Thursday 31 March 2016

Lambert Zuidervart — Art, Religion, Science, Truth and Social Transformation

Senior Member Lambert Zuidervaart has published a new book, translated into Czech, and titled Umění a sociální transformace: Pravda, autonomie a společenské makrostruktury (Art and Social Transformation: Truth, Autonomy, and Societal Macrostructures). The book collects three of his essays on the arts, social ethics, and religion, along with a lengthy article on Lambert’s work by the translator, Ludvik Hlaváček. The book was published in 2015 by J. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem, the Czech Republic. Mr. Hlaváček is Director of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in Prague.

Lambert also recently gave three lectures in Zurich, Switzerland, in a workshop titled “Transforming Truth: Art, Religion, and Science”. The workshop explored a new reformational conception of truth and discussed its relevance for art, religion, and science as distinct social domains of truth. Lambert's lectures took place on March 19, 2016, in the Institute for Hermeneutics and Philosophy of Religion at the Theological Faculty of the University of Zurich. The Forum Christliche Studien (Forum for Christian Studies), founded by Johannes and Rahel Corrodi Katzenstein and others, co-sponsored his visit.

Tuesday 29 March 2016

Dr. Tricia Van Dyk

Tricia Van Dyk successfully defended her doctoral dissertation in Amsterdam on March 17, earning her PhD in the conjoint degree program offered by ICS and the VU University Amsterdam. The dissertation is titled “Narrative Companionship: Philosophy, Gender Stereotypes, and Young Adult Literature.” Her ICS supervisor, Lambert Zuidervaart, describes it as “an evocative and lucid reflection on the challenges of embracing genuine plurality in a social-media-saturated and economically globalized world.” ICS extends warm congratulations to Dr. Tricia Van Dyk and her family.

Tuesday 15 March 2016

Dean Dettloff on Peter Sloterdijk

ICS PhD candidate Dean Dettloff has had a review essay published by the Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory: "Peter Sloterdijk on Social Bonds, Freedom, and Religion". Dean's doctoral work explores how philosophy of design and technology, as expressed by Sloterdijk and others, illuminates religious phenomena and practice in ways that could contribute to more liberating expressions of spiritual traditions.

Read Dean's essay on the JCRT Religious Theory blog.

Monday 14 March 2016

Prayer Letter April 2016

Friday, April 1:  As we near the end of this week, we revel in the resurrection of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, which we celebrated at its beginning. It is by his grace and power, world without end, that we are able to continue in our mission.
An important aspect to our mission is our partnership with other institutions. In this context, Bob Sweetman and Doug Blomberg will be meeting with Toronto School of Theology representatives this afternoon to discuss details of our affiliation. We ask our Lord to bless this conversation and its outcomes.

Monday, April 4:  Heather Blomberg, a long-term volunteer in the ICS Library (and wife of our President), will be undergoing surgery today. Please pray for the doctors and nurses who will collaborate in this procedure, and for the healing hand of God.

Tuesday, April 5:  Preparations are well underway for the ICS annual phone-a-thon coming up later on in April. Pray for all of us in advancement that the work of preparing the information and materials needed for this important event will go smoothly.

Wednesday, April 6:  The Academic Council meets this afternoon. We pray that the Lord’s guidance and wisdom be present throughout all the discussions and the planning and tasks that follow from decisions made.
Following the Academic Council meeting, Administrative Staff and the Leadership Team will meet to share the work in which they are currently engaged and plans for the future. This gathering is scheduled for two-week intervals (“fortnightly” as our Aussie President likes to say).

Thursday, April 7:  In four weeks’ time, the Board of Trustees will meet at ICS. Like our Senators, these willing volunteers deserve our wholehearted support as they deliberate on the often weighty matters facing ICS. For most of the year, they meet almost monthly via videoconference. Please bring them before the throne of God with thankfulness and prayers for wisdom as they safeguard and forward our vision.

Friday, April 8:  Today our whole community will join to celebrate the end of the semester with some festivities. We are thankful for the hard work of our fellow members and staff, and we praise God his faithfulness in another semester.

Monday, April 11:  We are very grateful for our Junior Members and all our volunteers who will be participating with us in the phone-a-thon. Pray that the training in preparation for this event will be an uplifting and encouraging experience for everyone and give thanks for their essential contribution.

Tuesday, April 12:  Classes are now finished for the Winter Semester. What a time we have had! Our conversations were not limited to the classroom, but have spilled out over cups of coffee, blog posts, emails, and daydreaming. Now, as students move into paper writing, we pray that the Spirit’s peaceful presence would be over the whole process. As Junior Members research and write (and Senior Members grade papers!), may it all be for glory of God.

Wednesday, April 13:  Several supporters have taken the time to email us this month to let us know how they have been upholding us in prayer. They are praying for our students, teachers, and staff, and for our health; the financial and academic health of our school. We are thankful for your prayers. We join you in them today: Lord, continue to bless us, ever-present and ever-faithful God.

Thursday, April 14:  We ask for continued prayer for the ongoing development of our new Wayfinding program. We ask for wisdom and creative energy for Gideon Strauss as he develops the new courses that are still needed for the program curriculum. We ask for God’s leading as we seek new and contemporary ways to reach prospective students and to build a Wayfinding community.

Friday, April 15:  We ask God's help and guidance for all those who are doing advancement work for ICS. Please pray that support for the vision and mission of ICS continues to grow. We pray for blessings for the Friends of ICS Board and all those who are doing advancement work in the US.

Monday, April 18:  The Finance Committee meets this afternoon. There are many matters on which to deliberate in the light of our efforts to partner more closely with other Christian higher education institutions in Canada and also the future of our stake in 229 College Street. Please be fervent in prayer around these crucial issues in ICS’s future.

Tuesday, April 19:  Jim Olthuis’ beloved wife, Arvilla, is beginning her chemotherapy this month. Join us in praying for her health, her spiritual and emotional well-being, and that our Lord’s blessing would be on her and her family as they journey this road together. Arvilla, you are ever close in our prayers.

Wednesday, April 20:  As the Spring Semester comes to a close, we give thanks. CPRSE has had a busy and successful year creating meaningful spaces for people to think and speak about the impact faith has in our communal wrestling with important and vexing social and political questions. We offer prayers of thanks that the manuscript for Bob Sweetman's forthcoming book, Tracing the Lines: Spiritual Exercise and the Gesture of Christian Scholarship (the first book in our new series Currents in Reformational Thought), has been submitted to the publisher and should be available by this fall.

Thursday, April 21:  Please pray for our hundreds of graduates and other alumni/ae around the world, as they serve our Redeemer in a wide range of vocations. May the Lord bless and keep them. We thank God for their continued support of our vision and mission, in word and deed.

Friday, April 22:  Two weeks from now, the ICS community will gather to celebrate the graduation of a number of our Junior Members. Please join us in person if you can for this significant event in our calendar. Whether or not you are able to be present, please do give thanks for their commitment to Christian scholarship, as they have prepared to serve faithfully in higher education and other contexts. And please give thanks to our Lord for you, our supporters, as we seek to live out the vision and mission with which you have entrusted us.

Monday, April 25:  We pray that as the phone-a-thon continues it would be an enriching time of encouraging conversations and fellowship with our support community. May it be a blessed and joy-filled experience.

Tuesday, April 26:  As Registrar, Jeff Hocking, and Academic Dean, Bob Sweetman, prepare materials for the Senate Meeting on May 5, please support them in this often hectic period. Of course, please do the same for our Senators, those who come from other institutions and those who are internal appointees. They all make an invaluable contribution, ensuring we maintain the quality of our programs.

Wednesday, April 27:  Please pray for continued blessing for CPRSE's work over the summer, which will hopefully include funding for a project exploring justice-based approaches in the area of mental health. Please pray as well for the development of a cultural festival exploring the theme of 'post-secular cinema' in partnership with the Toronto International Film Festival's (TIFF) Higher Learning program. This is integral to our Wayfinding stream in the Master of Worldview Studies.

Thursday, April 28:  We have been in discussion with Redeemer and Tyndale University Colleges about collaboration in a proposed Master of Arts in Educational Leadership. Give thanks for the encouraging progress that has been made and ask for our Lord’s guidance in these ongoing conversations.

Friday, April 29:  Summer classes are soon upon us! As our lecturers prepare materials, will you, Jesus, be with them in the planning. We also desire that these summer sessions will be a fruitful academic endeavour for ICS, bringing Junior and Senior Members together again, as well as students from neighbouring institutions.