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Simon Bruce Parker, Faculty

A picture of Simon Parker

Simon Bruce Parker, April 29, 2006, following a cerebral hemorrhage in Auburndale, Massachusetts. Parker was assistant professor of religion and humanities at Reed from 1967 to 1975. He received a BA from the University of Manchester in modern languages in 1960 and a BD from Asbury Theological Seminary in the Old Testament in 1963. In 1967, he was awarded a PhD in Near Eastern studies from Johns Hopkins University where he held several fellowships. During his career at Reed, he received the prestigious Graves Award—a biennial award for outstanding young faculty members on the West Coast. One of seven award recipients in 1971, Parker used his stipend to cover his investigation in England of the oral history of two Canaanite religious epics. His career continued at Boston University, where he was Professor of Hebrew Bible and Harrell F. Beck Scholar of Hebrew Scripture. Parker produced numerous articles, translations, and books, and he was general editor of seven volumes of the Society of Biblical Literature’s translation series, Writings from the Ancient World. His academic focus at the university was Israel’s inheritance from earlier Canaanite culture and its transformation of that tradition, and the interpretation of biblical literature in its ancient, literary, religious, and social context and on its significance for the church in the present day. Parker was also an accomplished pianist. Survivors include his wife, Sonia M. Palmer Parker, two sons, and two grandchildren. A Simon B. Parker Scholarship Fund has been established at Boston University.

Appeared in Reed magazine: August 2006

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