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Remembering C. Douglas Jay, Principal Emeritus of Emmanuel College

Jan. 04, 2021

It is with profound sadness that Victoria University shares the news of the passing of C. Douglas Jay Vic 4T6, Emm 5T0, Hon. 9T9 on January 1, 2021. Jay was the principal of Emmanuel College from 1981 to 1990. He was in his 96th year.

Jay was the founding director of the Toronto School of Theology in 1970 and an influential pioneer in interreligious dialogue. Notably, he served as secretary of the 1966 Commission on World Mission and Evangelism of the United Church of Canada and was the principal author of the policy that shaped the denomination’s approach to relations with other faiths. “Both achievements drew upon what past principal and professor emeritus Roger Hutchinson Emm 7T5, Hon. 0T7 described as Jay’s ‘ability to get beyond the fact of diversity and to create the conditions for meaningful encounters and co-operative action.’ Emmanuel College’s diverse programs today are the legacy of the foundational work of Douglas Jay. We remember him fondly,” says Michelle Voss Roberts, principal of Emmanuel College.

Quoted in the 2013 Emmanuel College Newsletter, Jay said, “The contemporary challenge is for Christians . . . to help each other address the substantive issues of the universal gospel with its implications for love, justice and peace, while respecting the pluralism of the varied contexts in which it is interpreted and incarnated. In a pluralistic age, the concept of Christianizing the social order inevitably sounds imperialistic. . . . We should adopt a missiology which emphasizes the goal of abundant life for all, without claiming all for Christianity or the church.”

A Member of the Order of Canada, Jay was also minister emeritus of Christ First United Church in Mississauga.

Read his obituaries here and here

If you would like to make a gift in memory of C. Doulas Jay, please visit our Giving page and select "Other." Here you can specify that you wish to support the C. Douglas Jay and Ruth Jay Award in Theology.  

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