July 15, 2010
Tom Faulkner PhD, July 24, 1945 – July 13, 2010
Tom Faulkner PhD
July 24, 1945 – July 13, 2010
Passed away peacefully at the Riverview Health Centre in the arms of his anam cara, Lesley, and with his best friend, Griff, by his side.
His was what the philosophers describe as that most blessed of all things, “a good death”.
Tom was predeceased by his parents Charles and Mae Faulkner and by his former wife Patricia Sinclair-Faulkner in 2002. He is survived by his children: Matthew (Jen) and their children Aaron and Joshua, and by his daughter Kate. Tom is also remembered by his brothers Bill (Martha) and John (Mary Anne), and by the Sinclair family: Deborah (David), Scott (Rosalynd), and Kathryn (Roger), and by numerous nieces and nephews.
Tom was a life long scholar of the mystery which is religion. He began his teaching career at Dalhousie University in 1975, and taught in the Department of Religion until 2004, and served as the Chair of the Department.
Dr. Faulkner was President of St. Andrew’s and St. Stephen’s Colleges from 2004 to 2006.
In July of 2007, Tom joined the Faculty of Theology of The University of Winnipeg, where he assumed the position of Associate Professor of Church and Society.
It was here at the University of Winnipeg that Tom opened an entirely new dimension to an already distinguished career.
Throughout his life an acknowledged leader in the scholarship of world religions, Tom now began an equally distinguished, though sadly brief career, as a practitioner in the dialogue among world religions, and in the intersection between politics and religion.
It was in this capacity that he was appointed the Inaugural Director of the Ridd Institute for Religion and Global Policy, situated in the Global College of The University of Winnipeg.
Among his extraordinary accomplishments in the past three years has been his 2008 secondment to the European Humanities University, a Byelorussian university in exile, located in Vilnius, Lithuania. Here he lectured in his primary field of expertise, and provided direct insight into the workings of academic freedom to scholars who have been so long denied that most essential commodity.
During that same year, he represented the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Conference on Religion and Peace at the Dublin Treaty Conference on Cluster Munitions.
In January 2009, he was invited by the Pakistani Navy to lecture their officer corps. on Islamic combat ethics.
In February of the same year, he delivered the inaugural Bedford-United College Lecture at The University of Winnipeg, Head, Heart and Hand: The Crowe Case as Tragedy.
In the spring of 2009, Tom assumed the position of Secretary to the Manitoba Interfaith Council, and undertook an interfaith planning exercise of epic dimensions – including a public lecture – The Great Winnipeg Flood of 2013. The creatively developed scenario and accompanying action plans serve as a model for Interreligious collaboration during public disasters.
Engaged literally until the moment of his passing, Tom was an active participant in the planning and execution of the 2010 World Religions Summit, convened at The University of Winnipeg in June of this year.
His efforts included the preparation of a tour of Winnipeg religious communities for international visitors, and planning support for a conference of young adults as an innovative element of the Summit.
Tom’s hospitality was legendary, and he played host to a visiting Faculty member from Nanjing Union Theological Seminary, the Rev. Prof. Wen-en Lin, between September of 2009 and May of 2010.
Tom was an avid guitarist, banjo player, and a member of several choirs. He loved his students – and they loved him - and he was a strong advocate for social justice in the world, serving the United Church of Canada with faithfulness. He will be lovingly remembered for his intense glare, his passion for the world of academia, his brilliant mind, and his Tilley attire!
His family express their deepest appreciation to the staff at Riverview Hospital for their compassionate and gracious care.
A celebration of Tom’s life will be held on Saturday, July 17 at 4p.m. at Augustine United Church, 444 River Avenue.
Posted by jmarion at July 15, 2010 4:25 PM
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