Monday, 26 November 2018

Register for Winter 2019 ICS Courses Today!

Want to study subjects such as feminist theology and the religious left? Contact Elizabet Aras, Academic Registrar, to register for ICS courses. You can find course descriptions for Winter 2019 courses here. Scroll down on this page to view the course schedule.


Click on images to enlarge posters.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Essays in Reformational Philosophy

Clarence Joldersma, Professor of Education at Calvin College, has published an extended review of Religion, Truth, and Social Transformation (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016) and Art, Education, and Cultural Renewal (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2017), Lambert Zuidervaart’s recent volumes of essays in reformational philosophy. Clarence shows that Lambert’s work takes what Bob Sweetman’s Tracing the Lines (Wipf & Stock, 2016) calls the “holistic” approach to how faith relates to education and scholarship. He concludes: “Anyone interested not only in the reformational tradition, but also in seeing an excellent example of a holistic approach to Christian scholarship in action, would do well to look at these volumes. In the process, they would also come away with a thoughtful … critique of … contemporary society.” For the complete review, see Clarence Joldersma, “Essays in Reformational Philosophy—An Extended Review,” Christian Scholar’s Review 48, no. 1 (Fall 2018): 69-75.

Truth in a Post-Truth Society

Do we live in a “post-truth” era? Are appeals to emotion really replacing factual truth? Has truth become irrelevant? In “Philosophy, Truth, and the Wisdom of Love,” Senior Member emeritus Lambert Zuidervaart shows why standard philosophical notions of factual truth cannot do justice to the broader meaning of truth in the Jewish and Christian scriptures. Truth in this broader sense must be lived out, not simply asserted, and it requires us to seek the good, to resist evil, and to live in hope. This essay stems from the exaugural address Lambert gave in May 2017 after he retired from being a professor of philosophy at ICS and the University of Toronto; it appears in Christian Scholar’s Review 48, no. 1 (Fall 2018): 31-43.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Prayer Letter: December 2018

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen….
By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God,
So that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.
Hebrews 11:1-2 NRSV

Advent is a time of waiting and preparing for the coming of the Christ-child; a time of newness, of looking forward with hope, and of trying to make space to welcome (again) Christ into hearts. In terms of using the liturgical calendar as a way to experience various forms of spiritual disciplines, Advent also stands in a place of “not yet understanding,” of “not yet knowing,” of mystery. Of course we “know” that Christmas is coming. We know that we will celebrate the birth of Christ, and we already have the stories of his life. We know the adult before meeting the baby. The gift that Advent brings us, however, is a chance to practice, to some extent “not knowing” -- to practice a sense of hope and wonder, and fitful, even nervous, preparation for the birth of a long-awaited child. It is a time to prepare ourselves for a new year, where, when we start out by standing in a place of “not knowing” and mystery, we open ourselves to learning more about the Word we hear. In opening ourselves to really contemplating the mystery of the Incarnation, Advent becomes a time of listening and discovery along with its preparations of joy and wonder.
From Bob Sweetman’s book Changing to Stay the Same, Advent.

Monday, December 3 - Friday, December 7

On Saturday, December 1st, ICS hosted its 2018 Open House and Advent Concert. This evening of music, food, and fellowship was an opportunity for the larger ICS community to come together at our new location. We pray in thanksgiving for the success of this gathering and, in a special way, for the numerous ICS supporters and friends that visited us from far and wide..

Please take the opportunity this week to give thanks for our Board of Trustees as they continue to serve in their oversight of the mission and vision of ICS. Please pray for John Kamphof who takes over for John Valk as Chair, and for John Joosse as he takes on the position of Vice Chair. We give thanks for John Valk and his faithful service to ICS over his two terms on the Board.

On December 6th, ICS/CPRSE will host Dr. Esther Acolatse, Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Intercultural Studies at Knox College, for the Fall Term Scripture, Faith, and Scholarship seminar. Please pray that this event will be a time of fruitful exchange and reflection on the intersection of biblical scholarship and a life of faith.

As we begin this month which celebrates Christmas by the giving and receiving of gifts, we thank God for our committed and faithful friends for their gifts to us of prayer and financial support. We pray each one of you will receive the amazing gifts of love, joy and peace this Christmas season and are filled with hope with what God will do in the future.

Monday, December 10 - Friday, December 14

Please pray this week for students joining us at ICS in the next term. In particular, we ask for your prayers for those students planning to take our new MWS online course, Organized Religion, Christianity & Capitalism in Canada and the US, and for ICS PhD Candidate, Dean Dettloff who will be teaching the course.

ICS/CPRSE is an active member of the Canadian Interfaith Conversation (CIC), Canada’s premier inter-religious dialogue network. In the context of this partnership, CPRSE has been actively involved in the establishment of the Canadian Interfaith Research Centre for Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), a project seeking to become a leading voice in interfaith research in Canada. Please pray for the continued success of this important collaboration.

Thursday this week is the final day of classes for the fall semester at ICS. As is our custom, on Friday evening we will share in a time of fun, fellowship and good food at our annual Christmas Party. We give thanks for and celebrate the gifts we have in one another in this blessed community of learning in our new home.

Monday, December 17 - Friday, December 21

We pray for continued stamina and enthusiasm for our Senior and Junior Members who are preparing to start their new courses in January. We pray especially for Gideon Strauss as he finds rhythm and creative energy in his new administrative role as Academic Dean.

Please pray this week for PhD Candidate Dean Dettloff as he prepares for the defense of his thesis entitled: Christwreck: Christianity and Design on Wednesday, December 18th. Pray also for Ron Kuipers, Dean’s mentor, and the other examiners as they interact with Dean that the time will be fruitful and inspiring.

Monday, December 24 - Friday, December 28

Please pray today for the families of our staff, faculty and students as they spend time together at this special Christmas season. Some of our families are spread far and wide so we ask God for his protective hand on those who will be traveling. Pray too for those who cannot be with their loved ones because of distance or health reasons that they will be blessed by their local community while being apart from their families.

May the blessings of love, joy and peace be yours as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour this Christmas week.

Monday, December 31

As 2018 draws to a close, we give thanks for another fruitful year of work at ICS and for all our supporters and friends who made that work possible through their prayers and financial gifts. We especially give thanks to God for the strength, grace and wisdom he gave in the renovation process and move to our new home at 59 St. George Street. We pray for God's blessing upon our staff, faculty, and students as we work out our mission, in the classroom and beyond, throughout this next year.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

ICS Junior Member Featured Speaker at Parliament of the World's Religions

This year's Parliament of the World's Religions is happening in Toronto November 1-7, 2018. The event is one of the largest interfaith gatherings in the world featuring numerous presentations, panels, workshops, training, worship opportunities, and celebrations. 


ICS Junior Member Héctor Acero Ferrer is participating in the week's events as a featured speaker of multiple panels:

Face to Face: Building Relationship and Understanding through Conversation (Panel and Workshop). This panel will deal with the realities of interfaith and intercultural dialogue among youth and young adults.

Navigating the New Religious Pluralism in Canada: The Growth of the Canadian Interfaith Conversation (Panel). This panel will consider ways in which the Canadian Interfaith Conversation is strengthening Canadians' notions of pluralism in practice.

In his role as Associate Director of the CPRSE, Héctor is also participating in a panel led by the Canadian Interfaith Conversation called Faith and Interfaith Engagement in TorontoThis session will look at interfaith engagement in Toronto and will explore questions like the following:

Assets: What initiatives are faith communities and others currently undertaking and what impact are these efforts having?

Liabilities: What is not being done and where are the biggest omissions?

Future: How do youth respond to interfaith and what might this mean for the future of faith engagement in Toronto?


The Parliament is an unprecedented opportunity to interact with various local and global religious communities, and a fantastic opportunity for Héctor to gain further engagement with his research. We are very excited that he has this opportunity. 

If you are in Toronto and able to attend, tickets to the Parliament are still available at parliamentofreligions.org, and Héctor's panels will occur during November 2-4. If you're unable to attend, please pray for a fruitful time of discussion and interactions for Héctor and for the religious communities involved in the Parliament. 


Monday, 15 October 2018

Upcoming Art Show from ICS Alum Janet Read


Painter and ICS Alumna Janet Read would like to announce her upcoming show Travelling Mercies in the North Gallery of the Propeller Gallery in Toronto. The show runs from October 17 to November 4. The artist is hosting an Opening Reception on Saturday October 20, 1pm-4pm. Below is a statement from Janet regarding the show:

Travelling Mercies is a show of works created from travels over the past few years in China, Ireland, the Bruce Peninsula and my own backyard of Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe. Light over water is a constant theme as well as visual language developed in response to these journeys. The experience of being in the natural world animates my work. Saturated colour informs these works on paper, vellum, canvas and birch panel.

I work with the natural environment as a catalyst for mark-making in the form of painting. Volatile yet radiant forms of light over water inform the work. Playful visual language is evident in small works on paper and duralar.

Janet Read: dawn rise, 40x40, oil and cold wax on birch panel

Janet Read: april sky, 40x40, oil and cold wax on birch panel
Janet Read: bloom, 9x9 inches, oil on Arches paper

To see the show, you can visit Propeller Gallery at the following address:
30 Abell St. Toronto,ON (just south of Queen, east of Dufferin) 
Hours: Wed-Sat. 12-6 pm, Sunday, 12-5 pm
phone: 416-504-7142

You can also visit Janet's website to see more of her work here: www.janet-read.com.