The April 2019 issue of Currents in Theology and Mission is a Festschrift for the Rev. Dr. Walter F. Taylor, Jr., Ernest W. and Edith S. Ogram Professor Emeritus of New Testament Studies at Trinity Lutheran Seminary. Drawn from the German words for “celebration” and for “writing,” a Festschrift is an academic tradition in which a distinguished scholar is honored with a collection of essays written by colleagues and former students.
A Festschrift is a two-directional piece of writing. At one level, a Festschrift “honors up.” It celebrates the scholarship of the person being honored. At another level, a Festschrift “teaches forward.” In celebrating the scholarship of the honoree, the contributing authors draw on what they have learned from their colleague or mentor and continue the legacy in their own scholarly work. Graduate students know that one way to get a good sense of someone’s influence in the field is to look at their Festschrift.
Wally’s New Testament colleague at Trinity, the Rev. Dr. Mark Allan Powell, introduces the Festschrift with these words: “Walter Frederick Taylor Jr. came to Trinity Lutheran Seminary in July of 1981 to serve a little more than thirty-five years as a professor of New Testament studies. He retired at the end of 2016, having impacted the lives of more than 2,000 students.” Now that’s a legacy!
You can read the Festschrift online at http://www.currentsjournal.org/index.php/currents