Everything Series at The King's University

The Everything Series explores all things—everything—in God’s creation. It can be easy to feel pressure to have all the answers. We don’t. But through the Everything Series, we'll explore some of the most important questions of our time and the myriad ways God is bringing renewal and reconciliation to our world.

   

2022-23 Lecture Series: Collective Moral Conversations

This year, the Everything Series explores the theme of “Collective Moral Conversations.” How do our collective goods relate to personal interests? What do we do with multiple, at times competing, moral priorities? The series will take seriously the idea that there are moral conversations and tough dialogues that need to be engaged with and offer guidelines for how to have these conversations well. 

Upcoming Events:

Everything Series: Covenants and the Freedom to Act

March 01, 2023
7:00 pm - 7:00 pm
The King's University - N102 Theatre

By their very nature, contracts are temporary. If most of our social relationships (including work, study, marriage, and even church attendance) are contractual by nature, how can we undertake the necessary moral conversations we need to have in order to live well together?

When we look at the covenant undertaken between Abraham and God, we see a radical model of how the world works; a likely explanation for why we are experiencing widespread breakdowns in our ecological, psychological, and social-political existences, and a rich resource for moving to an era of hope. Covenants form the groundwork and necessary conditions of any freedom to act. Together, let's retrieve a working concept of covenant.

Keynote Speaker

Raymond Klassen lived and worked in Thailand, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia for 15 years before returning to Canada in 2015. As an instructor at The King's University, Klassen teaches English as an additional language, business communications and management, philosophy, and meta-cognition learning strategies. He is passionate about helping others overcome barriers to full community life.

Klassen's research interests surround the sources and history of authenticity, the social and political theories of Hannah Arendt and Charles Taylor, social criticism, and “third culture” identities.

Everything Series: What Makes a People?

March 21, 2023
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The King's University - N102 Theatre

How does a random gathering of persons with different interests, representing different class, race, and gender particularities,  become a people? I think this is a fundamental question in scripture. One answer given in recent political theologies has focused on liturgy: an assembly is formed into a people through liturgy and especially its four movements: gathering, listening, reconciling, and sending. In the case of the church, this is what it means to be “the body of Christ” as a disciplined gathering of bodies, transformed as they learn to share gifts/goods in common (Rom 12:1-5). 

But political theology has also queried the boundary between the people called “church” and that entity called “the world.” Luke Bretherton (an English political theologian with whom Jonathan Chaplin has been in conversation) wants to expand this understanding of a liturgically constituted people into grassroots democratic movements, who in “an ongoing dance of conflict and cooperation generate a form of common life amid difference and disagreement between rival visions of the good and conflicting interests between friends, strangers, the friendless, and enemies.” (Christ and the Common Life, p. 401). 

I would want to probe this question of “what makes a people” with students, and how it relates to that people called “church.” In my teaching I have heard on a number of occasions students lamenting “disunity” and claiming that, “if we could just get people together, we could make a real difference.” Interestingly, in my experience students (even Christian students) tend NOT to think of the church in these terms. 

Keynote Speaker

Stephen W. Martin is Professor and Chair of Theology at the King’s University in Edmonton, Alberta, where he has taught since 2004. He previously served as Campus Minister at Dalhousie University in Halifax. During his time in South Africa, he was Research Co-ordinator for the Research Institute on Christianity in South Africa at the University of Cape Town and Warden of St. Paul’s Anhouse, an Anglican student community at UCT. He is author of Faith Negotiating Loyalties: An Exploration of South African Christianity Through a Reading of the Theology of H. Richard Niebuhr (University Press of America, 2008). He continues to write about Christianity in South Africa. 

Martin’s current research focuses on contemporary political theologies, especially the liturgical construction and contestation of public space. His work interacts especially with that of contemporary Augustinians such as William Cavanaugh, Charles Mathewes, John Milbank, and Rowan Williams. He has also served as a member of the Commission on the Marriage Canon for the Anglican Church of Canada, and co-authored its report on same-sex marriage in the church, “This Holy Estate.” 

 

Everything Series: Addressing Poverty as a Moral Conversation

April 18, 2023
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The King's University - N102 Theatre

Modern society is grounded in two foundational myths: autonomy and scarcity. These myths are intertwined with an understanding of humans as innately rational, independent, self-interested, competitive, and seekers of utility.

This perspective leaves us materially, socially, and spiritually impoverished. Accepting the logic of scarcity involves acquiescing to the systems that produced it. Accepting the goals of autonomy and competition encourages people to be more competitive and individualistic. Most importantly, failing to challenge the foundational myths of modern society leads us to frame arguments for poverty reduction in rational, rather than moral, discourse. In this way we reproduce the conditions that create poverty, even in our attempts to eradicate it.

By challenging this paradigm, however, we can discover an alternate understanding of humanity and society that points toward a form of community better able to meet our material, social, and spiritual needs.

Keynote Speaker

Derek Cook serves as Director of the Canadian Poverty Institute at Ambrose University in Calgary. Over the past thirty years he has been active in the field of poverty reduction and community development across Canada, working in the non-profit sector, government, and academia. Derek also serves on the Commission on Justice and Peace of the Canadian Council of Churches, on the Board of Mennonite Central Committee Alberta, and is an Honorary Fellow at the Institute of Poverty Research and Management at the University of Malaysia Kelantan. He holds an M.Sc. in Rural Development and a Certificate in Knowledge Mobilization from the University of Guelph, a B.A. in Political Studies from McGill University, and is a Registered Social Worker with the Alberta College of Social Workers.