COURSE

Graduate Learning Exchange 

2019

To Whom Should We Pray?

WITH FAROS TSEGAYE | FEBRUARY 2019

Joseph Jungmann in his study ‘place of Christ in liturgical prayer’ (1925) argues the earlier formula for liturgical prayers was ‘to the Father, through the Son …’. This was altered, he presumes, as a sequel of the 4th century Christological controversies, with the consequence that the humanity of Christ and his mediatorial role was occluded/devalued while accentuating His divinity. This proposition, however, neglects the pluralistic liturgical – Christological context of the earliest church, where a high Christology is normative in some traditions. Therefore, I will argue the historical-theological antecedents of prayers addressed to Christ in the Ethiopic liturgy goes back to Christian traditions that had exalted view of Christ as the ‘Word [that] became flesh’ (John 1:14). I will also argue despite the accent on the divinity of Christ, the Ethiopic liturgy provide apposite depiction of his humanity, while his mediatorial role is perceived in terms of the Jewish Messianic end time Son of Man tradition.

Speaking to a seeking Generation Through the Arts

WITH CALEB FROELICH | MAY 2019

Around one-fifth of the American public is religiously unaffiliated – higher than at any period in recent U.S. history – and those younger than 35 especially seem to be drifting from organized religion. In fact, over a third of young Americans say they don’t belong to any established religion. This does not mean, however, that they all have become atheists. Indeed, an overwhelming majority of these “religious nones” are content to describe themselves as spiritual or simply as seekers. Comparable statistics can be found in other Western cultures today. Given these trends, what language might the church use to respond to the hunger and thirst of a seeking generation? I propose that we can find some guidance by examining the very similar quest culture of “the long 1960s” (lasting from about 1958 to 1974) in which the arts served as touchstones for many young Americans in their search for personal fulfillment. In this exchange, I would like us to explore the arts as a language which can open up or encourage seekers to seriously consider and engage with religion.

2018

The Nature of the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

WITH KIM KROLL | APRIL 2018

The biblical use of indwelling language communicates an intimacy between persons, objects, and concepts which blurs and rubs against metaphysical categories without providing its own metaphysical framework for which the sort of intimacy implied in the indwelling can exist. 

Because of this metaphysical underdetermination, understanding the peculiarities of the Spirit’s indwelling of a person is, plainly, a perplexing task.

Further, once one begins to ask what it literally means for God to dwell in an individual, she senses herself to be a bit beyond the finitude of her mind, considering scenarios and conceptual possibilities like those of an abstract world of science fiction. However, the indwelling of God in an individual is not some counterfactual story created to push against the constraints of the ordained metaphysician’s logical constructions; it is a concrete reality for the believer in Jesus—God makes his home in the believer.

Returning Theologians to the Church

WITH DAVID RATHEL | MARCH 2018

You enjoy academic work and the study of theology, but you also want to invest your energy in the local church. Is it possible to combine these two interests? Of course! This presentation will offer guidance as to how you can do so. It will explore several eighteenth-century ministers who devoted their constructive theological proposals to the pressing pastoral issues of their day. Then, seeking to provide a model for present day Christians who wish to wed theological work with local church ministry, it will draw contemporary application from their writings.

Walking: Past & Present Recreation with Creation

WITH JAMIE HINRICHS | FEBRUARY 2018

As an environmental-history PhD student, Jamie examines the perceived benefits, and advised methods, of walking in rural landscapes in mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth-century Britain.  Among many enjoyments given to rural walking were the pleasures found in a slow pace, idleness, and wandering.  In Jamie’s period of study, the recommendations to walk slowly, linger, and explore a rural scene can be understood as a response to the contemporary experience of living in a rapid age restricted by time. During this conversation at Chalmers, Jamie discusses a bit of what she has found in her research about rural walking, and how she discovered the same benefits in walking today as the walkers from my period of study.  Jamie shares how walking is a spiritual practice for her personally, but how she believes that walking can metaphorically convey some guidance on how God may be calling us as a Body to adapt to the instantaneous age of time-consuming distractions that we live in.

2017

Transforming Friendship

WITH GLEN MARGIE MCKERRON | NOVEMBER 2017

What is the impact of our friendships on our relationship with God? How appropriate is it to think and speak of God himself as our ‘friend’? When we look back at the history of the church, we often read about the people who wrote significant theological works: Augustine, Aquinas, and others. But what about the people that left their mark on the people with whom they engaged, rather than the pages they published?

Demons and Worldviews

WITH TOMMI KARJALAINEN | OCTOBER 2016

Tommi has researched the topic of demon-possession and exorcism over the past six years. Tommi wrote his master’s thesis on demon-possession of Christians in Finland, and his Ph.D. thesis is on Jesus’s exorcisms in the context of Second Temple messianic expectation. In this talk, Tommi will focus on issues of spiritual formation, counselling, and Christian ministry. Tommi hopes to help people think what would be a properly biblical stance towards demons and exorcism in the 21st century.

2016

The Eucharist as Identity Formation

WITH MARKUS NIKKANEN | NOVEMBER 2016

The Graduate Learning Exchange is a way of connecting scholars and church for the benefit of both.  At monthly meetings, post graduate researchers share the fruit of their work with a mixed group of other scholars and church members. The speakers are encouraged to “translate” their research into the language of non-specialists and then be open to questions and dialogue about their work and how it serves the Gospel and the Church.

The speaker is Markus Nikkanen (PhD candidate in Biblical Studies) whose research is focused on the origin of the Pauline concept of participation in Christ.

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