The 2009 recipient of the F.W. Beare prize awarded by the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies, the oldest humanities academic society in Canada, is Prof. Terry Donaldson for his book Judaism and the Gentiles: Jewish Patterns of Universalism (to 135 CE) (Baylor University Press, 2007).
This award is given for an outstanding book in the areas of Christian Origins, Post-Biblical Judaism and/or Graeco-Roman Religions written by a member of the CSBS, published during the previous two years, and has been established in honour of Francis (Frank) Wright Beare, one of Canada’s most renowned New Testament scholars. He was born in Toronto in 1902, studied in Toronto, Paris and Cairo, and taught at the Presbyterian College in Montreal (1933-46) and Trinity College in Toronto (1946-68). He participated actively in the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies and was named President of the Society in 1942; he was also President of the Society of Biblical Literature in 1969.
Prof Donaldson's book makes a major contribution to the study of Gentile attraction to Judaism and Jewish attitudes towards the religious status of Gentiles, by providing a complete collection, with commentary and analysis, of texts that deal with Gentile sympathizers, proselytes, ethical monotheists, participants in end-time redemption and related matters, from the Hellenistic era to 135 CE. On this basis it identifies the various "patterns of universalism" that were present in Second-Temple Judaism and provides further insight into such questions as: Was there a Jewish "mission"? Was apologetic literature directed outwards or inwards? Was there a class of "God-fearers"?
"Donaldson has taken on an immense task surveying Jewish Salvation and Gentile Universalism through a broad sweep of literature and continually testing his conclusions against the text. I find this to be the most complete collection of relevant documents and quotations I have ever encountered. This volume deserves to be in every university and seminary library and on the shelf of every scholar whose research touches on this critical developmental period for both Judaism and Christianity." -Victor Matthews, Professor of Religious Studies and Associate Dean, College of Humanities and Public Affairs, Missouri State University.
Comprehensive in scope, discriminating in judgment, and arresting in detail, Donaldson’s survey is like no other. His meticulous, often original consideration of the evidence for Jewish views of Gentiles is now not only the place to start thinking about this important theme, but also the place to linger. An outstanding and lasting work of scholarship. -Steve Wilson, Professor of Religion and Humanities, Carleton University.
This is the second time that Prof Donaldson has received this award. The first time in 1998 was for his book 'Paul and the Gentiles: Remapping the Apostle’s Convictional World.' Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997.
Terry Donaldson is the Lord and Lady Coggan Professor of New Testament Studies, Wycliffe College.
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