McKane, William 1921-2004
McKANE, William 1921-2004
OBITUARY NOTICE— See index for CA sketch: Born February 18, 1921, in Dundee, Scotland; died September 4, 2004, in St. Andrews, Scotland. Biblical scholar, educator, and author. McKane was an Old Testament scholar and professor emeritus at St. Andrews University. Initially planning a career in business, he left school at age fifteen to seek employment; however, he was strongly influenced by his local Presbyterian church, and this inspired him to pursue religious studies. He started taking night classes, but his education was interrupted by World War II, during which he served in the Royal Air Force. After the war, he returned to school, earning a master's degree in English and philosophy from St. Andrews University in 1949; this was followed three years later by another M.A., this time in Semitic languages from Glasgow University. McKane worked as a lecturer at Glasgow while completing his Ph.D. there in the Old Testament. After rising to the position of senior lecturer at Glasgow, McKane left that university to return to St. Andrews as a professor of Hebrew and Oriental languages in 1968. Here he would later become dean of the faculty of divinity from 1973 to 1977 and principal of St. Mary's College from 1982 to 1986. He retired from teaching in 1990. As an author, McKane distinguished himself in his writings on Old Testament books, including studies of Wisdom, Lamentations, Song of Songs, Proverbs, Ruth, Esther, and Ecclesiastes. Among his most important contributions exegetical studies are Prophets and Wise Men (1965) and Proverbs: A New Approach (1970). His more recent studies include A Late Harvest (1995), Jeremiah 26-52 International Critical Commentary (1996), and Micah: Introduction and Commentary (1998). A fellow of the British Academy, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and of the National Humanities Center in North Carolina, and a member of the Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, McKane received many other honors, such as the Burkitt Medal for biblical scholarship. He was working on a commentary on the book of Job at the time of his death.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Independent (London, England), September 13, 2004, p. 34.
Times (London, England), September 17, 2004, p. 38.