Annunciation – Br. Emmaus O’Herlihy, O.S.B.

The latest work from our Artist in Residence, Br. Emmaus O’Herlihy, will be on exhibit at King’s University College at Western University (London, Ontario) from April 5-6, 2017.

Annunciation - Gabriel Annunciation - Mary

Composed of two separate canvases, the Annunciation diptych will be displayed above two matching doorways in a Roman Catholic chapel in London, Ontario. This explains why both the gaze of the Virgin Mary and the angel Gabriel is directed downwards. The Virgin’s right hand is raised in a gesture of blessing intended for all who move below this image when entering or exiting through the doorway of the chapel. While the figure’s two hands and face compose the painting’s pyramidal composition, the energetic bright yellow paintwork surrounding the Virgin’s head, the most vivid colour in the work, draws the viewer’s attention. Clearly an adaptation of the more traditional circle of light (the halo, common in the iconography of many religions to represent a subject’s holiness), it is used here to accentuate Mary’s response to the angel in terms of her intelligence and willingness to accept God’s will for her (Lk.1:34, 38). At the same time it also alludes to the “tongues, as of fire” (Acts 2:3) that symbolize the transforming energy of the Holy Spirit’s actions. More often associated with depictions of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and Mary at Pentecost in illuminations and sacred art (dating back as far back as the sixth century), this is an appropriate allusion in a work depicting Mary on the occasion of her Annunciation: It is on this day that she is celebrated as the one who will be overpowered by the Holy Spirit and bear the Son of the Most High (Lk.1:31).

Interfaith-Friendship and the Church in Africa: A Contextual Theology Roundtable

Please join us on Thursday, April 20, for our second annual African contextual theology roundtable with Idara Otu.

Respondents include:  Eugene Chianain, CFIC, Pierre Edward Luc, SJ, and Theodore Nnorom, SMMM

This round-table discussion will take place from 2-4pm on Thursday, April 20, 2017, in Boardroom 2, Toronto School of Theology Building (corner of Queen’s Park and St. Joseph Street).

All are welcome to attend and participate!

The Postmodern Gaze: Painting the Prodigal Son, Merciful Father in the Holy Year of Mercy

Print of Emmaus O’Herlihy’s painting Prodigal Son, Merciful Father. The poster promotes his presentation and discussion of the painting in the Holy Year of Mercy.

Designed to celebrate the close of the Holy Year of Mercy, this event features the work of our Artist in Resident, Emmaus O’Herlihy, OSB. Presentation and discussion of Prodigal Son, Merciful Father will take place on December 8, 2016 from 7-8pm at Cardinal Flahiff Basilian Centre. Reception to follow. All are welcome to attend!

Vast Universe: Extraterrestrials and Christian Revelation

This poster promotes a public talk by Thomas O’Meara, OP. The talk is entitled "Vast Universe: Extraterrestrials and Christian Revelation", and it will take place on May 12, 2016.

All are welcome to attend Vast Universe: Extraterrestrials and Christian Revelation, a talk by renowned theologian Thomas O’Meara, OP, our Aquinas Visiting Scholar. This event will take place on May 12 at 7 p.m. in Charbonnel Lounge, University of St. Michael’s College.

Fr. Thomas O’Meara, OP, may be best known as the author of the classic textbook Theology of Ministry. Among his many other works, however, is Vast Universe: Extraterrestrials and Christian Revelation. This talk will look at the implications that recent developments in cosmology and astronomy have on life in this universe.

Missionaries as Cultural Intermediaries

Please join us at the upcoming PIMS Guest Seminar, featuring our visiting scholar  Dennis Halft, OP.

Missionaries as Cultural Intermediaries:   The Arrival of Medieval Arabic Bible Translations in Safavid Persia and their Reception by Muslim Scholars

Seminar Abstract:

In recent years, the Muslim reception of the Bible has attracted increasing scholarly attention. However, research on the biblical sources used by Twelver Shiite authors in Safavid Persia during the seventeenth century has been largely neglected. This paper will show that medieval Arabic translations of the Scriptures made by Eastern Christians from Greek, Syriac, and Coptic Vorlagen became available to Muslim scholars in Iran through the influence of Catholic missionaries. The following dissemination of manuscript as well as printed copies of the Gospels and other individual biblical books gave rise to the composition of fresh anti-Christian polemics, authored by well-known Twelver Shiite savants such as Sayyid Ahmad Alavi and Zahir al-Din Tafrishi. The polemical works are extant in different New/Modern Persian and Arabic manuscripts and recensions.

A comparison between the scriptural passages adduced in the Muslim polemical works and the Arabic translations of the Bible brought along by the missionaries shows that Arabic versions of the Scriptures were important sources for interreligious encounters and cross-cultural intellectual exchanges. There is evidence that the availability and accessibility of Arabic Bible translations led to a new phase of Muslim-Christian history in Safavid Persia. This paper will examine the ways in which scriptural reasoning was increasingly used as a polemical argument against Christianity.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016 ♦ 4:10 p.m.

Seminar Room A, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies

59 Queen’s Park Crescent East, Toronto

Dennis Halft Guest lecture April 6 2016-1

The Church in Africa as Family of God: Past, Present and Future


Please join us on Friday, April 8, for a contextual theology round-table with Dr. Roger Houngbedji, OP, our visiting scholar.

This roundtable critically explores the evangelization mission of the Roman Catholic Church in Africa, from the adoption of the image of the Church as Family of God by the first African Synod of Bishops, through to the second African Synod. The paper will focus on three main themes. The first is the reception of the image of the Church as Family of God after the issuance of the Post-Synodal Exhortation, Ecclesia in Africa by Pope John Paul II. The second highlights the current limitations and challenges affecting the ecclesial life of the Church in Africa as Family of God. The third proposes a pathway for the future of the Church in Africa as Family of God.

Respondents include:  Idara Otu, Theodore Nnorom, and Matthew Charlesworth, SJ

This round-table discussion will take place from 2-4pm on Friday, April 8, 2016, in Boardroom A, Toronto School of Theology Building (corner of Queen’s Park and St. Joseph Street). All are welcome to attend and participate.