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2017-18 Winter Course – Fridays, 10am-12noon

January 12, 2018 @ 10:00 AM - February 16, 2018 @ 12:00 PM


 This course shows how the study of religion can help us understand what is going on in the world today, from the amazing changes around women and religion to the rise of religious extremism.


January 12:  The Pope, the Poor, and the Planet

In July 2015, Pope Francis 1 created an international stir with his encyclical on the ecological crisis, Laudato si.  He connects the exploitation of the earth’s resources and ecological degradation to the global dominance of what he calls “the tyranny of money”, a culture that promotes violence against the poor and the planet.  Is the pope a Marxist, a tree-hugger?

David Seljak is Professor (and former Chair) of Religious Studies at St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo.  He is the editor of a theological journal, The Ecumenist: A Journal of Theology, Culture and Society, published by Novalis.  Back by popular demand, this is Prof. Seljak’s fourth series of thought-provoking lectures for GTLLI.


January 19:  Being Muslim Today:  Facing Fear, Betrayal, and Discrimination

Today Islam faces challenges from outsiders and insiders.  In the midst of fear, hatred, misunderstanding, misrepresentation, discrimination and betrayal, Muslims believe that their faith is as relevant today as ever. This lecture discusses the challenges that Islam faces and how Muslims are responding to them.

Timothy Gianotti is Associate Professor in the Studies in Islam program at Renison University College, Waterloo.  He served as Director of Islamic Studies at the American Islamic College in Chicago.  He is the Founder & Principal Teacher of the Islamic Institute for Spiritual Formation in Toronto and the author of two books.

January 26: Canadian Jihadis

This lecture will examine why some Canadian Muslim youth travel abroad to join violent organizations, such as ISIS.  Also discussed will be the Canadian government’s attempts to understand what is happening and to stop the migration of new fighters.

 Amarnath Amarasingam is a Senior Research Fellow at the UK-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a Fellow at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, and he co-directs a University of Waterloo-based study of Western foreign fighters.  He has written extensively on radicalization, terrorism, diaspora politics, and post-war reconstruction.


February 2: The Globalization of Addiction as Spiritual Crisis

Canadian psychologist Bruce Alexander defined the globalization of addiction as a result of widespread ‘poverty of the spirit’.  Meanwhile, Pope Francis defines the despair and unhappiness of modern society as a spiritual crisis.  This lecture will outline how each sees the suffering created by conditions in the modern world as a spiritual crisis.

David Seljak  (see above)


February 9:  What are They Saying about Jesus Today?

What is the latest research telling us about the historical Jesus?   What have we learned from recent discoveries in archaeology and developments in anthropology?  How do new ways of understanding Jesus help us to respond to questions of injustice today?

Alicia Batten, PhD, is an associate professor of Religious Studies and Theology at Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo.  Her research focuses on the New Testament and the social history of early Christianity.  She is also interested in the changing ways in which the Bible is interpreted through the centuries.


February 16: Women and the World’s Religions

What does gender mean for our experience of religion, and what does religion mean for our ideas about gender?  We will focus on both historical and contemporary issues within a number of the world’s religious traditions, such as Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism.  These will include notions of inclusion and exclusion in rituals, leadership, and identity.

Doris Jakobsh is Professor in Religious Studies at the University of Waterloo.  She has published a number of books as author (e.g. Sikhism and Women) and edited a two-volume textbook on Eastern and Western Religions from a Canadian Perspective. She teaches extensively on wider issues surrounding religion and gender.


January 12, 2018 @ 10:00 AM
February 16, 2018 @ 12:00 PM
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New Life Church
28 Tracey Ln
Collingwood, Ontario L9Y0G7 Canada
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Who's Attending

257 people are attending 2017-18 Winter Course – Fridays, 10am-12noon

  • Gayle Smithson
  • Celeste Berges
  • Angela Keller
  • John Miller
  • Norbert Pirk
  • Cindy Bailey
  • Joan Walters
  • Ann Bardoel
  • Ingrid McLeod-Dick
  • Bonnie Lindsay
  • Joyce Ballagh
  • Mary Cameron
  • Ivor Corbett
  • Elizabeth Gibson
  • Jane Christie
  • Janet Peters
  • Susan Leat
  • Ann Simpson
  • Judith Plaxton
  • Mary Armstrong
  • Jacquie Sims
  • Joan Carter
  • Rudy Putns
  • Nola Turner
  • Elizabeth Dods
  • barbara kemp
  • Charlotte O'Dea
  • Penny Bourne
  • Lee McLoughlin
  • Migs Baker
  • Margaret Donahue
  • Kathy Tourchin
  • Peter Coolican
  • Lloyd A Gilbert
  • Jean Hately
  • Larry Hogarth
  • Robert Miller
  • John Holden
  • Susan McKearnen
  • Marie McCready
  • Tom Stefanyk
  • David Green
  • Louise Donegani
  • Mary Lou Matthews
  • Sue Marley
  • Gabriele Telfer
  • thomas lailey
  • Pam Dowling
  • Clive VanderBurgh
  • Joya Mitchell
  • Graeme & Jane Wallace
  • Marilyn Eger
  • Marly Brandon
  • Marney Cathers
  • Dennis Gerrard
  • Roberta Murray Hirst
  • Margot Bevan
  • John Cowan
  • Peter Lang
  • Virginia Benbow
  • Alexander White
  • Joan Stark
  • Mary Stewart
  • Glenn Bier
  • Donald Campbell
  • Bonnie Hanke
  • Sarah Dennis
  • Barb Hims
  • Marilyn Stark
  • Patricia Adams
  • Nancy Brenner
  • Ted Dillon
  • Frank Skopin
  • Gillian Stoker-Lavelle
  • mary van patter
  • Mary Brereton
  • Dorte Hawker
  • Sharyl Peterson
  • Doug Alton
  • Barbara Ferguson
  • John McAllister
  • Donald Glen
  • Bob MacNair
  • Mary Jean Affleck
  • Ene-Liis Martens
  • Rod Ranta
  • Sharon Cobban
  • Jeanne Bickle
  • Nancy Case
  • Marilyn Pike
  • Nancy Ross
  • Dale Ross
  • Norma Lepa
  • Lynda Long
  • Hugh Franklin
  • Sonya Ward
  • Jaymie Brown
  • Grace DeLavoye
  • Dorothy Berry
  • Barb McKenzie
  • Gail Dixon
  • Beryl Gulbronson
  • Eleanor Smith
  • Fran Mount
  • Nick Baker
  • Mary Ellen Aitchison
  • Isabell Phelps
  • Bob Scott
  • Carol Ann Chisholm
  • Nancy Rogers
  • Joy Gardiner
  • Joan Paul
  • John Hillerby
  • Joan Varley
  • Jim Scott
  • David Pugh
  • Claudia Bardes
  • George Dickson
  • RoseMarie Burns
  • Jim Gosnell
  • Margo Bulmer
  • Diana Harvey
  • Peter Bryce
  • Judy Moore
  • marlene esson
  • gloria thompson
  • Laurie Gee
  • Nancy Wansbrough
  • Betty Jean Pike
  • Gill Elias
  • Barbara Coolich
  • Anne Stevens
  • Catherine Hyland
  • Myrna Nielsen
  • Janet Howden
  • Joan O'Connell
  • Betty Jane Lancaster
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