Wednesday, November 20, 2013. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

The unforgiven: Judaism’s struggle with forgiveness and the implications for liturgical expression

by Rabbi Steven Saltzman (Adath Israel Congregation)

Unlike Christianity and Islam, religions with well defined notions of forgiveness, Judaism lives with an excruciating ambivalence about the real possibilities of forgiveness. The very definition of forgiveness is debated in biblical and rabbinic sources and Jews today in North America struggle to understand the real possibilities of forgiveness both in daily life and in national terms especially with regard to the Shoah. This tension between forgiveness as a real possibility on the one hand and forgiveness as an impossibility on the other hand informs our liturgy which on a daily basis avoids the polar extremes in favour of a practical approach to forgiveness.  We will explore some of these issues in the seminar.

Rabbi Steven Saltzman serves as a Senior Rabbi of Adath Israel Congregation. He holds a doctorate in Hebrew literature from JTS and is a Fellow at both the Shalom Hartman Institute and Harvard Divinity School.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

Women and the Diaconate: Biblical & Patristic Perspective

by Rev. Marcos Ramos O.P., B.A., M.A., M.Div, Th.M., Ph.D. cand. (St. Michael’s College) and Ramana Konantz M.T.S. cand. (St. Michael’s College)

The issue of the ordination of women as deacons has again come to the fore in the theological and liturgical reflection of several Christian denominations. For this conversation to be fruitful, it is necessary to be mindful of the history of the Christian tradition and the undeniable evidence of the existence of women deacons in both the Eastern and Western churches until the twelfth century. This presentation will give a brief overview of scriptural references to women deacons, the existence, ministry and ordination rites of women deacons in the Eastern and Western Churches, and reasons for the disappearance of the official ministry of women deacons in the Middle Ages.

Rev. Marcos RAmos, BA, MA, M.Div, is a doctoral candidate at St. Michael's College and Dominican Friar, superior of the Dominicans’ Aquinas House in Toronto. 
Ramand Konataz. is M.T.S. candidate at St. Michael's College. Ramana did her thesis on women and the diaconate, specifically on the figure of the "apostle" Junia in Romans.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

The Flash Mob as Postmodern Ritual: Implications for Liturgy

by Rev. Jennifer Weetman, BA, MDiv, STM  (Doctoral Student in Homiletics, Emmanuel College)

Is ritual in postmodernity dead? Have examples of ritual been reduced to mere ritualized behavior, like the rush hour commute, or limited to explicitly religious ritual like liturgy? Does ritual itself have the ability to carry any weight, any depth of meaning and affective impact, in a secular postmodern context? And, if so, what can we learn from it that translates into faithful and effective liturgical ritual? Join us, as we explore these questions (and more!) through the lens of the flash mob.

Rev. Jennifer Weetman, BA, MDiv, STM, is a doctoral student in homiletics at Emmanuel College and a Lutheran (ELCA) pastor. Following theological studies at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, she served congregations in New Jersey, Georgia and California. She was the winner of the national David H. C. Read Preacher/Scholar Award, and wrote her STM thesis on biblical hermeneutics, preaching, and the ways in which sermon audiences hear pericope texts in worship. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

The setting of Asian hymns in recent American hymnals by Swee Hong Lim
by Dr. Swee Hong Lim,  (Deer Park Assistant Professor of Sacred Music
Director of Master of Sacred Music, Emmanuel College)

This examination of the place of Asian hymns in US-based hymnals published in the last few years will include a discussion of the trends of hymn selection and an exploration of implications, such as the relationship between the lingua franca of the United States and the ethnic language of the hymns, and the lack of representation of certain ethnic groups.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013. 3:15 - 4:30 pm

Abbot Hildemar and Benedictine Liturgy in the Ninth Century
by Jesse D. Billett - A.B., M.Phil., Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, Faculty of Divinity, Trinity College)

The liturgical forms that dominated in the Western Church down to the Reformation (and which survive today in the traditional liturgies still approved for use in the Catholic Church) were largely the result of a creative fusion of texts and customs that originated separately in either Rome or Frankish Gaul, a fusion effected partly as a result of the ecclesiastical policies of the early Carolingian kings in the eighth and ninth centuries.  Among the fruits of the Frankish liturgical reforms was a distinctively "monastic" way of performing the liturgy -- especially the Divine Office (the Liturgy of the Hours).  One of the most valuable sources on the creation of this Frankish Benedictine liturgy is a commentary on the rule of St. Benedict by a Frankish monk, Hildemar, written in the mid-ninth-century for students at the abbey of San Pietro al Monte in Civate, near Milan -- a text with a complex transmission history that has never been properly edited, but which is in process of receiving a collaborative translation.  Hildemar can write with grammatical pedantry (his preferred tone), polemical ferocity, or spiritual ecstasy, and his commentary gives us a glimpse of a controversy between Frankish monks about what it meant to follow the Rule of St. Benedict faithfully.  A traditionalist party favoured continuity with earlier customs (believed to be Roman) that they shared with cathedral canons and other diocesan clergy.  An advanced reforming party (of which Hildemar is a representative), urged strict conformity with the Rule in even minor liturgical details.  The reformers ultimately prevailed, first in the Frankish kingdoms, and later throughout Western Europe.mment on this new history and the related commentary.