Notice of death: David Kinsley, professor of religious studies


[img_inline align=”right” src=”” caption=”David Kinsley”]McMaster professor of religious studies David Kinsley died early this morning (Tuesday, April 25) of lung cancer.

Friend, colleague and golf partner Jim Johnson, professor emeritus of economics and former dean of social sciences, says he and others had planned a 61st birthday celebration for Kinsley today.

“I'll remember him as Mr. Positive,” says Johnson. “He has been positive throughout all of this, he was positive when I was dean (and David was chair of religious studies), and he was very positive on the golf course. He had a positive outlook on life.”

Johnson said Kinsley, who recently took early retirement, spent the last third of his academic career taking on the challenge of creating multidisciplinary courses that appealed to non majors. He introduced and refined seven new courses which address such topics as cults, goddesses, religion and the environment, health and healing and women and religion.

“His courses had great appeal to non majors and part-time students and, in fact, there were a number of part-time students who followed him from course to course,” says Johnson.

“The resulting courses have grown in size to the point where David is responsible for teaching a very large proportion of the students taking courses in religious studies. In fact, many students have switched to religious studies or doing minors in this discipline after taking his classes,” wrote those who nominated him for a President's Award.

University President Peter George and Johnson recently visited Kinsley to present him with the President's Award for Excellence in Instruction. The award recognizes Kinsley's contribution to education.
(See related story on the Daily News:
10 professors recognized for excellence)

A professor of religious studies at McMaster since 1969, Kinsley received his BA from Drew University (New Jersey) and his BD from Uniion Theological Seminary (New York City). He obtained his MA and PhD degrees from the University of Chicago in the history of religions, specializing in Hinduism.

Kinsley is survived by his wife, Cary. A private service is planned.

Donations to a scholarship fund in his memory may be sent to McMaster University, Gilmour Hall, Room 110, 1280 Main St. W., Hmailton ON L8S 4L8.