Saturday, June 02, 2018

Philip R. Davies 1945-2018

SAD NEWS: I have received a number of reports that Professor Emeritus Philip R. Davies passed away last Thursday 31 May. He was Professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield until his retirement some years ago. He kept active in the field after retirement and kept up an internet presence too. His Wikipedia page is here. His Sheffield University page is here. And his page is here.

Philip was well known for his out-of-the-box thinking and I learned a lot from him, especially on how to think about the Dead Sea Scrolls. His doctoral dissertation on the War Scroll influenced how I looked at that work, and you can see some of how I used it in my teaching in this online lecture on the War Scroll for my Dead Sea Scrolls class. I also drew on his ideas about the Pesharim and on utopianism and Qumran sectarianism.

I knew Philip for many years and we kept in touch off and on. Our last e-mail exchange was last summer, when we talked about the lead codices and the merits of Islay whiskies. He also appeared from time to time in PaleoJudaica posts. I see that a few years ago I commented, "Davies is usually controversial and always interesting." I think that is a fitting epitaph.

Requiescat in pace.

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