North American Scholar

TAYLOR, John Hammond

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1908-04-14
  • Born City: Victoria
  • Born State/Country: BC
  • Parents: William & Fanny O'Keefe T.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1980-04-06
  • Death City: Spokane
  • Death State/Country: WA
  • Education:

    Entered Society of Jesus, Los Gatos, CA, 1927; A.B. Gonzaga U., 1933; M.A., 1934; ordained priest, 1940; S.T.L. Alma Coll. (CA), 1941; ascetical studies Manresa Hall (Port Townsend, WA), 1941-2; Ph.D. St. Louis U., 1948; study at ASCSA, 1952; study at Pontifico Istituto Biblico (Rome), 1952-3.

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. class. Gonzaga prep. sch. (Spokane, WA), 1934-7; instr. to prof, class. St. Francis Xavier Novitiate Gonzaga U. (Sheridan, OR), 1945-61; dean coll. arts & sci. Gonzaga U. (Spokane, WA), 1961-74; acad. vice pres., 1961-4; chair dept., 1961-5; trustee, 1961-9; sec. University Corporation, 1968-80; pres. CAPS, 1955-6, 1963-4.

  • Dissertation:

    "Sancti Aurelii Augustini De genesi ad litteram liber duodecimus: with introduction, translation, and commentary" (St. Louis, 1948).

  • Publications:

    "St. Cyprian and the Reconciliation of Apostates," ThS 3 (1941) 27-46; "The Meaning of Spiritus in St. Augustine's De Genesi, XII," MS 26 (1948-9) 211-8; "The Text of Augustine's De Genesi ad Litteram,'" Speculum 25 (1950) 211-8; "Translation: Shakespeare, Sonnet 29," CB 27 (1950) 7; "The Art of Translation," CJ 47 (1951-2) 35-40; "Remus Infractus," CB 28 (1952) 25-6; "Political Motives in Cicero's Defense of Archias," AJP 73 (1952) 62-70; "With Vergil at Cumae," CB 29 (1953) 37-40; "Augustine, Conf. IX.10, 24," AJP 79 (1958) 66-70; "The Value of the Classics," 7X5 (1959) 519; Review: Michel Ruch, L'Hortensius de Cice'ron, AJP 81 (1960) 94-9; "St. Augustine and the Hortensius of Cicero," SPh 60 (1963) 487-98; translations from De Genesi ad Litteram in V. J. Bourke, The Essential Augustine (Indianapolis, 1964) 93-7; translations from De Genesi ad Litteram in J. A. Mourant, Introduction to the Philosophy of Saint Augustine (University Park, PA, 1964); "Augustinianism," in W. Brugger & K. Baker, Philosophical Dictionary (Spokane, 1972), 25-7; "Epicureanism," ibid., 49-52; "Virtue and Wealth according to Socrates," CB 49 (1972-3) 49-52; The Literal Meaning of Genesis by St. Augustine 2 vols. (New York, 1982).

  • Notes:

    As a scholar, Father Taylor will be remembered for his contribution to studies in St. Augustine; as a professor of classical languages he helped train several generations of classicists, some of whom have taken their place in the profession; as an educator and administrator he was a major influence on Gonzaga University in his care for the humanistic goals of the liberal arts tradition. As scholar, professor, and administrator, he insisted on the highest standards with an inflexibility that commanded respect, but did not always suggest the warmth of his personality beneath a patrician manner and stoic composure.During his Sheridan appointment he was instrumental in assembling a classical library of great distinction which was later transferred to the Foley Library at Gonzaga University, where it is maintained and enriched through an endowment fund established by his friends as a memorial to him. Although deeply involved in administration at Gonzaga, he continued to do some teaching in the Department of Classical Languages which, as dean, he restored to full strength. As dean he was an eloquent spokesman for requirements in the humanities and a rigorous enforcer of university policies in these matters. His imperturbability before the winds of change in the late 1960s and early 1970s was later to be admired. His 60th birthday was observed by his friends in the Classical Association of the Pacific Northwest with a program and a Festschrift, and among other celebrations his retirement in 1974 was marked by a university lecture given by his old mentor, Vernon Bourke. After a visit to sites in north Africa associated with St. Augustine, he returned to his office at Gonzaga and did tutorial work for his department while devoting his time chiefly to his translation of De Genesi ad Litteram and its commentary. He had completed the text of both and was working on the indexes when he suffered a stroke from the effects of which he died.

  • Sources:

    NW Jesuit (May 1980) 15; WhWh 1976-7:3102.

  • Author: Fredric W. Schlatter, S.J.