Re-Enchanting the Universe
with Dr. Hans Boersma
February 23, 2018 - February 24, 2018| $10
Lenten Lecture Series with Dr. Hans Boersma
J.I. Packer Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, BC.
Author of: “Heavenly Participation: The Weaving of a Sacramental Tapestry.”
Friday, Feb 23rd 7:00-8:30 PM
“Watch for Deer! Why road signs get in the way of enchantment.”
Saturday, Feb 24th 9:00AM-Noon
“Tuning People to Reality: Why music isn’t a matter of taste.”
“Getting Back Together: Why the reformation was a tragedy.”
Among Hans Boersma’s main theological interests are Catholic thought, the church fathers, and spiritual interpretation of Scripture. Hans Boersma and his wife Linda live in Langley, BC. They attend Saint Matthew’s Anglican Church, in Abbotsford, BC.
Hans reminds us that there is more to the world than material objects. He helps us understand that :
In modernity, we have come to see the world around us as nothing but symbols: material objects separate from each other and separate from their origin in God (if we still believe in God at all, that is). The secularism of modernity is based on the false premise that the sensible world around is just material stuff, just appearances. Or, to use a fancy theological term, the material world is a world of ‘pure nature’ (pura natura). When we deny that the world around us participates, sacramentally, in eternal realities, we deprive them of meaning. After all, only the invisible reality can give true meaning to the visible sacrament.
Pope Francis points to this modern separation between sign and reality when he speaks of a ‘throwaway culture’. The reason why we treat everything (and, perhaps, everyone) as dispensable is that we’ve lost the sense that the natural world is sacred. By considering things and people as ‘purely natural’—independent from God as the source of their existence—we end up treating them as dispensable. The cure for our ‘throwaway’ culture, therefore, is to recognize that God is present throughout the world, drawing it (along with us) back to its ultimate and glorious destiny in him.
Before coming to Regent College, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2005, Hans Boersma taught for six years at Trinity Western University in Langley, BC (1999–2005). He also served as a pastor for several years (1994–1998). He is the author of a number of books, including Scripture as Real Presence: Sacramental Exegesis in the Early Church (Baker Academic, 2017); Sacramental Preaching: Sermons on the Hidden Presence of Christ (Baker Academic, 2016); Embodiment and Virtue in Gregory of Nyssa: An Anagogical Approach (Oxford University Press, 2013); Heavenly Participation: The Weaving of a Sacramental Tapestry (Eerdmans 2011); Nouvelle Théologie and Sacramental Ontology: A Return to Mystery (Oxford University Press, 2009); and Violence, Hospitality and the Cross: Reappropriating the Atonement Tradition (Baker Academic, 2004). He is also co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Sacramental Theology (Oxford University Press, 2015). In 2018, Eerdmans will publish his latest book, Seeing God: The Beatific Vision in Christian Tradition.