“Our task this evening is to go in pursuit of a mystery and its implications for how we believe and how we live our lives.” It is with these words that Dr. John D. Rempel began his lecture, “An Impossible Task: Trinitarian Theology for a Radical Church?” in front of a packed audience at the Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre on the evening of Thursday, March 14th. In his wide-ranging lecture, Rempel explored Trinitarian thinking from the 4th to the 20th century, noting the consistent challenges brought against it from “un-trinitarian expressions of belief.”
A packed house filled the Jay Boardroom at the Toronto School of Theology on Thursday, March 14th for the 2019 TMTC Public Lecture delivered by TMTC Senior Fellow Dr. John D. Rempel with a response from Dr. P. Travis Kroeker of McMaster University. Entitled "An Impossible Task: Trinitarian Theology for a Radical Church?" the lecture made a case for historic Trinitarianism in outline form, examined the historical and theological dynamics of Mennonite anti-Trinitarianism via three case studies, and offered samples of late 20th century Trinitarian thought as the most adequate foundation for a radical church. For those of you that were not able to attend, we are pleased to make a recording of the lecture available here.
On Wednesday, November 14th TMTC Visiting Fellow Jason Reimer Greig successfully defended his PhD dissertation at the VU Free University of Amsterdam. His dissertation is entitled "The Disarmed Community: Reflecting on the Possibility of a Peace Ecclesiology in the Light of L'Arche." While many people see L’Arche – global communities where the nondisabled and those with cognitive impairments share faith and life together – as either good “service provision” or as models of “inclusion,” Jason's dissertation seeks to uncover L’Arche as a movement sent by God to witness to peace in the world. He argues that as local communities made up of a riotous difference of persons, L’Arche demonstrates (even in its failures) the reconciled body redeemed by Jesus and fashioned by the Holy Spirit. Through the cultivation of peaceable habits performed via communal practices, L’Arche offers the church a way of living time with the other which liberates persons and shows the world how violence is not inevitable or necessary. By receiving and practicing these habits of peace through its worship and para-liturgical life, the church potentially becomes a similar “parable” or “sign” for the world that communion and peace are truly possible.
Allison Murray is the winner of the 2018 A. James Remier Award. She is a PhD Candidate at Emmanuel College within the University of Toronto currently working on her dissertation entitled "Making, Marking, and Mandating Gender Roles: A History of Complementarian Theology, 1970-2010." This research looks at the interplay of theology and cultural identity markers amongst anti-feminist evangelicals in the US and Canada.
TMTC Senior Fellow, Lydia Neufeld Harder, has recently published The Challenge is in the Naming: A Theological Journey, which is now available from CMU Press and/or Wipf and Stock. The volume is built around a collection of previously published essays over the course of thirty years and is supplemented by current reflections and personal narratives that place these essays into a broader and engaging theological journey. Former TMTC PhD graduates, Suzanne Guenther Loewen and Kimberly Penner, describe this collection as "a rich blending of personal, church, and academic narratives and contexts. . . . [that] has the potential to become a pivotal resource for the next generation of Mennonite theologians, scholars, and pastors."
The eighth iteration of the Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre’s (TMTC) biennial graduate student conference, which featured twenty-two student presenters from fifteen different institutions across North America, impressed with both the range and quality of the theological conversations it generated.
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Sarah K. Johnson as a Visiting Fellow at TMTC! Sarah is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Notre Dame and is writing a dissertation at the intersection of liturgical studies and sociology of religion investigating the ongoing roles of Christian ritual in increasingly nonreligious and religiously diverse social contexts. Sarah is also a member of the editorial team for the new worship and song collection, entitled Voices Together, that is intended to serve Mennonite congregations in Canada and the United States. We will have occasion to welcome Sarah formally at our annual Welcome Dinner in the Fall but, in the meantime, welcome to the TMTC community, Sarah!