Friday, 16 June 2017

Video Now Available: Philosophy, Truth, and the Wisdom of Love

2017 Convocation Address by Dr. Lambert Zuidervaart, Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, ICS

• Watch the Video on Youtube


Are we now in a "post-truth" era, as the Oxford Dictionaries seemed to suggest when choosing that phrase as the International Word of the Year in 2016? Are appeals to emotion and personal opinions really replacing factual truth? Has truth become irrelevant? Tracing our Western conception of truth to its pre-Socratic origin as a godlike search for that which is uncreated and indestructible, Lambert says a philosophy in line with the Jewish and Christian wisdom traditions would see truth instead as a way of life, as something we do rather than merely assert.

The importance of this endeavour is readily apparent in these times of "alternative facts" and "fake news". A conception of truth rooted in what is good rather than mere theoretical immutability would help us work together to live in the truth, indeed in faithfulness, rather than taking uncertainty as our cue to discard the possibility of truth altogether. But what then of our longtime servant "factual truth"? In this inspiring and intriguing address, Lambert displays the biblical underpinnings for his ongoing work on a new theory of factual truth, within a broader conception of truth that we may summarise as the call to love God above all, and our neighbours as ourselves.



Truth in Husserl, Heidegger, and the Frankfurt School

ICS is happy to announce the publication of another book by Professor Emeritus Lambert Zuidervaart, titled Truth in Husserl, Heidegger, and the Frankfurt School: Critical Retrieval. Published by the MIT Press, the book is dedicated to Merold Westphal, a leading Christian scholar in continental philosophy, and to the memory of Johan van der Hoeven, Lambert’s PhD supervisor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In this new book, Dr. Zuidervaart takes up the most important writings and authors in recent German philosophy in order to propose a new and comprehensive idea of truth. The book has received strong endorsements from scholars in the field. They say it “adroitly moves beyond the sterile isolation” between continental and analytic philosophy (Daniel Dahlstrom) and “takes important steps toward … a more comprehensive conception, in which truth, intersecting with goodness, calls for societal transformation” (Maeve Cooke). They also describe the book as “meticulously researched and elegantly written” (James Gordon Finlayson) and as a “timely must-read for anyone interested in truth” (Barbara Fultner). For more details about this path-breaking book, be sure to visit the publisher’s website.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Art, Education, and Cultural Renewal

Professor Emeritus Lambert Zuidervaart has published a new collection of essays titled Art, Education, and Cultural Renewal: Essays in Reformational Philosophy (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2017). The book is a companion volume to Religion, Truth, and Social Transformation, published last spring and featured in a symposium on ICS’s Ground Motive blog. In the new book, which is dedicated to Calvin Seerveld, Lambert presents a socially engaged philosophy of the arts and higher education, in interaction with leading Kuyperian thinkers such as Seerveld and Nicholas Wolterstorff. Publication of the book was made possible in part by grants from the Priscilla and Stanford Reid Trust and the Andreas Center at Dordt College. For more details about this intriguing book, be sure to visit the publisher’s website.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Prayer Letter: June 2017

Thursday, June 1:  Bob Sweetman is leading the Aquinas Studium this year held at Regis College 29 May to 1 June. He is also giving the Keynote Lecture entitled "Gratitude and the Movement of Being Outward" at this event. Join us in asking God for a rich and edifying experience for all who attend this week-long seminar.

Friday, June 2:  Final grades for this past semester are due before June 8th. Please pray for the faculty as they finalize their marking and assessments of the students in their class, and for Jeff Hocking as he processes the final reporting to the students.

Monday, June 5:  There will be a workshop on Bob Sweetman’s latest book, Tracing the Lines: Spiritual Exercise and the Gesture of Christian Scholarship, at the 3rd Biennial Regional Conference of the International Association for the Promotion of Christian Higher Education held at Calvin College 4-6 June. We pray that those who attend this workshop will enjoy stimulating discussion around improving Christian higher education internationally.

Tuesday, June 6:  We give thanks that at the board meetings last month the 2017-18 budget was approved. Pray for continued discernment for all the staff as we put our plans into action within the necessary confines of the budget.

Wednesday, June 7:  As we move quickly toward the end of our fiscal year this month, we would ask that you would prayerfully consider sending in your financial support if you have not already done so. We are so grateful for the continued and generous giving of our support community and we pray God’s blessing on each one.

Thursday, June 8:  Please pray for Bob Sweetman today as he performs his duties as an examiner for the Centre for Medieval Studies of the University of Toronto of Peter O'Hagan’s PhD thesis entitled "Teaching the Tradition: Twelfth-Century Scholastic Commentaries on Paul's Letter to the Romans" (Alexander AndrĂ©e supervisor) .

Friday, June 9:  Tomorrow Doug Blomberg heads out for a much-deserved week’s holidays. Pray that he and Heather will enjoy a wonderful time of rest and relaxation and will return to us refreshed. We give thanks for Doug’s ministry these many years, and particularly at this time for his faithful service as President since 2014.

Monday, June 12:  We are pleased to report that we have a part-time librarian joining us. We welcome Hilary Barlow, Associate Contract Librarian to the ICS community and please join us in prayer for her as she begins her time with us.

Tuesday, June 13:  We still have a few vacancies on the Board of Trustees that need to be filled, in particular Central Ontario. We are grateful for the people who stepped up for this responsibility in January. The Board tends our vision and mission, as well as fiduciary responsibilities to ensure godly stewardship of our finances. We would welcome someone with business acumen to help support this important area.

Wednesday, June 14:  We continue to be grateful for the productive discussions around the prospective partnering with The King’s University. We were pleased to have President Melanie Humphreys join us at our board meetings in May so that our talks could continue in person. Pray for God’s continued grace and wisdom in future negotiations and the ensuing planning.

Thursday, June 15:  Luke Seerveld, FICS Board member and son of Cal and Ines, will be in Toronto until the 24th, videoing interviews with several people involved significantly with ICS over the past fifty years. This production will be a centrepiece of our Jubilee celebrations in the fall. We give thanks for his gifts and contribution, and pray for him in the demanding schedule he has voluntarily proposed. We ask for prayers also for all the FICS Board, and give thanks to our Lord for them and for our many faithful supporters in the US.

Friday, June 16:  This weekend “Art in Orvieto,” an ICS four-week residency seminar and workshop program for writers, artists and graduate students interested in exploring the relationship between art, religion and theology, begins in this hill-top Italian city. Twelve students, including two of our own MA students, and a number from the US, will be attending this event. Pray for safety for the participants and leaders in their travels to Italy as well as during the program, and that this unique educational opportunity will bring rich insight and creativity to their studies.

Monday, June 19:  We continue in our search for alternative accommodation for ICS should we need to move now that the sale of our share of the building has been completed. This process is quite labour intensive and brings with it a fair amount of anxiety around the complexities of moving and the need to find an acceptable new home. Pray that God will give wisdom to Harley and Doug in particular as we work toward a solution and peace to each one involved as we look to the future.

Tuesday, June 20:  Pray for the students who have been accepted into programs for this fall, as well as for those who are still undecided. We ask God to bless them with wisdom as they discern this important step in their life, and pray that God will provide the necessary funding for study and life in Toronto.

Wednesday, June 21:  The month of June is busy for faculty as they get caught up on their supervising and mentoring responsibilities and begin to prepare for the new academic year in the fall. Pray for the space and energy in their lives to work with the students in this important way.

Thursday, June 22:  A Community Based Research conference, entitled “Engaging Communities through Research” will take place in November at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo. Pray for Ron Kuipers this month as he participates in the planning for this event, and for his significant participation at the conference as a panelist and workshop leader.

Friday, June 23:  Please pray for wisdom as we seek qualified advisors and appropriate vehicles for investing the proceeds of the sale of our interest in 229 College, so that we may build a more solid financial basis for our ongoing mission.

Monday, June 26:  Dean Dettloff, a PhD student entering his third year at ICS, is also Toronto correspondent for America: The Jesuit Review magazine. His provocative articles which examine current issues in politics and society are published regularly and can be found online at www.americamagazine.org. Pray for Dean as he continues this important ministry to the community alongside his busy study program and contribution to ICS as a Junior Member.

Tuesday, June 27:  As the end of the fiscal year is upon us, we ask God for strength and encouragement for Harley Dekker, our Director of Finance and Administration. There is much to do at this time of year, such as preparation for the year end financial audit, getting the books in order for the new budget year, and preparing for the start of the academic year in September.

Wednesday, June 28:  Today Bob Sweetman and Rosanne Lopers-Sweetman are travelling to Tanzania to be with their daughter Adrienne and her husband Kashu Nengereki as they look forward to the birth of a baby boy, Bob and Rosanne's first grandchild. Please pray for safe travels for Bob and Rosanne and for a joyous time together as a family, celebrating this very special occasion. May Adrienne and Kashu and their new baby be surrounded by God’s love and protection at this time.

Thursday, June 29:  This month we have been trying to finalize working relationships with a number of local Christian organizations who want to use our Wayfinding program in their professional development programs. Please continue to pray for Gideon Strauss, Bob Sweetman, and Pat Webb as they work to develop customized programming and delivery methods for these groups.

Friday, June 30:  Doug Blomberg arrived two weeks early, this day in 1951. His accountant father was grateful, as there were end-of-fiscal-year tax benefits! (Both his father and mother were grateful in many other ways, too, of course.) Pray for him as he prepares for a transition to another phase of life, especially as he gives much attention to preparations for our upcoming 50th Anniversary.

Monday, 8 May 2017

ICS Convocation May 12

ICS will be holding its annual convocation on May 12 at 7pm at Regis College (100 Wellesley St W). We will be celebrating with seven graduates and Dr. Lambert Zuidervaart, who will be giving his exaugural address. Please join us as you are able. If you have any questions about the event, please contact our Registrar, Jeffrey Hocking (jeffreyh@icscanada.edu).

Monday, 1 May 2017

Announcement re sale of shares in 229 College

It has been almost a year since the decision to sell the ICS minority shares in 229 College Street was taken by the Board. Now, after many months of false starts, dialogue and negotiations, we announce that the sale was finally completed on Monday, April 24th to an independent developer.
The successful sale of our minority share in 229 College is a major factor in positioning ICS within a sustainable financial future. The proceeds received from the sale will be invested in an endowment which will provide the annual income needed to protect our capacity in the long-term to deliver on our mission. We believe this new endowment is the most prudent way to utilise a gift, given many years ago by faithful supporters, to sustain ICS into the future.
This sale comes at a critical time in our discussions with The King’s University on what our joint venture will look like and provides ICS with a stronger financial base from which to play its part.

We know that many involved with ICS have a deep attachment to 229 College Street as it has been home to ICS for more than 40 years. However, we trust that you will join with us in giving thanks to God for this amazing provision and for our faithful supporters whose steadfast generosity has made all this possible.

John Valk
Chair, ICS Board of Trustees