• The Dangerously Divine Gift: a Biblical Theology of Power

      Sweetman, Robert; McGuire, Rachel A.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2015-05)
      This dissertation develops a large-scale biblically-shaped theo-ethical narrative of power. Propelled by a liberationist commitment, this work first stands in solidarity with earth's marginalized majorities, and then focuses its lens on the social location of "middle agents." In the global economic/power structure, middle agents (the eighteen percent) live and work in the space between the two percent who own over half the world and the eighty percent who earn less than ten dollars per day. The method is constructive. The work develops a scriptural narration of power that starts in creation, moves through the fall(the first act of commodification), and into violence, empire and the demonic. The central part of the project concentrates on the particular predicament of middle agents in complex globalizing regimes. Staying close to the gospel (particularly Luke and Mark), in the second half, an ethic of hospitality is developed – one that rearranges power structures, moving practitioners personally, communally, and societally toward a world of shared power. The story of power closes with a reading of apocalypse as the falling away of parasitic and violent structures, and the emergence of new creation on earth. The academic approach is interdisciplinary. At each stage, relevant academic conversations are engaged in biblical studies (e.g. Ellen Davis, Terence Fretheim, William Herzog, Richard Horsley, Sylvia Keesmaat, Catherine Keller, J. Richard Middleton and Ched Myers), liberation theology/praxis (e.g. James Cone, Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz, Gustavo Gutiérrez, Martin Luther King Jr., Kwok Pui-Lan and Letty Russell), and social theory (e.g. Hannah Arendt, Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault).
    • Debating the Past and Future: an Analysis of Conflicting Views of History Within the MacKenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry, 1974-1977

      McIntire, C. T.; MacRury, Malcolm Hector; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1984)
    • Decomposing Modernity: Images of Human Existence in the Writings of Ernest Becker

      Olthuis, James H.; Martin, Stephen William; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1992-12)
    • Democracy and Diversity

      Shadd, Philip; Centre for Philosophy, Religion and Social Ethics, Institute for Christian Studies; Chaplin, Jonathan (Institute for Christian Studies, 2015)
    • Democracy Without Secularism: A Pragmatist Critique of Habermas

      Kuipers, Ronald A.; van der Merwe, W. L.; Mullin, Daniel Michael; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2012-12)
      Jürgen Habermas has argued that democracy depends on all citizens recognizing the legitimacy of the law. Therefore, political argument must appeal only to public reason which is secular. Religious citizens must translate their reasons into a secular language accessible to the public. This dissertation argues that religious arguments are justified in public discourse if they refrain from dogmatism. Moreover, there is nothing inherent in secular reasons that make them publicly accessible or likely to generate consensus among members of a pluralistic society. If we treat religious arguments as simply arguments with controversial premises, it becomes less clear why religious arguments are singled out as particularly problematic for liberal democracies, since many secular political arguments share this feature. Granted, religious reasons are unlikely to secure consensus, but this does not count against them if consensus is not the goal of democratic discourse. This dissertation makes the case that Habermas, and other liberal theorists such as Rawls, have placed too much emphasis on consensus as the goal of democracy. Moreover, what they refer to is not practical consensus achieved pragmatically through compromise, but an idealized consensus that is the achievement of secular reason. This is problematic for two main reasons: there is no normative reason to think we ought to attain such consensus and such consensus is unlikely to be achieved in practice. Thus, there seems to be no normative force to the claim that religious citizens out to translate their arguments in secular language.
    • The Development of Curriculum With Relation to the Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea

      Blomberg, D. G.; University of Sydney (1978)
      This thesis is concerned primarily with the philosophical foundations, and particularly the epistemological foundations, of a Christian approach to the school curriculum: we will construct a theoretical model of knowledge which may fruitfully inform the selection of goals and the establishment of criteria for the obedient progress of Christian education.
    • A Different Conversion by a Different C.S. Lewis: An Analysis of Surprised By Joy

      Sweetman, Robert; Knibbe, Stefan; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2015-05)
      C.S. Lewis is perhaps as well known for his life story as his literary accomplishments. Central to that narrative is his shocking conversion from atheism to Christianity. Despite this Surprised by Joy, Lewis's primary work on the subject, has not been the centre of a focused study. This thesis reveals that, prior to writing Surprised by Joy, Lewis developed a growing appreciation for how experiences and story factored in religious belief. Rather than focusing on arguments, Surprised by Joy tells the story of how Lewis came to terms with his fundamental experiences of the world. Tension between these experiences and his worldview drove Lewis onward until they were reconciled by his acceptance of The True Myth. Using Vollenhoven's Reformed Philosophy, I show the implications of Surprised by Joy: that the stories we feel ourselves to be living in circumscribe our experiences and knowledge, and that conversion involves coming to inhabit the biblical story.
    • A Different Tenor: Songs of Love and Sorrow--Re-Engaging the Social Ethics of Music

      Smick, Rebekah; Zuidervaart, Lambert; Toronto School of Theology; Royal Conservatory of Music; Institute for Christian Studies (University of Toronto Press, 2011)
      The question of how music relates to our existence as ethical beings has not always elicited the same response. For much of the twentieth century, the relation between music and ethics was addressed from the angle of music's autonomy. Music was fenced off from society so that it might better fulfill its own internal demands. Thus, in answer to the question whether music has, or should have, an ethical dimension, the predominating philosophical answer of the twentieth century was solidly negative. The article that follows, a response to this negative point of view, reproduces a panel discussion that took place in April 2010 during a conference entitled "Songs of Love and Sorrow: Re-Engaging the Social Ethics of Music." Co-organized by the Institute for Christian Studies, the Toronto School of Theology, and the Royal Conservatory of Music, the conference attempted to bring to the musical arts a concern to re-evaluate the social significance of artistic experience and practice. Though not argued like an essay, the article highlights significant themes about the relationship of music to ethics, including the innately social character of music, its possible effect on our behaviour, the potential social content of sound itself, the positive social effect of music's ambiguity, the need to break down the barriers between music practitioners and interpreters, the role communities might play in sponsoring the work of musicians, and the possible compatibility between music's formal requirements and its potential for social engagement.
    • Discourse and the Common Good: Legitimation and Plurality in Habermas and MacIntyre

      Chaplin, Jonathan; Smith, Adam Benjamin; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2006)
      Not supplied
    • Discovering Connection: The Dynamic Tension and a 'More-Than' in an Eckhartian Conception of Soul

      Sweetman, Robert; Schulz-Wackerbarth, Yorick Immanuel; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2004-02)
      This thesis is first and foremost the result of my grappling with the works of Meister Eckhart. Accordingly, I intend to present here my reading of Eckhart's thought. This reading, my struggle to interpret the Meister, was, from the beginning, however, motivated by the aim to join a certain conversation. This conversation is what I have come to know as 'Christian philosophy'. I am new to the circles of those who admit to be participating in this scandalous project, yet already I have become quite aware of the controversy pervading this notion. It comes to the fore not only in the critical voices from the 'outside', questioning its meaning, relevance and legitimacy, but also in a lack of 'internal' consensus concerning its entailments. This is not necessarily a point of criticism on my part. In fact, I am much a proponent of conversations or projects that have an openness to them and lack clear cut deliminations. It does, however, make a brief apologia in preparation to this thesis necessary. I have no ambition whatsoever to state here what Christian philosophy is or should be. God forbid! I merely deem it important to place my project in context, and for that purpose I intend here to point out to the reader the direction I am facing. Thus, what needs to be clarified at the outset of my argument is that particular understanding of Christian philosophy this thesis intends to engage. The question here is, where and how to locate the conversation this thesis hopes to join. [from Prologue, p. 3]
    • Dooyeweerd's Conception of Truth: Exposition and Critique

      Zuidervaart, Lambert; Institute for Christian Studies (Association for Reformational Philosophy, 2008)
      A transformed idea of truth is central to the project of reformational philosophy. This essay lays groundwork for such an idea by proposing a critical retrieval of Herman Dooyeweerd's conception of truth. First it summarizes relevant passages in Dooyeweerd's New Critique. Then it demonstrates several problems in his conception: he misconstrues religious truth, misconceives its relation to theoretical truth, and overlooks central questions of epistemology and truth theory. By addressing these problems, reformational philosophers can find new ways to think about truth that retain the holism, normativity, and radicalness of Dooyeweerd’s conception.
    • Dooyeweerd's Theory of Individuality Structure as an Alternative to a Substance Position, Especially That of Aristotle

      Hart, Hendrik; Zigterman, Kent; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1977-07)
    • Dooyeweerd's Theory of Public Justice: a Critical Exposition

      Marshall, Paul A.; Chaplin, Jonathan; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1983-06)
    • A Dream That Begins in Responsibility: Philosophy, Rorty, and the Other

      Hart, Hendrik; Kuipers, Ronald A.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 1994-11)
    • "The Earth Will Be Filled With the Glory of God": Christian Scholarship Confronting Injustice and Suffering

      Blomberg, Doug; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2015-05-08)
    • Earth’s Lament: Suffering, Hope, and Wisdom

      Zuidervaart, Lambert; Institute for Christian Studies (2003-11-21)
    • Earth’s Lament: Suffering, Hope, and Wisdom [Rev. version]

      Zuidervaart, Lambert; Institute for Christian Studies (2009-01-27)
    • Educating the Will

      Blomberg, Doug; Institute for Christian Studies (2014-05-29)
    • Education and Political Authority: Procedure, Jurisdiction, Substantive Goodness and the Specificity of Schools

      Chaplin, Jonathan; Brink, Robert A.; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2008)
      The appropriate relationship between political authority and education/schools as it relates to jurisdictional, procedural and substantive considerations, is highly contested. Several political theorists, including Amy Gutmann, Brian Barry, Chandran Kukathas and Iris Marion Young, have contributed to the debate, each prioritizing one of these considerations over the others. Attempts by other scholars to reconcile the considerations often fail to adequately accept the implications of the theoretical underpinnings of each. A political theoretical orientation that combines a recognition of institutional specificity with an awareness of the multifaceted nature of contested phenomena will enable theorists to address the heretofore intractable points of contention amongst political theorists surrounding issues of jurisdictional/procedural propriety and substantive goodness as they relate to educational practices and institutions. This orientation clarifies the dialogue between the most prominent theoretical approaches to analysis of political authority's just relation to education within modern liberal democracies.
    • Education for Re-Indigenization: Toward an Econormative Philosophy of Education

      Andreas, Jonathan Peter; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2021)
      The proliferation of ecological crises on the Earth in the twenty-first century is mainly due to a human arrogance founded on the metanarrative of anthropocentrism. Whereas Jesus rejected a claim to imperial power, Christianity is guilty of supporting Western civilization’s trajectory of colonization, genocide, and ecocide. Christian education has done little more than lay a thin veil of piety over the industrial model of preparing students for successful placement in the machine of Progress. All of this rests on a Platonic dualism: man [sic] over nature/creation, civilized over uncivilized, orthodoxy over orthopraxy, mind over body. By separating meaning from being and segregating learning from the real world, the Western educational model leaves students adrift in a fragmented and abstract existence. This contrasts significantly with Native American and other Indigenous epistemologies and educational philosophies. To help heal the Earth and reclaim the econormative core of the Christian lifeway requires that we once again educate our children to be Indigenous in their local bioregion.