I loved this essay by Bret Colasacco, one of J. Z. Smith’s undergraduate students in years before he retired. I found it quintessentially “Smith” and those of us who have taken that elevator ride to his office, or sat in one of his amazing courses, will identify with every part of it. I continue to remember so much about “J.Z.” now that he is gone, just this week pulling out the recommendation he wrote for me for my first job teaching at the University of Notre Dame, and a couple of long, handwritten, letters, after his visit here with us at UNC Charlotte in 2008. At a lunch at our house on that visit he was talking about getting back and preparing for a class he was teaching on Plato’s Phaedo. He said he needed to re-read the text–in Greek of course!
“How I Failed Jonathan Z. Smith,” by Bret Colasacco,