Tuesday, January 25, 2011
* Colin Williams
Yale University Divinity School
It was not my privilege to have known Douglas Clyde Macintosh, nor do I claim any familiarity with his written work. My acquaintance with him, therefore, is through the reports of his former colleagues and students.
The high personal regard in which he was held is what is most striking. Clearly he was a man of conscience - - - and one who paid a price for his deep commitment to the cause of peace and justice. As one whose central theological insistence was that faith centers in experience and that its truth is subject to empirical verification, his own life became for his students a profound illustration of the truth he embraced.
His commitment to the cause of pacifism is well-known as is his struggle all the way to the Supreme Court to appeal the denial of U.S. citizenship on the grounds of his opposition to the First World War. As one reads the record of his life and of his long service to Yale as a teacher one is struck by the profound impression he made on his students. They sensed his integrity; but even more, they experienced his personal commitment to each of them as a friend concerned to enable them to grow into the truth.
If the true value of a teacher can be measured by the continuing influence in the life of his students, Douglas Clyde Macintosh can clearly be counted among the great teachers of the Divinity School.