Meek, Theophile James

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Meek, Theophile James

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1881-1966

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Born in 1881 into a farming family in Port Stanley Ontario, Theophile James Meek graduated from the University of Toronto with a B.A. in 1903. After theological studies at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago (1903-06) and two years as a traveling scholar in Germany, he held a post at James Millikin University in Illinois (1909-1918) while studying for his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto (Ph.D. 1915). While at Chicago, he met and married his mentor’s daughter, Dorothea Carrier in 1909. After teaching at the Meadville Theological School (1918-1922) and after spending a year as Professor of Semitic Languages at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, he returned to the University of Toronto in 1923 to take up the same position. In his final year before retirement (1951-52), he became Chair of the Department Oriental Studies and upon retirement was made Professor Emeritus. T.J. Meek died on February 19 1966.

Professor Meek’s areas of specialty were Mesopotamian Literature and the Old Testament. He is perhaps best known for his contributions to The Bible, An American Translation. From 1931-1941, he was associate editor of American Journal of Semitic Languages; he served as president of the American Oriental Society (1942) and the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis (1943). Throughout his career he traveled extensively and led studies in various Middle Eastern countries such as Iraq and Egypt. He was an internationally recognized scholar and contributed to the University of Toronto’s reputation as a serious centre for Oriental Studies.

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