The Wycliffe Blog - Vestigia Dei

Vestigia Dei  – is a Latin term meaning “traces of God.” As a theological term it is associated with natural theology – that is, the view that there are vestiges of God within creation. We’ve chosen this term as the title of the Wycliffe College blog because our hope is that through these writings, readers might glimpse evidences for God as our writers interact with the wider world. 

White Angel. Fresco from Milesheva Monastery, first part of the 13 century, Serbia || Image from WikiMedia Commons

We are not good at predicting the future

By Annette Brownlee

On this day the Lord has acted. We will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24)
We are not good at predicting the future. Take this recent example. Early in the Covid-19 pandemic it became clear that life as most knew it was changing: masks, working from home, Zoom classes, social distancing, on-line church, not seeing loved ones, etc.  A group of scholars who share an interest in understanding...

Tue, March 30, 2021

two children standing indoor in front of a outside-facing glass door

Stuck at home, in Guelph, Ontario

By David Kupp

“Stuck at home”

stuck: “mired, glued, compelled, resolutely adhered, halted, saddled disagreeably”

home: “one’s place of residence, domicile, habitat”

 

How very good and pleasant it is

   when kindred live together in unity! (Psalm 133:1)

 

A bevy of new and resurrected words and phrases have pinned themselves to the pandemic elephant, who has been rampaging through our terminological garden the past 12 months. Here are ten of my favourites:...

Mon, March 29, 2021

An hourglass set on stones

The Tyranny of Now

By Stephen Chester

My first degree was in history. I was educated at the University of York in England by professors who were by and large resolutely unimpressed by notions of human progress. In one introductory lecture on the medieval period the question put before us was why Europe in 1550 was so much more fragmented, insecure, and less prosperous than it had been in 1250. And although they did not say so...

Tue, March 16, 2021

A girl playing the ukulele in nature

The divine purpose of work and leisure

By Thomas Power

The pandemic has brought forth many questions about how we conduct our lives. We have been forced to re-examine our patterns of living, attitudes, and behaviour and begun to think anew about the very nature of work and its concomitant, recreation, or leisure. We are posing fundamental questions such as: What is leisure? How do we define it? Is leisure the mere absence of work? Is it simply doing nothing...

Fri, March 05, 2021

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Lent

By Joseph Mangina

The word lenten, the Oxford English Dictionary tells me, is older than the word Lent. In Old English lenten was in fact a noun, and it meant simply “spring.” Later it became the favored term for the forty-day period of fasting and penitence between Ash Wednesday and Easter, symbolic of Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness after his baptism. Eventually the word got shortened and became Lent; and now (through...

Wed, February 24, 2021

Toronto skyline in the winter

Deep at the heart of everything

By Ephraim Radner

My wife Annette and I own several charcoal and wash drawings by a wonderful artist, Churchill Davenport. We acquired them when we were married in the late 1980’s. Davenport was a parishioner in the Brooklyn church where I worked, and had become involved in our experiment at having daily Morning Prayer in the church sanctuary at 7:30 a.m., joining with six or seven pilgrims, as it were, in the journey...

Fri, February 19, 2021

Portrait of Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Taking a Stand against Slavery and against Racial Equality

By Marion Taylor

I was first introduced to renowned abolitionist, women’s rights activist, and feminist biblical commentator Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) at a birthday party held in her honor at Yale Divinity School. I encountered Stanton again when my research interests turned to recovering forgotten women interpreters of the Bible. I remember how excited I was the day I found her exposition of the Ten Commandments that was buried in her 1860 political...

Tue, February 09, 2021

Woman listening to music with eyes closed

Tips for dealing with pandemic anxiety

By Wanda Malcolm

To say that COVID-19 has brought many unwanted challenges into our lives is a blindingly obvious statement. We are weary of the isolation and loneliness. Our worry about the future and the wellbeing of those who are most vulnerable to the virus is a relentlessly heavy burden. The losses are staggering. We struggle daily with the loss of choice about what we can...

Fri, February 05, 2021

A groundhog standing on a rock

Candlemas

By Catherine Sider-Hamilton

Where I grew up, in southern Pennsylvania, Groundhog Day was a big thing. For weeks before February 2, the papers, the broadcasters asked: would the groundhog—who had a name, Punxatawny Phil, from Punxatawny, Penn.—see his shadow? Were we in for another six weeks of winter, or was Spring, and light and life, around the corner? (That was a question of course that only made sense in southern Pennsylvania, and in...

Fri, January 29, 2021

Douglas Jay

Remembering the First TST Director

By Alan L. Hayes

C. Douglas Jay, the founding director of the Toronto School of Theology, died peacefully on January 1st, at the age of 95. When he accepted the challenge to be TST’s first director in 1969, neither he nor anyone else could know whether TST would ever be more than an interesting but passing ecumenical experiment. Probably few would have dared to hope that it would become one of the...

Mon, January 18, 2021