Friday, April 03, 2020

Ref Phil 101 with Bob Sweetman: Ground Motives and Spiritual Movements


We managed to get a couple more episodes of our miniseries on Reformational philosophy with Bob Sweetman and Gideon Strauss recorded a few weeks before the pandemic hit. So this week, we present you with episode three!

Last time, Bob explained the significance of Kuyper's idea of "sphere sovereignty" to how Herman Dooyeweerd then went on to develop it into a critique of power dynamics. This week, Bob and Gideon discuss Dooyeweerd's idea of "ground motives" and Reformational philosophy co-founder Dirk Vollenhoven's approach to historiography as tools for recognizing how societies change, collide, and flow through history.

We'll continue this series in the coming weeks, so stay with us to find out more about what makes Reformational philosophy tick...

Critical Faith is sponsored by the Centre for Philosophy, Religion, and Social Ethics (CPRSE) at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto. For more, visit www.icscanada.edu.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Ref Phil 101 with Bob Sweetman: Spheres of Societal Power



Welcome to week two of our miniseries on Reformational philosophy with Bob Sweetman and Gideon Strauss! After last week's introduction to Abraham Kuyper's role in the backstory of Reformational philosophy, today we have two goals. First we'll look at Kuyper's idea of "sphere sovereignty." Then we'll consider how the key Reformational figure of Herman Dooyeweerd begins to develop Kuyper's idea into a critique of social and historical power dynamics.

This series will continue next week, so stay with us to find out more about what makes Reformational philosophy tick...

Critical Faith is sponsored by the Centre for Philosophy, Religion, and Social Ethics (CPRSE) at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto. For more, visit www.icscanada.edu.

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Ref Phil 101 with Bob Sweetman: Kuyper's Principled Pluralism



Have you ever wondered what this Reformational philosophy thing is that folks at ICS constantly talk about? For the next few weeks, Bob Sweetman, with the help of Gideon Strauss, will be giving us a crash course on how Reformational philosophy came to be, what it says, and how it is relevant today.

This week, Bob gives us some of the backstory to how Reformational philosophy first developed. To do so, he dives more deeply into a conversation begun in our last episode about Abraham Kuyper and his idea of principled pluralism. Stay tuned in the coming weeks to find out more about what makes Reformational philosophy tick...

Critical Faith is sponsored by the Centre for Philosophy, Religion, and Social Ethics (CPRSE) at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto. For more, visit www.icscanada.edu.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Christian Hospitality and Global Migration with Matthew Kaemingk


How might Christians build truly welcoming spaces?

Every semester, the CPRSE hosts a Scripture, Faith, and Scholarship symposium where we invite scholars and reflective practitioners to share with the ICS community how their faith, research, and practice inform each other. This past January, Dr. Matthew Kaemingk (Fuller Seminary, Texas) spoke at this symposium after receiving Redeemer University’s Emerging Public Intellectual Award.

In this special episode of Critical Faith, we present Dr. Kaemingk's symposium discussion on Christian public life and contemporary Muslim immigration. If you'd like to see more of Dr. Kaemingk's work, you can check out his website here or read his recently published book Christian Hospitatlity and Muslim Immigration in an Age of Fear.

Critical Faith is sponsored by the Centre for Philosophy, Religion, and Social Ethics (CPRSE) at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto. For more, visit www.icscanada.edu.

Monday, February 10, 2020

ART in Orvieto with Rebekah Smick


What does faith have to do with the arts?

This summer, Senior Member Rebekah Smick will be leading our ART in Orvieto program in Orvieto, Italy. So she joined us in the studio to give a glimpse into the program and talk about the role of the image in historic Christian traditions.

If you're an artist, writer, student, or simply interested in the relationship of faith and the arts, visit our website to register: http://www.icscanada.edu/art_in_orvieto.

We're accepting applications until March 31--with an early-bird application deadline of February 13, so apply today!

Critical Faith is sponsored by the Centre for Philosophy, Religion, and Social Ethics (CPRSE) at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto. For more, visit www.icscanada.edu.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Mid-Season Reflection with the Critical Faith Team


Ron, H├ęctor, Theoren, and Danielle have recovered from both the holiday break and the beginning of the new semester and are back in the Critical Faith studio to reflect on last semester's discussions of evil, resistance, and judgment. Have a listen to hear about some highlights and favourite moments!

As mentioned in this episode, Ron Kuipers and The King's University's Jeff Dudiak will be jointly teaching a graduate-undergraduate course this summer called "Evil, Resistance, and Judgment: Hannah Arendt and Religious Critique." For an introductory discussion of Hannah Arendt on these themes, you can revisit Ron's episode from the beginning of last semester here. If you're interested in taking this course, please talk to our Registrar no later than March 31.

Undergraduates can also visit our website to find out more about our fourth annual Undergraduate Workshop on Evil, Resistance, and Judgment: Creating a World Fit for Human HabitationWe're accepting paper proposals for the workshop until March 16!

Critical Faith is sponsored by the Centre for Philosophy, Religion, and Social Ethics (CPRSE) at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto. For more, visit www.icscanada.edu.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

How to Not Save the World with Tyler Wigg-Stevenson


Is Christian social activism possible?

This week, in our final episode on the themes of evil, resistance, and judgment, we're joined by Tyler Wigg-Stevenson. Tyler is the founder of the Two Futures Project for the abolition of nuclear weapons, author of The World is Not Ours to Save (InterVarsity Press, 2013), and the current Scholar-in-Residence at Little Trinity Anglican Church here in Toronto. He joined us in the Critical Faith studio to reflect on his experiences as a social activist in the United States, and to ask how we might stay motivated, realistic, and hopeful in seeking justice in the world.

Critical Faith is sponsored by the Centre for Philosophy, Religion, and Social Ethics (CPRSE) at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto. For more, visit www.icscanada.edu.

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

To Raise Valleys and Bring Mountains Low with Rev. Thyra VanKeeken



How do we enact justice on the ground? 

This week, we're joined by Rev. Thyra VanKeeken, who currently serves as the pastor of First Christian Reformed Church in Toronto and has also worked extensively with various CRC initiatives such as the Office of Social Justice and the Centre for Public Dialogue in Ottawa. In our ongoing conversation around the themes of evil, resistance, and judgment, Thyra reflects on her own experience in these realms and some of the pastoral implications to how we might face questions of justice with hope.

Critical Faith is sponsored by the Centre for Philosophy, Religion, and Social Ethics (CPRSE) at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto. For more, visit www.icscanada.edu.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

A Lesson in Hilarity with Aron Reppmann


How can we cultivate compassion?

This week, we're joined by Critical Faith superfan Aron Reppmann. Aron teaches philosophy at Trinity Christian College near Chicago and currently chairs the ICS Senate. In this episode, Aron shares with us some advice from Augustine on how to cultivate hilaritas as an educator and a learner.

Critical Faith is sponsored by the Centre for Philosophy, Religion, and Social Ethics (CPRSE) at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto. For more, visit www.icscanada.edu.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Empowering Protagonists of Social Change with Eric Farr


How can we learn to really listen to youth?

This week, we're joined by Eric Farr who works with youth in the Baha'i community and is currently researching the dynamics of youth empowerment and engagement in communities at the University of Toronto. Eric's research raises questions about what it means to actually build up youth in the context of religious and community life and how such empowerment means learning to see paths beyond resistance.

Critical Faith is sponsored by the Centre for Philosophy, Religion, and Social Ethics (CPRSE) at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto. For more, visit www.icscanada.edu.

Friday, November 08, 2019

Working Against Society's Ills with Kiegan Irish


How can we resist the pressure to treat people like they're just statistics?

This week, recent ICS graduate Kiegan Irish joins us to talk about his transition from graduate studies in philosophy to his work at The Working Centre in Kitchener, a community project focused on creating an environment of support and opportunity for those pushed to the margins of society. In this episode, Kiegan considers how attending to people's particular stories can counter societal evils.

If you'd like to find out more about The Working Centre, you can visit their website and read more about the centre's events and projects, as well as find the book Kiegan mentions, Transition to Common Work by Working Centre founders Joe and Stephanie Mancini.

Kiegan also hosts a podcast called The Poplar Tapes on politics and current social issues. If you're interested in hearing more from Kiegan on politics and philosophy, you can have a listen here.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Recognizing Forgiveness with Andrew Tebbutt


What does forgiveness make possible?

This week, ICS alum and University of Toronto PhD candidate Andrew Tebbutt joins us to explain a bit about his PhD research on the idea of forgiveness in Hegel's philosophy of religion. In particular, he explores how forgiveness calls us to take account of each other's finite character, and opens us up to other possible ways of discernment.

Critical Faith is sponsored by the Centre for Philosophy, Religion, and Social Ethics (CPRSE) at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto. For more, visit www.icscanada.edu.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Slow Fashion and Creative Counter-Activity with Julia de Boer


Can fashion make a difference to the world?

This week, ICS PhD student and resident avid knitter Julia de Boer shares some of her personal experiences and reflections on the importance of slow fashion as a mode of resistance. In this episode, she describes some of the far-reaching ecological and political effects of our fashion choices and considers how slow fashion offers a tangible way to live justly and act aesthetically in the world. 

Julia also shares with us some resources on slow and sustainable fashion, including Whitney Bauck (@unwrinkling), whose articles on fashion and theology can be found here: https://fashionista.com/author/whitney-bauck.