THOMAS WILLIAM HARPUR
Ontario & Oriel 1951 (14 April 1929 – 2 January 2017)
Thomas was born in Toronto, Canada in 1929 to an evangelical family. He was an author, broadcaster, columnist and theologian, and graduated from Oxford in 1954. Afterwards he studied theology and was a tutor in Greek at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto. Thomas also became a priest at St Margaret in-the-Pines Anglican Church in Scarborough, 1957, for seven years and then left to teach Theology at Toronto University. In 1971, he became the religion editor at the Toronto Star and undertook extensive travelling to 20 countries. During this time he met prominent religious figures Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama. He was also the first journalist to do a 161km trek from Nazareth to Bethlehem despite the risks of floods and guerrilla terrorists. He is known for advocating the Christ myth theory – the idea that Jesus did not historically exist but is an allegorical character to help people live better lives. Thomas authored a number of books including For Christ’s Sake (1993) and The Pagan Christ (2004). Furthermore, he had his own radio show, Harpur’s Heaven and Hell and wrote articles for the Postmedia network and a column for the Sun Media.