Professor John Starr (1960-2018)
A physician and honorary Professor of Health and Ageing at the University of Edinburgh who wrote his dissertation on the Aramaic of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
PhD alumnus Professor John Starr died suddenly, December 2018, aged 58. He was well known and is sadly missed.
By the time he completed a PhD at New College in 2013, he was already an established researcher and physician, specialising in geriatric medicine and dementia care.
On 4 January 2019, Professor Timothy Lim, John’s former PhD supervisor, said on social media:
“Today, I attended the funeral of one of my former doctoral students. John Starr was no ordinary student. He wrote a PhD dissertation with me on the Aramaic of the Dead Sea Scrolls, but this was just one of his many accomplishments. He was an honorary professor of health and ageing, a consultant physician, and director or co-director of several centres of dementia, Alzheimer’s and cognitive ageing and epidemiology. He was also a lay reader of the Scottish Episcopalian Church. His untimely death comes as a shock and it has deprived the academy of a polymath and brilliant colleague.”
A detailed tribute can be found on the British Geriatrics Society website (see below).
More recently, in a posthumous review in Palestine Exploration Quarterly, A. G. Daniels wrote of John’s book, ‘Classifying the Aramaic texts from Qumran: A statistical analysis of linguistic features’:
“John Starr, in what began as his Edinburgh PhD thesis supervised by Professors Timothy Lim and April McMahon, has accomplished what perhaps he alone is qualified to do: apply advanced statistical methods to classify a dead language such as Qumran Aramaic (QA). As Professor of Health and Aging at the same university, Starr possesses a level of statistical expertise, honed by formal training and decades of research, unrivalled by scholars of Second Temple Judaism, ancillary disciples and requisite languages.”
A. G. Daniels review of
‘Classifying the Aramaic texts from Qumran: A statistical analysis of linguistic features,’ John Starr, Library of Second Temple Studies 89 [London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2017], in Palestine Exploration Quarterly, Volume 151, 2019 - Issue 2. Published Online: 23 Apr 2019