University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Norman Perrin Papers 1964-1977

© 2018 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Perrin, Norman. Papers




0.75 linear feet (2 boxes)


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


Norman Horace Perrin (1920-1976) associate professor of New Testament Studies at the University of Chicago. The collection contains notes, manuscripts and publications, university records, clippings, correspondence, journals, a recorded lecture, and personal items like photographs and books. Materials date between 1964 and 1977, with the bulk of the material dating between 1975 and 1976.

Information on Use


The collection is open for research.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Perrin, Norman. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

Dr. Norman Perrin (b. November 29th, 1920, d. November 25, 1976) was an associate professor of New Testament Studies at the University of Chicago from August 1964 until his death November 1976. Born in Wellingborough, England, Perrin served in the Royal Air Force from 1940-45 during World War II. After the war, he earned a Bachelor of Arts from Manchester University in 1949, a Bachelor of Divinity (1952) and Masters of Theology (1955) from London University, and a Doctoral of Theology from Göttingen University in 1959.

Prior to teaching at the University of Chicago, Perrin taught at the Candler School of Theology in Emory University, Atlanta Georgia from 1959-1964. Perrin’s notable contributions were his work on Christ miracle stories, and translated the work of his mentor, Joachim Jeremias, from German into English.

Perrin was an active scholar and member of the church, especially in the later years of his life. Prior to moving to the United States, he held various pastorate positions in the Baptist Church of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Perrin became a US citizen in September 1967. Perrin would become involved in many publications and groups dedicated to Biblical and Religious study, and would become president of the Society of Biblical Literature in 1973. Included within the collection is an audio cassette recording Perrin’s presidential address to the joint American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature in 1973.

Perrin married Rosemary (nee. Watson) after completion of his first Bachelors in 1952. In October 1968, they divorced. He would later marry Nancy Perrin in 1976 and adopt her two daughters.

Dr. Perrin died at the age of 55.

Scope Note

The Norman Perrin papers are organized into 3 series: Series I: Personal and Biographical; Series II: Teaching; and Series III: Writings.

Series I, Personal and Biographical, contains personal items like photographs and a chess book; professional correspondences from publishers and colleagues; university biographical information from Perrin’s hiring into the University of Chicago to a memorial pamphlet for his death; legal letters concerning the affairs of his office and belongings after his death; clippings from university and local news reporting on his publication history and death; multiple drafts of an obituary; and a newspaper interview.

Series II, Teaching, contains lecture drafts for his autumn 1975 seminar, joint taught with Dr. David Tracy; a photocopy of handwritten lecture notes; and a book list for an MA student.

Series III, Writings, contains journals that Perrin submitted to, did book reviews for, or otherwise contributed to; essay and book drafts; a translation of his mentors lecture on “The Sermon on the Mount;” a book review list; an audio cassette containing Perrin’s Presidential Address at the 1973 joint AAR/SBL meeting; and speech manuscripts with handwritten annotations.

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Subject Headings


Series I: Personal and Biographical

Personal correspondence from Perrin to colleagues; a collection of personal items including photographs, negatives, miscellaneous coupons and bank statements, and a chess book; and university records concerning Perrin’s appointment, publishing, awards, death and subsequent legal affairs.

Box 1   Folder 1

Photographs and notes from Perrin’s office, undated

Box 1   Folder 2

Correspondence, 1973-1974

Box 1   Folder 3

University of Chicago press releases about Perrin, 1964-1972

Box 1   Folder 4

Articles, correspondence and announcements relating to Perrin’s death an memorial

Box 1   Folder 5

News articles about Perrin, circa 1975

Series II: Teaching

Lectures from autumn 1975 joint seminar with Professor David Tracy, copy of notes from seminar in October 1975, and book list for MA student, undated

Box 1   Folder 6-9

Material for Norman Perrin- David Tracy seminar, 1975

Box 1   Folder 10

“Bibliography for the A.H. Examination in Biblical Theology,” undated

Series III: Writings

Officially published writings in journals, essay and speech drafts, and audio cassette tape recording a speech he gave for American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature (Presidential Address 1973).

Box 1   Folder 11

The Journal of Religion, vol. 47, no 4, Oct. 1967, contains Perrin’s “The Parables of Jesus As Parables, As Metaphors, and As Aesthetic Objects: A Review Article,” 1967.

Box 1   Folder 12

Union Seminary Quarterly Review, vol. XXIII no 4, summer 1968, contains Perrin’s “The Creative Use of the Son of Man Traditions by Mark,” 1968.

Box 1   Folder 13

Theology Digest, vol. 23, no 2, (summer 1975), contains Perrin’s “Eschatology and Hermeneutics,” 1975.

Box 1   Folder 14

Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology, (April 1976), contains Perrin’s “The Interpretation of the Gospel of Mark,” 1976.

Box 1   Folder 15

Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology, (April 1965), contains Perrin’s book review on Jesus and the Kingdom: The Eschatology of Biblical Realism (Ladd, George Eldon, author), 1965.

Box 1   Folder 16

Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology, (October 1967), contains Perrin’s book review on The Parables: Their Literary and Existential Dimension (Via, Dan Otto Jr., author), 1967.

Box 1   Folder 17

The Church Quarterly, vol.3, no 2, (Jan. 1971), contains Perrin’s book review on The Christology of Early Jewish Christianity (Longnecker, Richard N., author), 1971.

Box 2   Folder 1

Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology, (April 1972), contains Perrin’s book review on Trajectories Through Early Christianity (Robinson, James M. and Helmet Koester, editors), 1972.

Box 2   Folder 2

The Sermon on the Mount, publication of lecture given by Joachim Jeremias, translated by Perrin, 1961.

Box 2   Folder 3

The Kingdom of God in the Teaching of Jesus, uncorrected copy of Perrin’s book, 1963.

Box 2   Folder 4

New Testament Abstracts, publication with Perrin credited in biography section, 1967.

Box 2   Folder 5

“Fortress Press Academic Publications Review List,” 1975.

Box 2   Folder 6

Cassette tape, “SBL Presidential Address,” 1973.

Box 2   Folder 7

Typed Manuscript of “The Resurrection Narratives: A Lecture Prepared for Delivery at a workshop in Denver, Colorado, March 30-April 1, 1976,” 1976.

Box 2   Folder 8

Typed Manuscript with Handwritten Edits of “The Parable of the Prodigal Son as a Parable of Jesus (A Paper Prepared for the AAR/SBL Regional Meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, March 12, 1976),” ca. 1976.

Box 2   Folder 9

Typed Manuscript with Handwritten Edits of “The Symbolic Language of the New Testament,” undated

Box 2   Folder 10

Typed Manuscript of “The Symbolic Language of the New Testament,” undated

Box 2   Folder 11

Typed Manuscript of “Informal Reflections on Recent Study of the Christology of the New Testament,” manuscript, undated