The David Lochhead Institute

for Religion, Technology
and Culture Society

Purpose of IRTC
To promote:

Reflection on religious, philosophical and ethical issues pertaining to the interaction between information technologies and cultures

Use of information technologies to empower religious and cultural minorities and to foster social justice.

To provide:

Resources on matters concerning technology and its use

Goals of IRTC

Sponsor conferences on religious, philosophical and ethical dimensions of technology and culture

Provide consultation on issues of religion, technology and culture

Publish an electronic journal and newsletter devoted to religious, philosophical and ethical reflection on technology and culture

IRTC Directors

John A. (Ian) MacKenzie
B.A., L.Th., B.D., S.T.M., D. D.; President

Keith Knight; Vice-President

Kenneth Bedell
B.A., M.Div., M.A., M.Th., Ph.D.; Director

D. Gordon Laird
B.Com., B.D., C.A.; Secretary-Treasurer

David Lochhead was born in 1936 in Montreal, where he attended McGill University. En route to his degrees in science, theology and philosophy of religion, he also studied at Union College, and in Oxford and Chicago.

Ordained in 1962, he served two United Church parishes in Quebec and Ontario. At an unusually early stage in his career, David was named to that role of "teacher of the church" which he never relinquished, holding posts at St.Paul's College, Waterloo, Coughlan College, St. John's, Newfoundland, and from 1978 at Vancouver School of Theology. These were the institutions that served as his base; the world of religious thought and life was his parish. David was no "ivory-tower" academic. He thought with and for the Church. To peruse his publications is to identify issues that were central in Canadian Christian life during the more than thirty years of his professional ministry. In the `70's he wrote two small and highly influential books: The Liberation of the Bible. called us to free Scripture from the spiritual strait-jackets into which we had placed it; while The Lordship of Jesus challenged liberal Canadian churches to wrestle seriously with the meaning of their Christology.

David wore his Reformed heritage proudly, yet his was never a parochial identity. By the mid-80's, partnering with the American theologian John Cobb he was in the forefront of Buddhist- Christian encounter,. Out of this experience came his important 1988 work, The Dialogical Imperative. When the First Nation peoples of the north-west coast invited VST to partner with them in finding an innovative way to prepare leadership for Christian ministry in their communities, David gave energetic and imaginative support on the team which created VST's Native Minstries Degree Programme.

David also thought ahead of the Church. Most of us were probably bemused when David first began to explore the new world of cybernetics. His revolutionary thinking about Theology in a Digital World, and the new possibilities of human community that would emerge with the World-Wide Web finally received overdue international recognition in 1998, when he was made the recipient of a prestigious Lilly Foundation Grant, as a Faculty Fellow. Tragically, the work this award was to sponsor was cut dramatically short just a year later, when David suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, and died three days short of his 63rd birthday.