Wednesday, September 21, 2011. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

The Dangers of Moral Certitude and the Challenge to Prayer
by Prof. Rav Roy D. Tanenbaum (The Canadian Yeshiva & Rabbinical School)

"Most of the greatest evil that man has inflicted upon man comes through people feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, was false" (Bertrand Russell, "Ideas that Have Harmed Mankind" in Unpopular Essays [1950], p. 149).

Faith without doubt leads to fanaticism (too often anyway). Yet doubt without faith leads to nihilism. And between these two great poles, where is there room to pray? One can masquerade before others, but not before the Holy One whose seal is truth. Neither can one pray as if. So, here, in a nutshell, is one of the looming liturgical issues of the day, the theo-practical issue of prayer in our houses of worship.

In this session, we will go to some of the traditional Jewish liturgy itself for its own internal response.



Rav Roy D. Tanenbaum, Rosh HaYeshiva (President & Vice-Chancellor) and Bible Faculty, has been the force behind the conceptualization and development of the Canadian Yeshiva. Currently serving the Rabbinical Assembly as Dean of its School for Shamashim, he is also past president of the Rabbinical Assembly, Canadian Region. Rav Tanenbaum maintains a scholarly interest in the structure of the Hebrew Bible and the development of Jewish law. He has served on the faculty of the University of Miami in Ohio and Mount Royal College in Calgary. In 2009, the rav retired from Beth Tzedec Congregation where he served as Rosh Yeshiva of the Life-Long Learning Centre and as responding rav for the "Kosher Korner," completing 40 years in the pulpit. With many articles to his credit, in 1998, the University of Calgary Press published his book, Prisoner 88—The Man in Stripes, and his commentary on the Shabbat Morning Service, Rinat Dodim, A Song of Lovers, graces the pews in many synagogues. The rav studied in Yeshivat ITRI and Yeshivat Etz Chaim in Jerusalem. He has received numerous honours for his work in the community, including two doctorates. AB, Cornell University; MAHL and s'mikha.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

The Sacramentality of Preaching
by Prof. Rev. Dr. Paul Scott Wilson (Emmanuel College)

The fragmentation of the theological curriculum typically has left liturgy and homiletics not only as separate disciplines, but also as disciplines that have relatively little to do with each other. This paper will explore Calvin's notion of the sacramentality of preaching as one way of holding the liturgy and homiletics together.


Rev. Dr. Paul Scott Wilson is Professor of Homiletics at Emmanuel College, an ordained minister of the United Church of Canada and a past president of the Academy of Homiletics. A world-renowned scholar in the theology, theory and practice of preaching, his most recent publications include Setting Words on Fire (2008), The Practice of Preaching (1995, 2007), Preaching and Homiletical Theory (2004), and The Four Pages of the Sermon (1999). He was the general editor of The New Interpreter’s Handbook of Preaching, which was selected by Preaching magazine as the 2010 Preaching Book of the Year. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

Ritual Dimensions of The Gospel of Truth
by Dora Kritzmanic, M.Div., M.A., B.Mus., Phd student (St Michael's College)

The Gospel of Truth (Codex Jung f.VIIIv – XVIv / f.XIXr-XXIIr) from the Nag Hammadi find is a Coptic text representing a 2nd century Valentinian document.  Mostly overlooked by studies on the ritual practices of the heterodox communities of the first centuries of Early Christianity, nevertheless the text contains several clues regarding its unique genre and ritual setting.  A survey of these clues, along with the consideration of internal and external evidence, points beyond the use of metaphoric language suggesting instead an organic connection between The Gospel of Truth and a specific Christian Gnostic practice, the ritual of initiation.