Recent Alumni/ae Deaths
Harry Oliver taught at Boston University School of Theology for 32 years. He passed away on September 22, 2011 at the age of 80. In honor of the third anniversary of his death, one of his former students, Dr. Richard Hughes (STH ’66, GRS ’70), has written reflections about Harry’s life and legacy. You can read the entire article here. Additionally, here is an excerpt:
On the third anniversary of his death in 2011 I offer some reflections on the life and work of Harold Oliver at the School of Theology. As his first doctoral student, I shared many discussions and maintained a personal relationship with him throughout his teaching years and into his retirement. He had great analytic and technical abilities, intellectual brilliance, and a warm accepting personality. I fondly addressed him as Harry.
From 1957 until 1965 he taught New Testament at The Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in North Carolina. Having grown up in Southern Baptist fundamentalist culture in Alabama, he expressed his analytic ability in New Testament studies, aided by the existentialist hermeneutic of Rudolf Bultmann. His Bultmann phase, which lasted 15 years, enabled him to transcend biblical literalism. In 1965 Harry was dismissed from Southeastern, and the charge was his teaching Bultmann. His dismissal was widely discussed in theological circles across the country.