Higher Education’s Future Prospects

Future Prospects for Higher Education: Key Drivers of Sustainability

November 17, 2015  @ 4:00 p.m.        Woodward (IRC) Room 1

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Panel Members

Jens Zimmermann, Canada Chair in Interpretation, Religion and Culture, Trinity Western University

Emily Osborne, PhD Cambridge, Postdoctoral Fellow UBC English

Bruce Hindmarsh, James Houston Professor of Spiritual Theology, Regent College

Ron Dart, Professor of Political Science and Philosophy, University of the Fraser Valley 

Recording of the Discussion


In a recent Globe and Mail article, CNN’s reporter Farheed Zakaria posits the tough question, “Is liberal-arts education more than a nostalgia for a bygone era of higher learning, now out of sync with today’s hyper-competitive skills-based economies?” Such questions are also posed by many powerful influencers today. In a different issue of the Globe, Alan Wildeman, President and vice-chancellor of University of Windsor, adjures us in an article entitled “We ignore liberal arts at our peril” where he argues that the liberal arts is essential for civility, democracy, wise decision-making and competence in the job world. As a multicultural country playing in the global arena, Canada needs a citizenry that learns and studies human differences, social behaviors and cultural traditions. Indeed, does higher education encourage the pursuit of character development together with academic excellence? Is it innovative, socially relevant and sustainable? Does it prepare students for negotiating an increasingly complex and competitive globalized world? What will inspire and engage their imagination in the pursuit of active citizenship and civil discourse? Post-secondary education has a huge cultural and economic influence in Canada. It shapes the future, while building on a critical appreciation of the past. In its community, UBC Vancouver has 10,000 postgraduate and 41,000 undergraduate students from around the world. They come with high hopes for skill and credential development, and long to contribute to meaningful research and to acquire good future careers. A large percentage hope to make a better world. Education seems essential for both self-awareness and global awareness. At the same time, globally education is under intense pressure from various forces (intrinsic and extrinsic), currently pulling it in different directions, amidst conflicting public and political expectations. In the early history of universities like Oxford and Cambridge, Harvard and Yale, Queen’s and McGill, character development was a central priority. It is timely for this panel to reflect upon the purpose and trajectory of the contemporary university, and the goods it is to pursue.

Panel Information

Jens Zimmermann, Canada Research Chair for Interpretation, Religion, and Culture at Trinity Western University, received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from UBC and his Doctorate in Philosophy from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. His research interests in include continental philosophy (especially hermeneutics), theological anthropology, the theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Christian humanism. He is author of Humanism and Religion: A Call For the Renewal of Western Culture (OUP 2012), and more recently of Hermeneutics: A Very Short Introduction, also with Oxford University Press.

Dr. Emily Osborne is currently a SSHRC-postdoctoral fellow in the Department of English, University of British Columbia. She received her PhD and MPhil from Cambridge University, where she studied medieval English, Icelandic and Scandinavian languages and literature. Her current research is interdisciplinary and transcultural, spanning literature from the seventh to fifteenth centuries in four languages, and engaging with sociolinguistics and philosophy of mind. Her academic publications and research projects are concerned with the history of rhetoric, poetic theory and metaphor theory, intentionality, and speech acts.

Bruce Hindmarsh took his D.Phil. degree in theology at Oxford University in 1993.  From 1995 to 1997 he was also a research fellow at Christ Church, Oxford.  He has since published and spoken widely to international audiences on the history of early British evangelicalism.  He is the author of two major booksJohn Newton and the English Evangelical Tradition (Oxford University Press, 1996) and The Evangelical Conversion Narrative (Oxford University Press, 2005). Bruce has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards, research grants and fellowships.  He has been a Mayers Research Fellow at the Huntington Library and a holder of the Henry Luce III Theological Fellowship.  A fellow of the Royal Historical Society, he is also a past-president of the American Society of Church History. He teaches the history of Christian spirituality at Regent College. 

Ron Dart has taught in the department of political science, philosophy, religious studies at University of the Fraser Valley since 1990. He was on staff with Amnesty International in the 1980s. Ron has published more than 30 books/booklets, including books on Stephen Leacock, George Grant and the classical Canadian Red Tory tradition.

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http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/we-ignore-the-liberal-arts-at-our-peril/article26228215/ Alan Wildeman September 7, 2015

http://www.nationalpost.com/m/related/Todd+higher+education+rediscover+soul/6755035/story.html Douglas Todd, Can Higher Education Rediscover its ‘Soul’?

http://www.epsociety.org/userfiles/art-Moser%20(Christ-Shaped%20Philosophy).pdf Dr. Paul Moser on Wisdom and Spirit

Clark Kerr, The Uses of the University.

Howard Gardner, 5 Minds for the Future.

Isaac Asimov, The Roving Mind.

Linda Zagzebski, Virtues of the Mind: an inquiry into the nature of virtue and the ethical foundation of knowledge. (Cambridge, 1996)

C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Michael Polanyi, Personal Knowledge:Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy.

Brad Gregory, The Unexpected Reformation: how a religious revolution secularized society.

John Henry Newman, The Idea of a University.

Josef Pieper, The Four Capital Virtues

George Marsden, The Soul of the American University: from Protestant establishment to established nonbelief.

George Marsden and Bradley J. Longfield, The Secularization of the Academy. (1992)

Harry Lewis, Excellence Without a Soul: Does Liberal Education have a Future?

Sir Ken Robinson, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything.

Tom McLeish, Faith and Wisdom in Science. http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/sep/19/faith-wisdom-science-tom-mcleish-review

David Brooks, The Road to Character (especially 262-67)

Douglas V. Henry and Michael Beaty (eds.), Christianity and the Soul of the University: Faith as a Foundation for Intellectual Community.

Charles Taylor, A Secular Age. (2007)

Timothy W. Burns and Peter Augustine Lawler, The Future of Liberal Education.

Anthony Kronman, Education’s End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life.

Martha Nussbaum, Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities. (Princeton, 2010).

David Lyle Jeffrey and Dominic Manganiello, Rethinking The Future of the University.

Jeffrey Selling, College (Un)Bound: the future of higher education.

John Somerville, The Decline of the Secular University.

John Cobb Jr., Spiritual Bankruptcy.

Susan Cain, Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking.

Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown, A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change.

Anya Kamenetz, DIY U: The Transformation of Higher Education.

Elizabeth Losh, The War on Learning: Gaining Ground in the Digital University.

Alexander W. Austin and Helen Austin, Beyond 2020: Envisioning the Future of the University in America.

R. L. Geigler and C. L. Colbeck, Future of the American Public Research University.

Josef A. Mestenhauser, Reflections on the Past, Present and Future of Internationalizing of Higher Education: Discovering Opportunities to Meet the Challenges. 

Others who weigh in on the Subject:

Stefan Collini, European Cultural Historian, Babson College

Ron Barnett, Realizing the University in an Age of Super Complexity (2000); Beyond all Reason: living with ideology in the university (2003)

Mike Higton, Durham University, A Theology of Higher Education (OUP, 2012)

Nigel Biggar, “What Are Universities For?’ in Theology and Human Flourishing: Essays in Honor of Timothy J. Gorringe, ed. Mike Higton, jeremy Law and Christopher Rowland (Wipf and Stock, 2011)

Steven Schwarz (Imperial Space Lab), “Not by Skills Alone’, Times Higher Education Supplement, 16 June 2011

Mary Midgley, Wisdom, Information, Wonder: What is Knowledge For? (Routledge, 1989)

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Critical Questions to Ponder about the Future of Higher Education

How does the pursuit of wisdom relate to developing job skills and work fitness? What are the sources of such wisdom?

What does it mean to become a cultured individual? What does it mean to become robustly personal and relational?

What is the relationship between knowledge and deeper understanding of life? What is the role of contemplation?

Does one’s development have anything to do with a consciousness of social benefit and the common good?

Are there key questions, human questions, that science cannot even begin to ask? Can science provide an adequate worldview? How do we discern between good science and the ideology of scientism?

What does personal formation have to do with education: fostering curiosity, wise judgment, humility and openness?

What cardinal intellectual and social virtues should we be pursuing and where are they sourced? Where are the models or exemplars for such virtues?

What role do universities have in shaping leaders for society? How do students develop into good citizens and learn to negotiate key issues on the international stage?

What is our responsibility to preserve the long history of the academic heritage?

What is the rich content of the good life we are pursuing through education? What is a thick definition of education?

How do we learn to use technology wisely as a tool towards good ends, without being consumed by the ideology of technologism?

Is there a place for religious and theological reflection in shaping the future task of the university? How does this contribute to the knowledge and life skills we need to live well?

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Religion and the Secular: Dr. Thomas Heilke

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 Thomas Heilke

Professor of Political Science and Associate Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, UBCO

The Engagement of Religion and the Secular

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


In his marvelous analysis of the roots of secular reason, John Milbank points out that the secular was, once upon a time, not a realm of existence, but a time, namely the “interval between fall and eschaton where coercive justice, private property and impaired natural reason” were understood as means of coping with “the unredeemed effects of sinful humanity.” That interval of “saeculum” in the Christian conception of history developed out of and alongside Christian theology itself into “the secular,” now understood by many scholars, intellectuals, and political practitioners to be a realm of existence in which “religion” has no meaningful place. The historical analyses of a host of scholars, however, have demonstrated an intimate relationship between Christianity (and especially Protestant theology) and the development of secular modernity. Thus, when we consider how Christian faith interfaces with the secular, or when we ask ourselves about the meaning of the Christian life in the context of secularism, secularity, or the secular, we would do well to recall first of all how the secular arose out of the Christian faith itself, and how, in the modern period, the two have often achieved a remarkable symbiosis that most Christians have not well understood. If Christians wish to engage in constructive ways with “the secular,” they must first understand (1) its origins in certain thought-ways of Christianity itself and (2) the fact that they (Christians) quite naturally and often unconsciously affirm many of the achievements of secularization. Only then is a coherent, non-ideological Christian engagement with secularity possible, including the possibility that Christians and secularists have a number of non-trivial common interests that are expressed, for example, by closely related vocabularies (and sensibilities) regarding religious and other civil liberties, the role of religious language in public life, and the bases of political legitimacy. Only then are meaningful, non-ideological, and intellectually coherent differentiations between the so-called Christian and secular “world-views” possible.

Facts, Values and Modern Myths About Ethics

Facts, Values and other Modern Myths About Ethics

R. Scott Smith, Associate Professor of Ethics, Biola University

Dr. Scott Smith is keenly interested in our abilities to have knowledge of reality, particularly in the areas of ethics and religion. He also is very interested in the needed ontology to have knowledge. He addresses “constructivism,” the fact-value split, and issues with our being able to have knowledge on the basis of naturalism, postmodernism, and nominalism. 

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October 7 and 8, 2015


A.  Can Scientific Naturalism Fully Explain Ethics?                                               Woodward IRC Room 5 @ 4:00 p.m. October 7, 2015

Scientific Naturalism and Ethics- R. Scott Smith Transcript of this Lecture

In the west, until the Enlightenment, both ethics and religion tended to be seen as areas in which we could have knowledge. But that changed with the historical rise of 1) the view that the universe is a closed, mechanistic, and material system, 2) the view that science is the pinnacle of the disciplines, and 3) the rise of empiricism, science came to be viewed as the unique set of disciplines that gives us knowledge of facts. Instead, ethics and religion were relegated to the realm of mere values, personal preferences, and opinions. Before the rise of naturalism to prominence in the modern era, morals tended to be seen as the kind of thing that can be universal, objectively real, and transcendent, being knowable by reason and revelation. But under naturalism, morals have to be the kind of thing amenable to a physicalist ontology. Despite numerous alternatives proposed by naturalists (e.g., that morals are just a biological adaptation), Dr. Smith will argue that naturalism lacks the ontology to make sense of ethics. Moreover, he will argue that the fact-value split is false – i.e. that if naturalism is true, we cannot know anything (even in science, business, etc.). But we do know many things, even in ethics, and so naturalism is called into serious question. It lacks the explanatory power we need for moral knowledge. But that means a radically different worldview, and ontology, must be sought out and examined.

B.  Does Postmodernism Offer a Better Alternative to Naturalism in Ethics?Woodward IRC Room 1 @ 4:00 p.m., October 8, 2015

Audio of Talk B.

If we cannot have any knowledge based on what naturalism allows as real, perhaps postmodernism (as explained by Wittgenstein or Derrida) might provide a favorable alternative. On this view, everything is interpretation, for there is no direct access to reality itself. To even have an experience requires interpretation. Thus postmodernism deconstructs and shows how science’s claim to a unique ability to give us knowledge of facts as they actually are in reality, is just another modern myth. Several ethicists have proposed more postmodern approaches to ethics, and a major figure is Alasdair MacIntyre. He proposes a return to Aristotle’s virtue ethics, modified in key ways, as a means to recover from the loss of moral knowledge precipitated by the Enlightenment. Yet knowledge now is to be understood as always from under a particular aspect; no one has an ahistorical, blind-to-nothing standpoint. For many scholars, the “postmodern condition” is axiomatic and reflects how we should move forward in ethics. But one may ask whether that indeed is the case. Professor Smith will argue that while postmoderns are right to draw our attention to the ways our situatedness affects how we interpret our experience, they are mistaken in their claims that everything is interpretation. Instead, he argue that we can know reality directly, and yet that does not mean we are blind-to-nothing, or can have a “God’s eye view”, or attain exhaustive knowledge. Postmodern attempts, moreover, cannot make adequate sense of what kind of things are some core moral principles and virtues (e.g. love and justice). If naturalist and postmodern approaches fail us regarding moral knowledge, is there a better explanation? Dr. Smith will argue that the best explanation is that moral principles and virtues exist objectively, and that they have a religious grounding – in God or theism. In this way, we can make robust sense of ethics.

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Professor R. Scott Smith received his PhD in Religion and Social Ethics from University of Southern California in 2000. He has been Professor of Philosophy and Ethics at Biola University since 2000. His academic interest is in Husserl, Phenomenology and Constructivism, Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. Deeply curious about the interrelationship of epistemology and metaphysics particularly in the area of ethics, he teaches graduate courses in ethics, philosophy of religion, metaphysics and epistemology. He is a member of the American Philosophical Association (APA). Dr. Smith is the author of a number of important books including In Search of Moral Knowledge: Overcoming the Fact-Value Dichotomy (IVP Academic, 2014), Naturalism and Our Knowledge of Reality: Testing Religious Truth-claims (Ashgate, 2012), and Virtue Ethics and Moral Knowledge: Philosophy of Language after MacIntyre and Hauerwas (Ashgate, 2003), along with many articles and chapters of books, including “Could We Know Reality, Given Physicalism? Nancey Murphy’s Views as Test Case,” Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 64:3 (September, 2012). He was honored with the Biola Award for Excellence in Scholarship in the year 2007-2008.

Online Christian Ethics & Moral Theology Research Bibliographies

Compiled and Annotated by James Bretzke

Professor Moral Theology
Boston College School of Theology & Ministry 140 Commonwealth Ave.
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 http://www.bc.edu/stm

Latest Addition or Update to the Web-site: August 18, 2015 See below for individual bibliography update information

Individual Online Bibliographies Updated Periodically

Bioethics Bibliography [Last update: May 2, 2015]


Casuistry in Moral Theology Bibliography [Last Update May 1, 2014]


Comparative Ethics Bibliography [Last update: June 24, 2011]


Conscience Bibliography [Last update: March 31, 2015]


Culture Bibliography [Uploaded April 18, 2015]


Donum Vitae Related Key Bibliography [Uploaded November 14, 2012


Ecumenical Ethics Bibliography [Updated: August 6, 2015]


Environmental & Ecological Ethics Bibliography [Uploaded August 20, 2012]


Evil and Compromise in Moral Theology Bibliography [Last update: August 18, 2015]


Fundamental Moral Theology & Christian Ethics Bibliography [Last update: August 1, 2015]


Fundamental Option Theory Bibliography [Uploaded July 28, 2014] https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/FundamentalOptionBibliography.pdf [uploaded July 28, 2014]

Globalization & Ethics Bibliography [Last update: July 5, 2011]


History of Moral Theology Bibliography [Last Update August 23, 2014]


Human Rights Bibliography [Updated: August 25, 2014]


Humanae Vitae Bibliography [Uploaded August 23, 2014]


Inculturation General Works Bibliography [Uploaded April 13, 2015]


Inculturation of Moral Theology Bibliography [Uploaded May 2, 2015]


Liberation Theology Bibliography [Uploaded: August 13, 2012]


Magisterium and Moral Theology Bibliography [Last update: May 17, 2015]


Narrative Theology Bibliography [Last update: June 17, 2011]


Natural Law Bibliography [Last update: August 18, 2015]


Scripture & Ethics Bibliography [Last update: May 2, 2015]


Sexual Ethics Bibliography [Last update: May 24, 2015]


Sin and Reconciliation Bibliography [Last update: March 27, 2015]


Veritatis Splendor Bibliography [Last update: August 14, 2014]


Virtue and Virtue Ethics Bibliography [Last update August 13, 2015] https://www2.bc.edu/james-bretzke/VirtueBibliographyByBretzke.pdf

War and Peace Bibliography [Last update: May 17, 2015]


Worship, Prayer & Sacraments in Moral Life Bibliography [Last update: January 20, 2012]


See also the following published 3 Research Bibliographies by James T. Bretzke, S.J.

A Research Bibliography in Christian Ethics and Catholic Moral Theology. Lewiston NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2006.

A book-length annotated and thoroughly indexed bibliography arranged topically, covering both Roman Catholic and Protestant themes and authors with titles in English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian.

Bibliography on Scripture and Christian Ethics. Studies in Religion and Society, 39. Lewiston NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1997.

Arranged both according to the Old and New Testament, as well as the individual books and/or authors of the New Testament. Entries are also given according to certain key thematic issues, such as methodology of the interplay and usage of the Bible in ethics, liberation theology and Scripture, biblical authority, feminist issues in biblical hermeneutics, as well as a number of theological themes such as justice and righteousness, the love command, law and gospel, sin and reconciliation, etc. Finally, entries are provided which cover a number of particular ethical themes such as ecology, economics, medical ethics, sexual ethics and gender issues, war and peace. A final section gathers titles which were published prior to the Second Vatican Council (1962- 1965) which marked a watershed for the greater appropriation of Scripture in the discipline of Roman Catholic moral theology.

Bibliography on East Asian Religion and Philosophy. Studies in Asian Thought and Religion, 23. Lewiston NY: Mellen Press, 2001.

Compiles, annotates, indexes and cross-references resources in the principal Western languages of English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish which focus on East Asia (principally China, Japan, and Korea) in the primary areas of philosophy and religious studies, with supporting resources in theology, history, culture, and related social sciences.

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God and the Multiverse, with Astronomer Deborah Haarsma, May 6

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Deborah Haarsma

Astronomer from Calvin College and  President of BioLogos

God and the Multiverse

 Wednesday, May 6 @ 4:00 p.m.

Woodward (IRC) Room 1

Audio File 



The last 100 years have transformed our understanding of the universe.  We now know that the universe is ancient, beginning in a Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago, and that it continues to expand today, at an ever-increasing rate.  We’ve also seen amazing evidence that some physical laws and constants are fine-tuned for life, as well as hints that our universe is part of a much bigger multiverse. What does all this have to do with God?   This talk will give an overview of a range of religious and non-religious responses to these exciting discoveries.


 Deborah Haarsma earned a PhD in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in1997. An experienced research scientist, she was Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Calvin College from 2009-2012, Professor of Astronomy from 1999-2012. She has several publications in the Astrophysical Journal and the Astronomical Journal on extragalactic astronomy and cosmology. Dr. Haarsma has studied very large galaxies (at the centers of galaxy clusters), very young galaxies (undergoing rapid star formation in the early universe), and gravitational lenses (where spacetime is curved by a massive object). Her work uses data from several major telescopes, including the Very Large Array radio telescope in New Mexico, the Southern Astrophysical Research optical and infrared telescope in Cerro Pachon, Chile, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory in orbit around the earth. Since January 2013, Dr. Haarsma has served as President of BioLogos (biologos.org) a serious academic dialogue between current world-class science and Christian faith.  BioLogos was founded by Dr. Francis Collins of the National Institute of Health in the USA, and runs annual conferences for scientists and church leaders. In this subject area, Haarsma published Origins: Christian Perspectives on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design with her husband and fellow physicist, Loren Haarsma. She also edited the anthology Delight in Creation: Scientists Share Their Work with the Church with Rev. Scott Hoezee.

See also: Satyan Devados at Cal Tech God, Math and the Multiverse


See also: Alister McGrath, A Fine-Tuned Universe: the Quest for God in Science and Theology. (2009).

Are there viable pathways from nature to God? Natural theology is making a comeback, stimulated as much by scientific advance as by theological and philosophical reflection. There is a growing realization that the sciences raise questions that transcend their capacity to answer them—above all, the question of the existence of God. So how can Christian theology relate to these new developments?

In this landmark work, based on his 2009 Gifford lectures, Alister McGrath examines the apparent ‘fine-tuning’ of the universe and its significance for natural theology. Exploring a wide range of physical and biological phenomena and drawing on the latest research in biochemistry and evolutionary biology, McGrath outlines our new understanding of the natural world and discusses its implications for traditional debates about the existence of God.

The celebrated Gifford Lectures have long been recognized as making landmark contributions to the discussion of natural theology. A Fine-Tuned Universe will contribute significantly to that discussion by developing a rich Trinitarian approach to natural theology that allows deep engagement with the intellectual and moral complexities of the natural world. It will be essential reading to those looking for a rigorous engagement between science and the Christian faith. – Amazon

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Galaxy similar to our Milky Way

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Background Radiation from Big Bang

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Cosmological History

Jason Lepojarvi on C.S. Lewis and Love’s Meaning, March 25

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Junior Research Fellow St. Benet’s Hall, Oxford University

 Agape versus Eros: C. S. Lewis and Anders Nygren on the Meaning of Love

Wednesday, March 25 at 4:00 p.m.

Woodward (IRC) Room 1

Agape versus Eros (slides)

Recording File  120131_004

Agape versus Eros (handout) 


 C. S. Lewis noted that he was shaken by reading Anders Nygren’s famous book Agape and Eros(1932) while in his thirties. Nygren’s antithetical juxtaposition of eros and agape had become enormously influential in twentieth century Protestant theology. Among other controversial claims, Nygren argued that human love is always selfish. In The Four Loves(1960), C. S. Lewis vehemently denies this claim, and constructs his own theology of love. The lecture will evaluate this most important disagreement between these two prominent scholars, including its profound implications. Contrary to what Nygren thought, Lewis contends that the pursuit of happiness is not morally culpable and even eros has the dawn of agape. While arguing for this view, however, Lewis was driven to some exaggeration.


Jason Lepojärvi is a Junior Research Fellow in theology at St. Benet’s Hall, Oxford, a Ph.D. Candidate with a dissertation to be defended in early 2015, and a former President of the Oxford C. S. Lewis Society. Born to a Canadian mother and a Finnish father, he studied theology and philosophy at the University of Helsinki. His master’s thesis (2008) on the theology of the body and sexuality by John Paul II was later published as the first introduction to the subject in Finnish (2012), and his upcoming doctoral dissertation (2015) is on C. S. Lewis’s theology of love. His research interests lie in Roman Catholic and Protestant philosophy and theology, more specifically, philosophy and theology of love, the body, sexuality, worship, and idolatry. In 2014, he won the Karl Schlecht Award. http://www.st-benets.ox.ac.uk/-fellows.

CBC Ideas Series  C.S. Lewis and the Inklings  http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Ideas/ID/2411499215/

Alister McGrath, C. S. Lewis–A Life: eccentric genius, reluctant prophet.

Report: Jason Lepojarvi, gave a careful and thoughtful exposition of the difference in view on the meaning of love (agape versus eros) in the work of Swedish scholar Anders Nygren and Oxford English scholar C.S. Lewis. Essentially, Lewis legitimizes various types of human love (including eros), whereas Nygren only accepts God’s love through the person (agape) as legitimate and holy. The individual human is eradicated in Nygren, who sees eros or romantic love as selfish (denigrated) love; it is always eudaemonistic, egocentric or happiness-seeking. Nygren’s division has greatly impacted modern Christian theology, which has not sufficiently engaged with the potential diversity in expressions of human love towards other humans and the divine. Jason Lepojarvi explored how Lewis seeks to correct this bi-partite view of love, seeing an agapic opening in eros. Lewis believed that eros had nothing to do with seeking happiness, although Lewis’ position is perhaps an exaggeration in order to counter Nygren. Critical dialogue in this area opens a space for Christian academics to engage scholars from across disciplines (including theology, philosophy and sociology) as to the motivations behind human love and relationships. After Jason’s nuanced talk, many attendees joined him at dinner and enjoyed further discussion. Jason holds great promise as a young scholar; everyone appreciated his visit and the grace of his persona. He also lectured at Regent College the previous evening.

Other Lectures on C.S. Lewis   http://www.cslewis.org/?utm_source=E-Chronicles+October+23%2C+2014&utm_campaign=October23+E-Chronicles&utm_medium=email

Benjamin Perrin on Human Slavery in Canada February 25

Professor Benjamin Perrin

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Associate Professor UBC Law

Senior Fellow MacDonald-Laurier Institute for Public Policy


Confronting Modern-Day Slavery: Human Trafficking in Canada

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 4 p.m.

Woodward (IRC) Room 1

120101_003 Audio  File


Modern-day slavery is one of the most egregious human rights violations of our time. Human trafficking involving sexual exploitation and forced labour occurs around the world – including here in Canada. Professor Perrin will present the main findings from his study on human trafficking in Canada, including the shocking prevalence of Canadian women and girls as victims, and discuss how our country is responding to this hidden national tragedy.


Benjamin Perrin is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law and a Senior Fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute for Public Policy. He is one of Canada’s leading authorities on human trafficking and author of Invisible Chains: Canada’s Underground World of Human Trafficking (Penguin, 2011), which was named one of the top books of the year by the Globe and Mail. Prof. Perrin has served as Special Advisor in the Office of the Prime Minister and Senior Policy Advisor to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. The U.S. State Department has recognized him as a “hero” acting to end modern-day slavery.

He received a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calgary in 2001, a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto in 2005, and a Master of Laws (with honours) from McGill University in 2007. He was called to the Bar in Ontario in 2007 and the Bar in British Columbia in 2010. Professor Perrin is an internationally recognized researcher and advocate for victims of crime. The Governor General of Canada and victims’ groups have also recognized him for his work to combat human trafficking and child sexual exploitation. Professor Perrin is the recipient of the Wilson-Prichard Award for Community and Professional Service from the University of Toronto. He is co-editor of Human Trafficking: Exploring the International Nature, Concerns, and Complexities (CRC Press, 2012), and editor of Modern Warfare: Armed Groups, Private Militaries, Humanitarian Organizations and the Law (UBC Press, 2012). He is also the author of numerous law review articles and book chapters, and regularly provides commentary in the media. Prior to joining UBC, he was a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada, judicial intern at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, assistant director of the Special Court for Sierra Leone Legal Clinic (which assisted the Trial and Appeals Chambers), senior policy advisor to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and executive director of a non-governmental organization that combats human trafficking.


Medical Sustainability, January 21, UBC

Craig Mitton

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Associate Professor School of Population and Public Health

UBC Faculty of Medicine 

Senior Scientist at the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation

The Challenges of Sustaining Excellence in Canadian Health Care

Wednesday, January 21 at 4:00 p.m.

Woodward (IRC) Room 1

GFCF Jan 21, 2015 Slides of the Presentation

Z0000005 Lecture File



In this presentation Dr. Craig Mitton will begin by describing the structure of the Canadian health care system and outline where Canada sits globally on several international outcome measures. In assessing the economic dimensions of the system, Craig will review two common myths related to aging and new technologies and will show that more resources for health care are not the answer. He will then put forward two key challenges, one related to the public and one related to physicians and finally he will offer a pragmatic solution to ensure excellence in Canadian health care that includes a number of immediate policy responses. The debate will be lively and the session will offer much time for interaction and audience participation.


Dr. Craig Mitton is an internationally recognized leader in the field of health care priority setting. He is a Senior Scientist in the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation and is both Division Head of Health Services and Policy and Director of the Master of Health Administration program within the School of Population and Public Health at UBC. Craig is the lead author on a book titled “The Priority Setting Toolkit: a guide to the use of economics in health care priority setting” and is the lead or co-author on over 100 peer reviewed journal articles. He has delivered over 150 presentations across many different countries and regularly runs short courses in health economics. He completed both his PhD and MSc at the University of Calgary and holds a BSc from UBC. Craig lives in Vancouver with his wife and two young daughters.