9 January 2017

Leadership: Vision and Mission

This course is designed to enable participants to understand, develop and encourage faithful leadership in Christian schools. School leaders are a vital link in the translation of parents’ hopes and priorities into the life of classrooms. The vision of Christian schooling that leaders seek to sustain, is not simply their own, but that of the supporting community. This is both exciting and challenging. Where does the vision come from? What are the components of an educational vision? How is a vision articulated? How does a vision inform the educational agenda? How does a vision grow and flourish through generations of parents, teachers and students?

Christian schools have developed a variety of management structures to support their vision for Christ-centred education. This course gives participants the opportunity to examine these structures critically in the light of:
  • the school’s and their own educational focus and values
  • the need to nurture Christian community
  • the need to sustain a dynamic vision for Christian schooling.
ICSD120304/220304 W17
CSTC 1560
Instructor: Dr. Dirk Windhorst
(MWS, MA, PhD)

5 January 2017

Pragmatism and Religion: From Classical to Neo

This course will explore a number of questions regarding the mutual influence between the philosophical school known as pragmatism and the religious traditions that form part of its historical context: How do the passions and commitments of pragmatism relate to religious concerns? How does the pragmatic tenet that the meaning and worth of ideas lies in their practical consequences comport with religious forms of life and the understandings of morality they fund? How might its suspicion regarding traditional “supernaturalist” theologies affect the way we wish to think about religion, God, and our place in the world? What have pragmatists suggested are the best ways for religious groups to comport themselves in a democratic society? Finally, how does pragmatism’s emphasis on futurity and experimental flexibility fit with the religious concern to carry forward and pass along an age-old tradition? In exploring various pragmatists’ answers to these questions, this course will explore the potential resources that this philosophical tradition might offer to our contemporary understanding of religious life patterns. In addition to exploring the insights of such "classical" pragmatists as Charles Sanders Pierce, William James, and John Dewey, this course will also focus on the work of such contemporary (or “neo”) pragmatists as Richard Rorty, Jeffrey Stout, and Kevin Hector.

ICS 120501/220501 W17
Dr. Ronald A. Kuipers
Thursday 1:45pm-4:45pm

(MWS, MA, PhD)

Syllabus

God/Sex/Word/Flesh: Gender, Theology, and the Body

How is our agenda for theology related to our gender? Is ‘God’ a male word? Is the ‘Word made flesh’ a male God? Does the experience of women change how God is (made) known? Is sexuality embraced by the resurrection? Attentive to the work of feminist theologians and biblical scholars, we will attempt to develop an ‘embodied’ theology open to the biblical vision that God will be ‘all in all’.

ICS 220804 W17
Dr. Nik Ansell
Thursday 9:30am-12:30pm

(MA, PhD)

Syllabus

4 January 2017

Interdisciplinary Seminar

Interdisciplinary Seminar to be decided

ICS 2400AC W17
Wednesday 9:30am-12:30pm

(MA, PhD)

3 January 2017

The Aesthetics of Compassion

In light of the recent renewed interest in the meanings and mechanisms of empathy in such areas as ethics, visual studies, and the philosophy of mind, this course examines the place and role of compassion in the development of the Western aesthetics tradition. Considering a range of art theoretical texts, literature, and images for which the theme of compassion has been crucial, the course aims to clarify the ways in which the concept of compassion has been thought able to account for certain of the emotional and cognitive links that exist between an artwork and its audience.

ICS 220104 W17
Dr. Rebekah Smick
Tuesday 1:45pm-4:45pm

(MA, PhD)

Rhetoric as Philosophy from Isocrates to the Age of Abelard and Heloise

This seminar examines the ancient and medieval discipline of rhetoric and its practitioners’ claim that it represented a properly philosophical discourse.   It does so in terms of a selection of texts drawn from the works of Isocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, Abelard and Heloise.   In the process, it explores the relationship between affectivity and discursive validity with a view to the effect such a focus has on our understanding of Greek and Latin philosophy, patristic and medieval theology and their intertwined history.

ICS 220407 W17
Dr. Robert Sweetman
Tuesday 9:30am-12:30pm

(MA, PhD)

Syllabus

20 September 2016

Ways of Learning

Participants in the course will investigate and evaluate significant perspectives on the learning process in order to understand the assumptions of various theories and to interpret these from a biblically-informed standpoint. They will review current research into child development and learning (e.g. brain research, cognitive processes, multiple intelligences, learning styles) in seeking to develop a coherent understanding of the relationships between various learning theories, on the basis of a Christian view of the person and of knowledge. An action research project will enable participants to test an approach to learning in the context of their own classrooms.

ICSD 120305/220305 F16
CSTC1540
Instructor: Doug Blomberg / Joonyong Um

(MWS, MA, PhD)

19 September 2016

Vocational Wayfinding

“What am I to do with my life?” “Who am I?” There appears to be an inextricable connection between the work that we do and our sense of who we are. As the poet David Whyte has suggested, work is for all of us a pilgrimage of identity. It is not, however, a pilgrimage for which any of us are provided with a GPS device, allowing us to navigate in straight lines with comfortable certainty towards clear career objectives that cohere in obvious ways with an immutable sense of our identity. Instead, this pilgrimage is more like the experience of Polynesian sailors, who traversed the vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean with the help of the stars, memory, and close attention to the patterns of the waves on the surface of the ocean as these reflected features of the ocean (including far-off islands). Polynesian wayfinding was a way of navigating that required alert improvisation and frequent reorientation from within a perpetually shifting context. Our vocational pilgrimages require of us to find our way in a similar manner.  

In this course we will explore particular practices, frameworks, and tools, by means of which we can engage in vocational wayfinding. Prompted by our readings we will consider some of the relationships between work and identity: How does my work prompt my discovery of my sense of self? How do I try out possible selves in relation to whatever in the world is calling me toward particular kinds of work? What am I to do with my life? We will give close attention to those passages in our lives (in particular young adulthood and the middle passage of life) when both our work contexts and our experience of our identity are most obviously in flux. In addition, we will consider how to contribute skilful leadership and insightful mentoring to others as they engage in their own vocational wayfinding, particularly in the contexts of the workplace and educational institutions.


Vocational Wayfinding is a two-part course that will equip participants to navigate the work-life journey. The first six-week module will focus more on frameworks for digging into the meaning of our work-life journeys, and will include a discussion of David Whyte’s book Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity. The second six-week module will focus more on practical tools for figuring out how to go about the next phase of our careers, and will include a discussion of Herminia Ibarra’s book Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career.

ICSD 132502/232502 F16
Dr. Gideon Strauss
Distance
(MWS, MA, PhD)

First Module: Week of Sept. 19 - Oct. 24
Second Module: Week of Nov. 7 - Dec. 13

15 September 2016

Community, Faith, and Judgment: Hannah Arendt and Religious Critique

This seminar explores Hannah Arendt’s reflections on judgment, especially as these were shaped by her experience reporting for The New Yorker at the 1961 war crimes trial of Adolf Eichmann. After exploring the issues Arendt raises in Eichmann in Jerusalem, and before turning to her most mature reflections on the theme of judgment in particular, we will examine Arendt's understanding of the human situation "between past and future" in the essay collection that bears the same name. These essays will help contextualize Arendt's last (and uncompleted) reflections on judgment as that 'faculty' which might yet help us think and act in unprecedented social and political situations where traditional wisdom has collapsed and universal rules have proved incapable of providing moral guidance. Arendt asks how we can come to understand our time, with its unprecedented crimes, and thereby reconcile ourselves to (without condoning) our past and present. Such understanding is essential, she says, if we are to be able to take up the possibility of an alternative future path amidst the various crises of culture, tradition, and authority that characterize modern existence. This exploration will finally lead us to Arendt's latest thoughts concerning judging specifically, a subject which she intended to form the subject matter of her third, uncompleted, volume of The Life of the Mind. In looking at the material collected in the volume Responsibility and Judgment, we will also ask what members of specifically religious communities might learn from Arendt's reflections (a question Arendt does not herself ask): Are faith communities prone to fostering ideological formations that inhibit their members' capacity to engage in the kind of thinking that Arendt says is a necessary condition of our ability to judge? Should members of faith communities be held responsible for engaging (or failing to engage) in the task of critical self-reflection? How do the beliefs and actions of different religious communities contribute to the ability of their members to become effective judges of a world that is shared and constituted by a plurality of persons who are members of different communities? How might Arendt's insights help religious adherents rediscover the spiritual and intellectual resources of their traditions that could awaken hope and reveal novel possibility for action?

ICS 220502 F16
Dr. Ronald A. Kuipers
Thursday 1:45pm-4:45pm

(MA, PhD)

Syllabus