Douglas Farrow is Professor of Theology and Ethics at McGill University in Montreal, where he works in theology, ethics, church/state and socio-political issues. Among his recent books are Ascension Theology (T&T Clark 2011), Desiring a Better Country: Forays in Political Theology (McGill-Queens 2015), and Theological Negotiations: Proposals in Soteriology and Anthropology (Baker Academic 2018). Professor Farrow has contributed to an international project on Christianity and Constitutionalism, and regularly engages in New York with the work of the Institute on Religion and Public Life and of Evangelicals and Catholics Together. In Canada he received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for his contributions to public discourse on social issues.
Bio last updated June 30th, 2021.
Articles by Douglas Farrow
An Error Plagued Affront to Liberty
By Douglas Farrow
January 19, 2021
In Convivium’s series exploring the line between freedom and COVID-19 responses, Douglas Farrow argues Quebec’s curfew and lockdown cut off our noses to spite our masked faces.
In this it has been aided and abetted by public health officers and others responsible for matters medical (including hospital administrators and union leaders) who, having failed to set their own houses in order, are willing to see the government confine the citizenry to their houses, orderly or otherwise, and to withdraw from them many ordinary services and procedures The Quebec government, by order in council, has locked down the province for a month and deprived its citizens of their constitutional rights, on the grounds of a “public emergency” that does not presently exist, under cover of a pandemic that has almost run its course He merely repeated the talking points of the bureaucrats who claim that this will rescue us from an impending disaster in our hospitals by slowing the winter wave of Wuhan virus transmissions
Ted Falk's Turning Point
May 15, 2018
McGill Professor Douglas Farrow finds a moment of clarity in a Conservative MP’s shout across the House that abortion is “not a right” in Canada. But whether that will lead to clearer understanding, or only further obfuscation, remains to be seen, Farrow says.
Irene Mathyssen, the NDP MP for London-Fanshawe, demanded to know when the government was going to get serious about upholding “safe and equal access to abortion [as] the right of all Canadians The PM then spoke approvingly: “We on this side of the House, along with the NDP, understand that women un...
Time to Bury the Bulls of Donation
January 20, 2017
Writer Douglas Farrow offers comment and critique on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Just here let me ask the members of the present commission a question: If the doctrine of discovery really is a theological doctrine, why, in recommendations 45.1 and 47, are they asking the Canadian state to issue a formal repudiation of it? Do they want the state to make its own theological or an...
The Acid of Autonomy
June 1, 2016
In an address to the Catholic Civil Rights League in Toronto at the beginning of June, McGill University theologian Douglas B. Farrow sets out a faithful response to suicide by secularism gone mad
When the Supreme Court gets round to balancing the new right to assisted suicide and euthanasia with the old right to freedom of conscience and religion, I expect to see it treating both as nothing more than instances of a more fundamental right to autonomy (which it will have to read into the Chart...
A Better Land for All
January 28, 2016
In his new book, Desiring a Better Country, the author argues a well-ordered State requires some commitment to faith, not its suppression.
But how are we to detach morality from religion, “the moral universe” from its Maker and sovereign? How do we acknowledge this Maker, or refuse to acknowledge Him, neutrally? Personhood, freedom, justice, moral order, the common good, the State as a limited good, God as the highest and necessary and...
What is Truth?
August 1, 2015
In his convocation address to a private religious college, the holder of the Kennedy Smith Chair in Catholic Studies at McGill urges graduates to return to core Christian truths to go forward in the world.
So, I commend to you both the writings and the example of Saint Anselm: his love of the truth, his prayers and spiritual discipline, his theological labours, his service to the poor, his concern for the welfare of a country not even his own, his courage and wisdom, his foresight and perseverance I l...
Remove Your Collar, Father
January 1, 2013
Does the Quebec Court of Appeal's Loyola decision abolish religious freedom, Douglas Farrow asks.
First: is it true—as the Ministry and now the Court of Appeal claim—that Loyola's determination to maintain, in this subject as in every other, the defining posture and pedagogy of a Catholic school renders impossible the two main objectives of the ERC, which are to cultivate "the recognition of oth...
Asking the God Question
September 1, 2012
Abandoning Canada's religious heritage, says Douglas Farrow, is the greatest threat to the country's existence.
Many of these take Augustine seriously as well, recognizing that common loves are decisive and that, among these, the love of God and the love of neighbour are two loves that a happy, hopeful and well-governed people cannot do without But anyone who thinks politics idolatrous when it refuses to allo...
Quebec's Religious State
March 1, 2012
If the Quebec government is compelling school kids to invent fantasy religions, is the endgame to have us all worshipping the state and nothing but the state?
Wouldn't it be much wiser, then, and a better expenditure of our tax dollars, to set our youth the task of seeking something of greater public utility? To wit, a new religion of the State? I say "new" because even the so-called secular State, if Quebec is anything to go by, does seem on closer inspe...