Wednesday 23 August 2017

ICS/CPRSE Announcement

Dear ICS community,

It is my great pleasure to announce the appointment of Hector Acero-Ferrer to the position of Associate Director of the Centre for Philosophy, Religion, and Social Ethics at ICS. Hector will be working for the CPRSE two days per week (.4 FTE) starting September 1, 2017, on a 10-month contract that will last until the end of the current fiscal year (June 30, 2017). This appointment, based on the recommendation of ICS' Leadership Team, has also been approved by ICS' Board of Directors.

This appointment is necessary in order to maintain ongoing CPRSE projects and also to pursue new ones, while at the same time allowing me to focus on my new duties as Provost of ICS. Among other benefits, this appointment will allow the CPRSE to revamp and resubmit an application to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) for a 2-year Partnership Development Grant project that proposes to explore social justice concerns about current modes of mental healthcare delivery in Canada (in partnership with Shalem Mental Health Network and the Centre for Community Based Research, among others). Maintaining a robust track record with SSHRC is important for many reasons, not the least of which is the extra funds we receive, based on that track record, from SSHRC's Research Support Fund. (Over the last three years, ICS has received more than $140,000 from this fund, an amount over and above the grant monies received).

The Leadership Team is very excited to have Hector take on this role, as he has ably and enthusiastically served the CPRSE as a Research Assistant for the last 4 years. Hector is intimately familiar with all CPRSE research projects, and also has close professional relationships with many of the project partners. This past year, especially, Hector has gone above and beyond the call of duty in order to ensure that the CPRSE meets its partnership commitment to the Faith and Settlement Partnerships research project (a two-year SSHRC-funded partnership project led by the CCBR). Hector has also been a valuable contributor to ICS' advancement efforts, including helping with the production of Perspective. In his role as Associate Director, Hector will help ensure that the work of the CPRSE continues to contribute to ICS' advancement agenda by maintaining the momentum the CPRSE has gained over the last several years, thus helping it continue to raise ICS' profile amidst our support community and the wider public.

So please join me in welcoming Hector into this role, and in offering your prayers and support, so that the many gifts he brings to the work of the CPRSE may bless and sustain ICS as it pursues its historic mission in Christian higher education, and continues to strive toward a vibrant, thriving future.

Ron Kuipers

Monday 21 August 2017

Truth, Resistance and Societal Evil

Emeritus Professor Lambert Zuidervaart has published a piece titled “Truth, Resistance and Societal Evil” in iai News, an online forum hosted by the Institute of Art and Ideas in the United Kingdom. The article is adapted from Lambert’s recent convocation address, and it mentions the ongoing controversy about how to respond to racism in the United States.

Thursday 17 August 2017

Thomas Aquinas and the Neo-Thomist Tradition

Congratulations to Dr B van der Walt on the publication of his latest book Thomas Aquinas and the Neo-Thomist Tradition. He sent ICS a copy which is now in our library. We are one of the few libraries in North America that currently has a copy of this book.

Tuesday 15 August 2017

Prayer Letter: September 2017

Friday, September 1:  Today, Héctor Acero-Ferrer takes up the part-time position of Associate Director of the Centre for Philosophy, Religion and Social Ethics. Please give thanks to God for this important boost to the capacity of CPRSE and support Héctor in your prayers.

Tuesday, September 5:  Today we formally welcome returning and new Junior Members to ICS for the 2017-18 Academic Year. JMs will meet with faculty and staff in a series of orientation events this week. We give thanks for this re-gathering of the ICS community and pray our Lord’s blessing on the launch of another year of Christian scholarship.

Wednesday, September 6:  Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who are suffering in Texas. We do have alumni and donors there and think especially of them, but our hearts go out to all who are suffering from this cataclysmic event.

Thursday, September 7:  This morning our annual start-of-year Retreat will again take place at St. Andrew by-the-Lake on Toronto Island. This is a wonderful venue for such an event. We give thanks for the preparation by Registrar Jeff Hocking and his wife Angie. May this be an enjoyable day of relaxed fellowship and worship together.

Friday, September 8:  Please pray for those involved in preparing our 50th Anniversary Perspective, as authors, editors, organisers, designers and printers. It is always a challenge to get such a publication ready in a timely manner, and we ask our Lord to guide and uphold all contributors to the process as they aim to mail this significant issue to supporters mid-October.

Monday, September 11:  This is the first week of Fall classes, and it is fitting indeed to begin with one of our Foundational courses: “Reformational Philosophy”, with Dr. Bob Sweetman. Please pray for lively interaction and edification for participants.

Godfrey Nkongolo will be defending his MA Thesis this afternoon. Please pray for a stimulating interaction with the examination committee and a successful outcome. His thesis is titled “UJAMAA: A Gift from Tanzania to Africa” and is under the mentorship of Dr. Ron Kuipers.

Tuesday, September 12:  Today we see the commencement of two courses: “Matter, Body and Gender in the Thought of Hildegard of Bingen, Bernardus Sylvestris, Alan of Lille and Thomas Aquinas” (Dr. Bob Sweetman) and “With/Out Reason: Art and Imagination in the Western Tradition (Dr. Rebekah Smick)”.

Wednesday, September 13:  Our second Foundations course, aptly titled “Biblical Foundations”, launches today under the leadership of Dr. Nik Ansell.

Thursday, September 14:  Dr. Nik Ansell backs up again this morning as instructor for “The Divine (at) Risk: Open Theism, Classical Theism and Beyond.” This afternoon, Dr. Ron Kuipers will teach “Wittgenstein: Language & the Philosophy of Religion”.

Friday, September 15:  This week, our Distance Education courses begin: “Wisdom and Schooling” led by PhD Candidate Helena Hoogstad (Dr. Doug Blomberg serving as Professor of Record) and “Vocational Wayfinding”, taught by Dr. Gideon Strauss.

Monday, September 18:  This afternoon, Mark Novak (mentored by Dr. Kuipers) is defending his MA thesis, titled “Incarnating the God Who May Be: Christology and Incarnational Humanism in Bonhoeffer and Kearney.” Please pray he is able to present this result of much hard work in clear terms and that it will be an enriching interaction with the examiners for all involved.

Tuesday, September 19:  We invite prayers for the relatively “unsung heroes” at ICS, the administrative staff who keep the wheels turning and are vital to our scholarly mission. Please uphold Harley Dekker, Jeff Hocking, Kathy Lynch, Pat Webb and Vidya Williams in their essential and often demanding tasks.

Wednesday, September 20:  Tonight in Grand Rapids, ICS Trustee Dr. Matt Bonzo is hosting a “50th Anniversary of ICS” gathering of supporters. President Doug Blomberg will be attending, and will also participate in tomorrow afternoon’s Friends of ICS Board Meeting. Please pray that both events are a time of joy and reflection as we look forward to how the Lord will lead us.

Thursday, September 21:  Josina Zylstra (widow of Bernard) requests prayers for her husband, Herman Dooyeweerd Jr., and herself. He has been in a nursing home in Toronto for the past several years. We ask our Lord and Saviour for strength and comfort for them both, as Josina cares for him. May God continue to bless their faithfulness to each other.

Friday, September 22:  In last month’s Prayer Letter we asked you to pray for our search for an appropriate venue for our 50th Anniversary Celebration Event on November 11th. We give thanks to God for a successful conclusion to this search. We are very pleased that we can hold this special event at King’s Christian Collegiate in Oakville.

Monday, September 25:  Trustee Marg Hoogland will be hosting a gathering of supporters in Central Alberta, in the context of our 50th Anniversary celebrations. Doug Blomberg will be part of the conversation. We give thanks for their ongoing commitment to ICS, going back over very many years, and pray for an encouraging evening of fellowship.

Tuesday, September 26:  Ron Kuipers will be presenting a paper at a conference at the University of Minho, in Braga, Portugal. His paper is "Successful Prophecies, Failed Hopes? Richard Rorty and the Demise of Social Justice." We ask Jesus to bless Ron and all participants as he speaks and interacts with them.

Wednesday, September 27:  We give thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ for the wondrous blessings He has bestowed on ICS these past 50 years and for those who have gone on to serve in many vocations across the world. We pray for them as they heed His call.

Thursday, September 28:  We beseech our Lord to enable our 50th Anniversary celebrations to go smoothly, and to uphold those most closely involved in its planning. There are many details to consider, many people we hope to see in Toronto. Please pray everything will fall into place and a great number will be able to join in this landmark event.

Friday, September 29:  We praise God for the faithful band of supporters who have stood by ICS’s vision and mission all these years. Without them, there would be no ICS. We pray for their continued support as we look forward to our next 50 years, by God’s grace.