People: Mark G. Toulouse, David Noel Freedman

May 20, 2008

Mark G. Toulouse, a scholar of American religious history, has been named as the principal of Emmanuel College at Toronto, the largest theological college affiliated with the United Church of Canada. Toulouse, an ordained Disciples of Christ minister, has taught for 22 years at Texas Christian University’s Brite Divinity School and served as dean and executive vice president at the seminary in Fort Worth. “As a scholar of the Christian church and public witness, Dr. Toulouse will undoubtedly assist the United Church in its continuing commitment to be a church at the forefront of public engagement,” said Nora Sanders, general secretary of the denomination. Toulouse will begin serving in his post in January 2009.

David Noel Freedman, a versatile biblical scholar who oversaw the Anchor Bible Series and held long, overlapping faculty tenures at the University of Michigan and the University of California at San Diego, died April 8 in Petaluma, California. He was 85. A prodigy who graduated from UCLA at age 17, he studied under archaeologist William Albright at Johns Hopkins University and earned his Ph.D. there by writing two dissertations jointly with a future archaeologist of note, Frank M. Cross. A seminary professor in his early career, Freedman also edited the Journal of Biblical Literature in the late 1950s and Biblical Archaeologist from 1976 to 1982. Often willing to make daring research conclusions, the unpretentious and tireless Freedman never retired. “There never was such an entrepreneur-facilitator-collaborator–disseminator of biblical scholarship,” said UC San Diego colleague William Propp.