TH5/711 – Gender Injustice & Reconciliation: Theological Explorations with Dr. Fumitaka Matsuoka and Dr. Sharon G. Thornton
9:00am – 12:00pm
This course places gender and its intersections with race, culture, social class, sexuality, and ethnicity at the center of theological inquiry. These structural forces shape the individual and collective lives of all persons across diverse cultures and times as well as provide analytical categories for critically examining the worlds in which we live. This course is designed first of all to examine our own assumptions, named and unnamed, that we bring to our understandings of gender justice and its associated issues of sexuality and identity constructions, and then to strive theologically both in personal and communal spheres toward gender justice in our own lives within Canada and globally.
Fumitaka Matsuoka is Robert Gordon Sproul Professor Emeritus of Theology at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA. An ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren, Dr. Matsuoka has served as a pastor in California, an educational missionary in Indonesia, and in campus ministries in Japan. Dr. Matsuoka delves into cross-cultural and cross-ethnic dimensions of ministry and theology in his books, The Color of Faith (1998) and Out of Silence: Emerging Theological Themes of Asian American Churches (1995).
Parish ministry and teaching in hospitals, prisons and urban settings inform Sharon Thornton’s passion for pastoral theology. She seeks to cultivate a classroom climate open to imagination, courage and critical thinking in order to address pastoral issues emerging in diverse communities of faith today. Her book Broken Yet Beloved addresses contemporary experiences of historical suffering. She also is working with public school educators to bring a faith perspective into conversations about diversity in the classroom. Ordained in the United Church of Christ, Sharon joined the faculty of Andover Newton in 2000.
TH512 – Reconciliation: Becoming a New Creation (Orthodox Perspectives on a Human Longing) with David Goa
9:00am – 12:00pm
Is the struggle for personal holiness and social justice the same struggle? Is the journey towards personal salvation part and parcel of the unfolding of cosmic transformation? Does Orthodoxy have anything to teach us about the pathways of reconciliation “to our deepest distress”, to the healing of enmity and the recovery of empathy between people(s), and, finally, to the restoration of all creation? What has Orthodoxy made of the Apostle Paul’s notion that in and through Jesus Christ “all things were made” and “are made new” despite brokenness and wounds? Why, within this tradition of the Christian Church, are historical, cultural and personal wounds understood, in the end, as gifts and treasures and the sources of a new creation?
David Goa is Director of the Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life, Augustana campus, University of Alberta. He lectures widely and is the author of numerous books and scholarly articles and is a regular contributor to the media. His work focuses on religious tradition and modern culture, culture and the civil life, and on public institutions in service to cultural communities and modern civil society.
SP5/718 – Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen: Architects of Spiritual Wisdom with Dr. Michael Higgins
9:00am – 12:00pm
Merton and Nouwen are ideal models for post-conciliar spirituality. Although Merton—monk, poet, essayist, and diarist par excellence—anticipated the Council (1962-1965), his work on returning to the sources (monastic and biblical) as well as his exploration of ecumenical and interfaith points of convergence established him as a figure easily validated by the Council and its insights. Nouwen—psychologist, professor and spiritual writer—was very much a product of the Council, shaped by its teaching and custom-changing dynamic. We will explore some of the commonalities to be found in their work as spiritual diarists, honest chroniclers of the soul’s progress, pioneers of the heart’s horizons.
Michael Higgins is past President of two Canadian Catholic universities and currently Vice-President of Mission and Catholic Identity at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. He is the author and co-author of over a dozen books including two bestsellers—Power and Power: the Catholic Church at the Crossroads and Stalking the Holy: In Pursuit of Saint-Making—and two award winners—Heretic Blood: The Spiritual Geography of Thomas Merton and Suffer the Children Unto Me: An Open Inquiry into the Clerical Sex Abuse Scandal. His most recent work is Genius Born of Anguish: the life and legacy of Henri Nouwen.
ED/HB510 – For Fun and Prophet with Rev. Dr. Patricia Dutcher-Walls
2:00pm – 5:00pm
The prophetic books of the Hebrew Bible contain serious subjects, but they don’t have to be boring. So why not learn about prophets, and about teaching Bible studies, in a way that’s both serious and fun? This course will introduce the context and literature of four major prophets (Amos, First Isaiah, Jeremiah and Second Isaiah) and demonstrate teaching methods that can enliven Bible studies for teens through adults. Background resources, class discussions, and interactive teaching will be aimed at helping intelligent and interested lay people become informed and faithful readers of Scripture and leaders in education for congregations. So, get ready for a dynamic and interactive week. Wear your runners, bring your “outside voice” and active imagination, and be ready for some serious fun.
Patricia Dutcher-Walls is Professor of Hebrew Scripture at VST. Her publications bridge scholarship for Biblical study both in the academy and the church, including four books and a number of articles in scholarly and religious journals. Her most recent book is one she edited; The Family in Life and In Death: Sociological and Archaeological Perspectives which is a collection of articles by leading scholars of the social and archaeological world of ancient Israel. Her articles range from an academic contribution on the sources of ancient Israel’s royal theology in the Journal of Biblical Literature, to accessible articles on biblical interpretation in the Presbyterian Record such as “How to Read the Bible: A World of Difference” in June 2009.
IPC5/711 – Ways of Reconciliation in Buddhist Teachings with Dr. Heesoon Bai
2:00pm – 5:00pm
Many spiritual traditions in the world teach one how to cultivate loving, forgiving, and befriending states of consciousness. Buddhism is one of these traditions. Buddhist teachings of ‘Four Divine Emotions’ (Brahma Viharas) is supported by contemporary neuroscientific researches on positive emotions, and can be taken up by anyone, regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof, to facilitate living well in a world that constantly challenges the foundations of our humanity. In this course, we will focus on the four states of Brahma Viharas (loving-kindness, compassion, empathic joy, and equanimity). We will study their psychological and neuroscientific backings, and cultivate the four states through daily practice in personally relevant and meaningful ways.
Heesoon Bai is a Professor in Philosophy of Education at Simon Fraser University, Canada. She researches and writes in the intersections of ethics, ecological worldviews, contemplative ways, and Asian philosophies. Her co-edited and co-authored books include: Fields of Green: Restorying Culture, Environment, Education (2009); Speaking of Teaching: Inclinations, Inspirations, and Innerworkings (2012); and Contemplative Learning and Inquiry Across Disciplines (forthcoming). Through her work and teaching, she promotes cross-cultural, worldview-based, and comparative philosophies in education. As an Asian-Canadian researcher, she is active in East-West dialogue.
Summer Spiritual Retreat: July 5-7 (Friday 6pm – Sunday 12pm)
SP521 – Discovering Ignatian Spirituality with Fr. Elton Fernandes
This weekend retreat allows participants to learn about and practice essential aspects of Ignatian spirituality, a pathway to deepening in intimacy with Christ. Ignatian Gospel contemplation provides an opportunity to meet and interact with Christ in the context of Scripture. Ignatian discernment examines questions such as, ‘Of all the voices in life, how do I know what is from God and what is not?’ and ‘When making a decision, how do I know which option Christ is inviting me to choose?’ The Examen prayer invites people to discover Christ at work in the events—mundane and extraordinary—of daily life. The retreat will also include a sketch of the life of Ignatius of Loyola and offer resources from The Spiritual Exercises for use beyond the retreat.
Elton Fernandes, S.J. entered the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 1999. After novitiate and philosophy studies in Canada and the US, he was missioned to Taiwan. After completing M.Div. studies at Fu Jen University in Taipei, he returned to Canada where he was ordained in 2009. He received a licence in theology (S.T.L.,Th.M.) in spirituality from Regis College (University of Toronto) and completed an internship at Loyola House Retreat Centre in Guelph, Ontario. He is currently in Vancouver teaching Ignatian spirituality at St. Mark’s College, providing spiritual direction and giving the Spiritual Exercises.
Week Two Summer School Public Lectures:
All Public Lectures are held in the Epiphany Chapel at the Vancouver School of Theology
Tuesday July 9th, 7:00pm – “I am sorry. I am truly very sorry” – Malcolm Naea Chun, VDS Lecturer
Thursday July 11th, 5:30 Merton Reception (in H.R. MacMillan Library at VST)
7:00pm Lecture – Two Monks and a Dutch Quester: Thomas Merton, John Eudes
Bamberger and Henri Nouwen – Dr. Michael W. Higgins