Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Obituary: Michael Goodich

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Obituary: Michael Goodich

Article excerpt

Michael Goodich (1944-2006) was an exceptionally productive and personable medieval historian. Although American-born and educated (BA, City College of New York; MA, University of Pennsylvania; PhD, Columbia University), Goodich spent almost his entire academic career at the University of Haifa in Israel, where he rose through the ranks as professor, departmental chair, and dean. Geography, however, by no means circumscribed his horizons, for Michael Goodich belonged to the world of medieval scholarship. He loved to travel and frequently attended international conferences abroad, where he invariably presented a paper that subsequently would be published. He also held visiting professorships at several well-known American, British, and Canadian universities. His resident scholarship at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota, is evidence, if it were needed, of his abiding passion for medieval manuscripts. Printed sources, for Goodich, were never the end of the matter.

Medieval sanctity was central to the intellectual interests of this Jewish American scholar, who was a member of the American Catholic Historical Association from 1997 to 2003. He wrote three books on the lives of the saints and the medieval ideal of sainthood, and indeed his last, posthumous publication was Miracles and Wonders: The Development of the Concept of Miracle, 1150-1350 (Aldershot, UK:Ashgate, 2007).This book can rightly be seen as the culmination of his wife Marian and Michael's scholarly life; yet it does not do justice to the impressive range of his output, because Michael Goodich also published studies of medieval homosexuality, the medieval life cycle, medieval minorities, and "lesser folk. …

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