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A Word from the Principal on All Saints’ Day

I wish take a moment to acknowledge the pain of the world in which we live and work as a community of faith and learning. As faculty, staff, and students of Knox College, we grieve the loss of the eleven members of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh who were killed last Saturday in a violent act of anti-Semitic rage and hatred.

This was a crime against the Jewish people, a crime against humanity, and a crime against all people of faith. As a Christian theological seminary in the Reformed tradition, we should feel this pain acutely. As followers of Jesus – a Jew – our faith is built upon the foundation of the Jewish people. The Reformed tradition, with its emphasis on God’s covenant, affirms the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament as God’s revelation. The great question in the early church was not whether Jews are included, but whether non-Jews could become followers of Jesus the Messiah. This is the mystery of the gospel which Paul believed had been entrusted to him: all are loved by God and all are included.

As Principal, I wish to state clearly and unequivocally that Knox College stands against anti-Semitism in any form. Let us pray for and with our Jewish friends, and for all people of faith who suffer this day. And let us stand together in solidarity with all those who seek to make shalom in God’s world.

John A. Vissers

Principal and Professor of Historical Theology

Knox College, Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto