Barrie Wilson ’63 Retires from York University, Toronto

barrie_wilson_001bBarrie Wilson, GTS ’63, Professor, Religious Studies, York University, Toronto, has retired. A specialist in Early Christianity, his two major works were How Jesus Became Christian (2008) and The Lost Gospel (2014). Wilson was a student at The General Theological Seminary 1962-1963 while completing his M.A. at Columbia University and remembers fondly theological studies with Dr. Norman Pittenger and Hebrew with Dr. Richard Corney. A year later he went on to do theological studies at the Anglican Church’s Trinity College, Toronto, graduating with an S.T.B. and, later, a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. Surprisingly, his path crossed again with that of Dr. Pittenger who filled in weekly for the Rev. Eugene Fairweather while the latter was on sabbatical from Trinity’s Faculty of Divinity, a double dose of process theology.

For four years Barrie taught at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, both in the Faculty of Arts as well as in the Jesuit Seminary. There he reconnected with another GTS faculty member, the Rev. Richard Tombaugh, who had taught New Testament and who had become the priest-in-charge of a lively, experimental team-ministry program at Trinity Parish in the Central West End of St. Louis. In 1974 Barrie returned to Toronto to teach at a new university, York University, now Canada’s third largest academic institution, with over 65,000 students. Barrie has now retired as Professor, Early Christianity, in the Program in Religion.

A highlight of his teaching career was taking 29 students from the university to Israel and the Sinai in 2001 to visit the main Christian archeological sites. Barrie has also participated in many documentaries that relate to Early Christianity, and his travels have frequently taken him to Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Malta.