David Bowen was particularly interested in the relationship between Christianity and other religions both on an academic and on a practical level. He was very much involved in the efforts to mediate between the various religions at a difficult time in the history of Bradford. In 1981 he edited the volume Hinduism in England, which was published by Bradford College, and also contributed a chapter in it to ’The Hindu Community in Bradford‘. In 1985 he gained the degree of PhD (Leeds) for his thesis on ‘The Sathya Sai Baba Hindu Community in Bradford’ which subsequently appeared in book form in 1988. During the same year David Bowen acted as official commentator on the first Hindu service to be televised in Britain. In April 1999 a poem by him was published in Coracle, the official publication of the Iona Community (Scotland), bearing the title, ‘Who's Jesus Anyway?’. He wrote a second version of it entitled ‘Gentle Jesus, the Controversialist’ which appeared in a Welsh translation by G. L. Jones as ‘Iesu Tirion, Y Profociwr’ in the interdenominational magazine, Cristion, in July/August 2000, but without any explanation of the background. Unfortunately, David Bowen died of cancer 15 May 2000, a few weeks before the translation appeared.
His funeral on May 22, 2000, at Little Lane Church, Bradford , reflected in an impressive manner his lifelong commitment to Christian tolerance. Representatives of the Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu and Sikh communities all took part. The Blessing was pronounced in Welsh by the Reverend Dewi Lloyd Lewis , Cardiff, who had been a fellow student of David 's in Brecon . His remains were cremated in Bradford on the day of his funeral. In his obituary which appeared in the Evening Post on the 15 July and in the Methodist Recorder and Y Tyst on the 22 July the Reverend Ivor Thomas Rees , Swansea, described David Bowen as a ‘great Christian’ and ‘a peace-loving mediator’. David (or Dave as he liked to be called) was a most unassuming person, a convinced Christian who sought throughout his life to walk humbly with his God.
G. Len Jones
Published date: 2009