Professor Frederick J. (Rick) Murphy, a faculty member in the religious studies department at Holy Cross since 1983, passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 13, after an illness.
An internationally renowned scholar and prolific author who also loved the classroom and excelled as a teacher, Professor Murphy was the recipient of the College’s 2001 Distinguished Teacher of the Year award. He was appointed the first Class of 1956 Professor in New Testament Studies in 2007, and subsequently delivered a well-received reunion presentation to the members of that class.
In the course of more than 25 years, Professor Murphy served on virtually every significant committee at the College, chairing many of them. His colleagues particularly entrusted to him the task of leading the searches for two endowed chairs and two deans of the College.
His seven books and many articles include “The Religious World of Jesus: An Introduction to Second Temple Palestinian Judaism,” which received the Alpha Sigma Nu book award in 1991; “Early Judaism: The Exile to the Time of Jesus” (2005), and “Apocalypticism in the Bible and Its Worlds,” which is scheduled to be published in July 2012.
Professor Murphy received his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Harvard University. He also studied at the Weston School of Theology and the University of London, where he earned a second bachelor’s degree.
Funeral services will be held on Sept. 17 at 11 a.m. at Christ the King Church in Worcester.
Members of the Holy Cross community are invited to attend a memorial mass on Sept. 20 at 12:05 p.m. in the Mary Chapel (lower level of St. Joseph Chapel).
A full obituary will appear in the winter issue of Holy Cross Magazine.
If you have a special memory or story about Professor Murphy, please feel free to share it by leaving a comment below or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Remembrances may appear in the magazine or in an online tribute.
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