Humanities, in memorium

SFU community loses Donald Grayston, humanities and religious studies scholar, retired priest, and activist.

November 20, 2017

Donald Grayston, instructor in religious studies and humanities at SFU, was an inspirational intellectual, peace activist and community-builder. A retired Anglican parish priest, Grayston—who died on October 23, 2017— taught in SFU’s Department of Humanities from 1989 to 2004, serving for the last three years as the director of its Institute for the Humanities.

During his academic career, Grayston published on pilgrimage, marriage, the Holocaust and had a research specialization on the progressive Catholic monk, Thomas Merton, serving as a past president of both the Thomas Merton Society of Canada and the International Thomas Merton Society. In addition to his scholarly contributions, Grayston was director and co-director of the Pacific Jubilee Program in Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Direction , which he co-founded with Jack Gorsuch in 1988. Grayston was also a past chair of Building Bridges Vancouver, a public education program that ran from 2008-2015 with the mandate to be a peaceful, non-partisan, non-secretarian public forum for dialogue and information concerning the conflict in Israel-Palestine.

Grayston at a Vigil for Hiroshima Day, Robson Square. August 6th, 1984. (Image MSC160-1027_17 courtesy the Pacific Tribune Photograph Collection, a digital initiative of Simon Fraser University Library).

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