- UCA Acc: 09-59, ID# 3271
- 1950 - 2004
The collection contains records pertaining to – and generated by – Ridd’s activities as a social activist, a United Church minister in Manitoba and an academic (first as a student and later as a professor) at United College, Drew University and the University of Winnipeg. The records in this collection illuminate Ridd’s life from the beginning of his post-secondary education (the early 1950s) through to his death (2003). These records take on a number of physical forms, most frequently including newspaper clippings, magazine and journal articles, photocopied excerpts from books, briefs and reports, correspondence, sermons, course lecture outlines and handouts and class notes and assignments.
Relating to Ridd’ activities as an academic, the collection contains records from courses Ridd took as a student of English and Theology in Manitoba in the 1950s, as well as Ridd’s years spent as a doctoral candidate at Drew University. The collection also contains a large number of records originating from or utilized in the numerous Religious Studies courses taught by Ridd as a professor at United College and the University of Winnipeg. Records pertaining to Ridd’s research interests – various 19th and 20th century authors, the history of “western” consciousness and thought, religion and ethics – as well as records pertaining to the purpose and function of a university are found in the collection.
Relating to Ridd’s activities as a United Church adherent and minister, the collection contains records generated by Ridd as a minister at Emerson – Dominion City pastoral charge in Manitoba in the late 1950s and early 1960s as well as at Eastside Terrace Methodist Church in Paterson, New Jersey in the mid-1960s. Ridd’s sermons and the historical development of the United Church’s presence in Emerson – Dominion City charge are particularly prominent. A large number of documents generated by Ridd’s presence on numerous United Church committees (meeting in Winnipeg) throughout his adult life are also present in the collection. These records focus particularly on the relationship of the church to social, cultural and civic issues at the local, national and international level.
Relating to Ridd’s activities as a social justice activist, the collection contains a very large group of records collected or generated by Ridd as he monitored – and attempted to intervene in – various issues. The following areas are most numerously represented in the collection: human rights violations in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala; American foreign policy and perceived imperialist tendencies (especially in Central America and the Gulf); media critiques and propaganda; the cost of living in Winnipeg (including housing costs and taxation); Canadian federal and provincial government spending and budgets; Canadian social assistance (including the “safety net” of pension, healthcare and Child and Family Services) and unemployment in Canada; the Free Trade Agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement; energy developments (especially nuclear energy) and the state of the environment; abortion, feminism and homosexuality in Christian perspectives; the Canadian economy and economic injustice; peace and conflict (particularly the Middle East); the Winnipeg Jets and the Thin Ice coalition; education (including teaching liberal arts, the purpose of education and religious education in schools); treatment of First Nations groups in Canada and the role of the Church in civic and social issues.
The majority of the records in this collection were not originated by Ridd. Rather, the collection is comprised largely of documents collected by Ridd. These documents – frequently – have been annotated or interacted with by Ridd and, in many cases, indicate the nature of Ridd’s interests and opinions. Documents in the collection originated by Ridd frequently draw on or make reference to the material contained in his collected records. Thus each series in the collection contains three types of indications of Ridd’s concerns: 1) records collected from various sources by Ridd, 2) Ridd’s annotations or markings on the collected records, and 3) documents originated by Ridd himself.
A stress on interrelationship is also apparent in the collection. Ridd’s work in one area of his life frequently appears to have overlapped with his interests in another area. As a result, identical records sometimes appear at multiple locations within the collection (a magazine article pertaining to a certain social issue could, for example, also be found as an inspiration for a sermon or as a class handout for a university course).
John Carl Ridd