Friday 20 January 2017

Feb 8 2017 Mystical Landscapes Talk and Tour

Please join us for group tour of Mystical Landscapes: Masterpieces from Monet, Van Gogh and more at the Art Gallery of Ontario. The tour will be preceded by an introductory talk on the exhibition by ICS Senior Member Rebekah Smick. Professor Smick is a contributor to the book associated with the exhibition as well as a member of the exhibition’s advisory committee.

Wednesday, February 8, 6 pm
Institute for Christian Studies
100-229 College Street

All inclusive tickets for both tour and talk: $20
Limited availability. Please call or e-mail Kathy Lynch by Monday, January 30 to reserve tickets on a first come/first serve basis.
416-979-2331 x221

Dr Tricia Van Dyk: Not Just Cause and Effect

Dr. Tricia Van Dyk will have an essay published in the journal Interdisciplinary Literary Studies, in a special issue on the work of Martha Nussbaum, a well-known American philosopher. The essay, titled “Not Just Cause and Effect: Resituating Martha Nussbaum's Defense of Novels as Moral Philosophy in a Hermeneutical Framework,” stems from Tricia’s PhD dissertation at ICS and the VU University Amsterdam. Tricia and her husband Benjamin Groenewold and their two children live in Lithuania, where Tricia and Benjamin teach philosophy at LCC International University.

Thursday 19 January 2017

Undergraduate Workshop: Creation: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

The Institute for Christian Studies in cooperation with Scarboro Missions is currently soliciting proposals for a four-day undergraduate workshop on the theme of Creation.

Questions we hope to consider include but are not limited to the following:

  • What is creation? What is implied in a relationship between creation and its creator?
  • How is creativity related to rationality or intelligence? In what sense, if any, is creativity a distinctively human phenomenon?
  • Do great works of art owe themselves to something like the “creative genius” of their creator? What is a properly artistic creation, if there is such a thing?
  • In what ways can traditional and/or contemporary creative enterprises serve as “common ground” for constructive dialogue and mutual recognition amongst diverse people groups?
  • Do human beings have an ethical obligation to be creative? Are there moral dangers associated with creativity?

Selected participants will have the opportunity to present their own work before peers and receive feedback from ICS Junior and Senior Members, making connections and “learning the ropes” of the scholarly enterprise at the graduate or professional level. The workshop is a great opportunity for outstanding undergraduate students who might be interested in deepening existing lines of research and pursuing new ones with guidance from budding and established scholars in disciplines such as philosophy, theology, religious studies, etc.

The workshop will be held May 16-19 and the call for papers deadline is February 1, 2017. Please follow the link below for further details.

Undergraduate Workshop

Wednesday 18 January 2017

Prayer Letter: February 2017

Wednesday, February 1:  Dianne Bergsma (PhD, 2014) asks for our prayers for her husband Jerry. “He is in much pain due to cancer which was diagnosed in early December, and which was a shock to the doctors and to all of us. It had already spread to the bones and nerves of his spine. They tried radiation treatments but they had no effect and they admitted him to the St. Catharines hospital. After two weeks there he was transferred Friday a week ago to the Hotel Dieu Shaver hospital here in St. Catharines, where he is receiving palliative care, and we can be with him day and night.
“Thank you for the love and care we have received throughout the years from the ICS community. Wishing you all continued blessings, Dianne.”

Thursday, February 2:  At time of writing, we are very close indeed to the sale of our share in 229 College Street. Please pray that soon all the “i’s” will be dotted and the “t’s” crossed. We give thanks to God for the excellent counsel our lawyers have provided and for finally being able to see the end in sight with this process. We are also looking forward to having the necessary funds to begin building an endowment that will sustain us into the future.

Friday, February 3:  We continue to explore how we might form a very close relationship with The King’s University, Edmonton. Such an undertaking is obviously complex and we ask the Lord to prepare the way to a positive conclusion.

Today, the research team for the SSHRC-funded partnered project, Faith and Settlement Partnerships: Setting Immigrants and Canada up for Success meets to report on the progress of case studies, including key informant interviews and focus groups. CPRSE Director Ron Kuipers and CPRSE RA Hector Acero Ferrer have been working with World Renew, The Interfaith Council of Peel, and the Peel Newcomers Strategy group, as part of this research project supervised by the Centre for Community-Based Research.

Monday, February 6:  The Leadership Team meets this morning at 11:00, as it does every two weeks. This is a vital means of helping to ensure we are addressing our mission in close collaboration across all departments and ventures. Please ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in their deliberations.

Isabella Guthrie-McNaughton meets for a half-day today as a member of the Toronto School of Theology’s Library Committee. Please join in upholding her in this important meeting.

Tuesday, February 7:  Tomorrow evening, as you may have seen in our News column, Senior Member Rebekah Smick will host a tour of Mystical Landscapes at the Art Gallery of Ontario. This will be preceded by an introductory talk by Rebekah. We ask for God’s blessing as she speaks and for God’s presence in the time of reflection and engagement with this amazing art exhibition for students and other participants.

Wednesday, February 8:  The Educational Policy Committee is one the most active sub-committees of Academic Council. Chaired by Academic Dean Bob Sweetman, it comprises also SM Nik Ansell, JM Mark Novak and Librarian Isabella-Guthrie McNaughton. Please pray for a fruitful discussion of course proposals and other aspects of our programs.

Thursday, February 9:  We give thanks to God for a moving and successful Interdisciplinary Studies Conference, Glorious and Free: Generous Citizenship for the Next 150 at The King's University, Edmonton last month, where Ron Kuipers delivered a keynote address entitled From the Roots: Religion and the Public Life of Liberal Democracy.

Friday, February 10:  Thank you for the faithful support of our Junior Members in your prayers and financially. They are at the core of our mission as a graduate school. We praise God for bringing these young people to our community and ask you to continue to uphold them and the Senior Members who strive to nurture them in Biblically-grounded scholarship. May they be a blessing as they commit themselves to prepare for their call to teach, in wholehearted service of Jesus Christ.

Monday, February 13:  Junior Members are once again collaborating on our next issue of Perspective. Under the leadership of Hector Acero-Ferrer, they are busy writing and editing articles and preparing the layout of this magazine. They will be assisted on the production side by our own Daryl Kinsman and graphic artist Kevin van der Leek. Please pray for them as they labour joyfully on this task.

Tuesday, February 14:  This is the month where we ask our community to respond to the call to renew their membership at ICS. Our membership is the wellspring of our strength, the bedrock of our community. We thank God for our members who stand with us and resolve to continue to build on the work we are doing together. Please ask God for continued enthusiastic interest and support from these core people in our ICS community.

Wednesday, February 15:  Academic Council meets this afternoon; please pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in their discussion. Also remember in your prayers the preparations for the 7th Annual Aquinas Studium being organised by Bob Sweetman, with the help of Fr. Gilles Mongeau SJ of Regis College.

Thursday, February 16:  We ask for God’s blessings on the preparations for the March 10 evening reception in honour of Lambert Zuidervaart's completed tenure as Senior Member at ICS.

Friday, February 17:  We give thanks to God for our administrative staff, Kathy Lynch, Vidya Williams, Harley Dekker, Pat Webb and Jeffrey Hocking, for their meticulous and dedicated service. Please ask our Lord to sustain them in the many challenges they face and the ongoing routines that mark their work-days.

We pray that Hector Acero-Ferrer will have a clear mind and apt words today, when he defends his MA Thesis, Liberating Tradition: An Exploration of Liberation Theology Through the Lens of Paul Ricoeur's Hermeneutics.

Monday, February 20:  Today is Family Day in Ontario (and we realise this celebration of the significance of the family happens in other places and on other days elsewhere). We invite you to pray for the babies and infants in our community, children of our Junior Members and spouses, that they may be protected from illness and accidents and recover quickly and fully when difficulties beset them.

Tuesday, February 21:   Reading Week commences today. This is a welcome opportunity for Junior and Senior Members alike to bury their heads in their books, or digital equivalents, and to concentrate on their current research. May our Lord give them perseverance and insight.

Wednesday, February 22:  We pray our Lord’s blessings on the ongoing preparations for an ICS/CPRSE-TIFF-Imago sponsored exploration of Religion and Film with Calvin grad Paul Schrader as keynote speaker.

Thursday, February 23:  This regular meeting of the Canadian Interfaith Conversation (where ICS/CPRSE has a seat) will focus on interfaith dialogue and youth between the ages of 18-35. Please pray for ICS Ph.D. Candidate Hector Acero-Ferrer as he contributes to the discussion on how best to help young people approach interfaith dialogue.

Friday, February 24:  Doug Blomberg will be undergoing a medical procedure today. Please pray for the doctors involved, that all goes well and there is a healthful outcome.

We ask for blessings as the final planning touches added to the Building Our Whole Society: Religion and Citizenship at Canada's 150th Conference (May 8-9, Ottawa). Ron Kuipers serves on the Planning and Programming Committees for this conference, under the auspices of the Canadian Interfaith Conversation.

Monday, February 27:  Next month, March 10th and 11th, there will be a Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees in Toronto to consider how to proceed in our ongoing negotiations with The King’s University. May our Lord grant wisdom to all who gather for this purpose, and protect them as they travel.

Tuesday, February 28:  Tomorrow there is a court hearing involving the Receiver overseeing our bankrupted Co-Tenant’s share in 229 College Street. Because of this relationship, ICS is a creditor. Doug Blomberg will be in attendance for these proceedings. Please pray that justice is served for ICS, and also for all those who have suffered over a long period from the actions of the previous partner.