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bMS 612

MacRae, George W. Papers, 1955-1985: A Finding Aid.

Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University


Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: bMS 612
Repository: Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University
Title: MacRae, George W. Papers, 1955-1985.
Date(s): 1955-1985.
Quantity: 8 boxes
Abstract: Papers of Catholic priest George MacRae, including teaching material, academic records, translation projects, lectures, addreses, essays, and correspondence. The papers span 1955-1985.


Student records in this collection are restricted for 75 years from the date of their creation. Other records may also be restricted. Contact the curator of manuscripts and archives for further details

Biographical / Historical

George W. MacRae (1928-1985) was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, and joined the Society of Jesus in 1948. He received his PhL from Louvain in 1954 and his AM from Johns Hopkins University in 1957. He was ordained a priest in 1960, and taught at the Weston School of Theology where he received his STL in 1961, and Cambridge University, where he earned a doctorate in New Testament studies and the history of religions in 1966. His dissertation was on the relation of Jewish apocalyptic thought to Gnostic literature.
MacRae was an internationally known scholar in the field of New Testament studies. He led courses and seminars on Gnosticism, the Gospel of John, the Letter to the Hebrews, and the biblical roots of Roman Catholic theology. He assisted in the translation and interpretation of The Nag Hammadi Library (1977) and also worked with Jewish, Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant scholars in revising the Revised Standard Version of the Bible. He taught at the Fairfield Preparatory School in Connecticut from 1954 to 1956, Weston School of Theology from 1966 to 1973, and Harvard Divinity School from 1973 to 1985, where he was the first tenured Charles Chauncy Stillman Professor of Roman Catholic Studies. He served as rector of the Ecumenical Institute for Theological Research in Tantur, Jerusalem, from 1979 to 1980, and was appointed Acting Dean of Harvard Divinity School in 1985.
MacRae was the founder and editor of the journal New Testament Abstracts, and worked on the editorial boards of many journals and monograph series, including Harvard Theological Review. He was also a member of many professional and scholarly societies, and was the first Roman Catholic to be appointed executive secretary of the Society of Biblical Literature (1973-1976). He was chair of the Harvard University Council/Committee on the Study of Religion (1977-1982), and of the Harvard Divinity School Committee on Advanced Degrees.


Organized into the following series:

Scope and Contents

The collection is divided into the following six series: Series I. Teaching materials: includes syllabi, student papers, examinations. Series II. Academic records: includes committee records and student advisee records. Series III. Professional activities: includes records of professional organizations which MacRae belonged to, and also documents his responsibilities as editor for a number of journals. Series IV. Translation projects: Nag Hammadi, Revised Standard Version Bible, etc. Series V. Lectures, addresses, essays, articles Series IV. Correspondence

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