Nathanael Burwash

Nathanael Burwash, Methodist minister, university chancellor (b at St Andrew's, Qué 25 July 1839; d at Toronto 30 Mar 1918). Theologically moderate, he trained a generation of Methodist ministers and undergraduates to pursue enlightened research in theology and the humanities.

Burwash, Nathanael

Nathanael Burwash, Methodist minister, university chancellor (b at St Andrew's, Qué 25 July 1839; d at Toronto 30 Mar 1918). Theologically moderate, he trained a generation of Methodist ministers and undergraduates to pursue enlightened research in theology and the humanities. Raised in Baltimore, Canada W, he was educated at Victoria College, graduated 1859, and was ordained 1864.

He began teaching science in 1866 at Victoria College. In 1871 he became professor and in 1873 dean of the newly created Faculty of Theology. He became chancellor (president) of Victoria in 1887 and oversaw the university's move from Cobourg to Toronto. He retired in 1913 but taught theology until his death.

While he was not an original scholar, his writings and lectures became the standard for generations of Methodist clergy and laity. Committed to the scientific method and free enquiry, he played a conciliatory role in the debate over EVOLUTION and HIGHER CRITICISM. He was also widely respected in the Canadian intellectual and religious community and was an active supporter of ecumenism. His published books include Wesley's Doctrinal Standards (1881); A Manual of Christian Theology on the Inductive Method (1900) and The History of Victoria College (1927).