Professor Maurice Casey, 1942-2014
I was sorry to hear this week that Professor Maurice Casey passed away on 10 May 2014. There have been numerous postings in honour of Professor Casey, from longer interactions with his scholarship by his former student James Crossley (parts one and two), Mark Goodacre, Larry Hurtado, and Dominic Mattos, to a number of announcements and annecdotes shared by Jim Davila, Jim West, Peter Head (in comment), and Chris Keith, as well as others I have not read.
I had the privilege of meeting Maurice on a few occasions while I was working on my doctoral thesis on the Son of Man in John. Like Peter Head, I met Maurice at the annual conference on the use of the OT in the NT held at St. Deneiol's library in Hawarden. My paper was scheduled for the last day of the conference, and on the preceding evening, Maurice told me that my paper on the Son of Man in Daniel 7 and John 5:27 was the paper he was most looking forward to hearing. For a doctoral student who knew he was going to be making some arguments that this well-known Son of Man scholar would disagree with, I quickly became more intimidated than I already was.
Once I finished my paper the next day and as he rose to ask me a question, I had a sinking feeling that he was about to ask the sort of question that would leave me without a thesis. He did ask an extremely relevant and pointed question; it was a question that continued to follow me every time I presented on my thesis topic. (The question surfaced during my viva.) Over lunch following the session, Maurice probed me further about why I was arguing what I was arguing. He did so in such a kind and cordial way. I have always been grateful for his questions, the way in which he asked them, and the interest he showed in the work of a doctoral student. His questions forced me to further my arguments and learn more about how scholarly debate and challenge can take place in a collegial manner.