The Annandale Liberal Arts Division welcomed a new associate dean, Dr. Hemchand Gossai, who came on board June 10. He is an internationally known biblical scholar who will also serve as a professor of Hebrew Studies.
“I am committed to educating students beyond the parameters of a particular discipline, but rather educating them to be citizens of the world who are able to engage with civic consciousness,” Gossai said.
Prior to his arrival at NOVA, Gossai was Professor of Religious Studies at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, where he established and directed the Center for Religious Studies. Before that, he served as head of the Department of Religion at Muhlenberg College, a private liberal arts institution in Allentown, Pa.
Gossai says he emphasized excellence and collegiality in his previous positions and he is the recipient of three Professor of the Year awards for his teaching.
“I meet students where they are, and like the pedagogue of ancient times, I lead them to where they might be,” he said.
Born in Guyana, South America, he earned a bachelor’s degree at Concordia College, a private liberal arts college in Moorhead, Minn., as a triple major in English, Spanish and literature. Gossai was awarded a Master of Divinity from the Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., and holds a doctorate in biblical criticism and Hebrew from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.
Gossai is specialist in the Abrahamic narratives and the Hebrew prophets, and he is a prolific writer. He is the author, editor or major contributor to 11 books on various topics about the Hebrew Bible and the writer of two autobiographical works. Gossai is also the series editor for the scholarly series Studies in Biblical Literature, with over 140 volumes, published by Peter Lang Publishers, Bern, Switzerland.
Among his many books are “Social Critique by Israel’s Eighth-Century Prophets: Justice and Righteousness in Context,” “Power and Marginality in the Abraham Narrative” and “Barrenness and Blessing: Abraham, Sarah and the Journey of Faith.” His well-received memoirs are titled “A Requiem for Neil” about his brother and “River Crossings: Memories of a Journey” based on promises he made to his mother.
Gossai’s most recent book was published two weeks ago. “The Hebrew Prophets After the Shaoh: A Mandate for Change” has already been called “insightful” and “sharp and thoughtful.”