot," Journal of Semitic Studies 8 (1963): 189-209.
Requiescat in pace.