September 2012‎ > ‎

2 - CPRSE: New Director, Steady Direction

Ron Kuipers to continue the work of founding Director Lambert Zuidervaart

“What we want to be able to encourage at the Centre
is reflective practice in the service of social justice.”

ICS is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ron Kuipers as Director of the Centre for Philosophy, Religion and Social Ethics, and Dr. Allyson Carr as Associate Director. Ron takes over from Dr. Lambert Zuidervaart, who served as founding Director from 2010 to 2012. Ron is Associate Professor of Philosophy of Religion at ICS.

Together, Ron and Allyson plan to build on the success the Centre achieved under Lambert’s
direction, continuing to promote dialogue in various contexts at the boundaries of philosophy, religion and social ethics. “The Centre got a really strong start under Lambert’s leadership and achieved some really successful events, including the Social Justice and Human Rights conference last spring and also the Interfaculty Colloquium with faculty from the University of Toronto and the Toronto School of Theology,” Ron said. “There are a lot of initiatives that have been started and have momentum, and I want to continue that. In general, I don’t see a huge shift in the direction, rather a continuing of the momentum we’ve already achieved.”

The Centre is dedicated to research at the intersection of interdisciplinary philosophy, inter-religious dialogue and social ethics. It organized the recent conference on Social Justice and Human Rights, and it plans to sponsor major collaborative research projects in the future. “The CPRSE was established in order to honour the fact that for ICS faculty, a big part of their job is as a research faculty,” Ron said. “It’s a way of packaging, honouring and recognizing that aspect of what the ICS has been traditionally.

“But at the same time, it’s also meant to be a new way of describing the research activity of the faculty and of ICS, and an attempt to explore new opportunities for mobilizing the research component of the faculty for greater service to the larger community. Our hope is that we’re poised and positioned to encourage dialogues between academics and non-academics, so that it’s not just an ivory tower research centre. What we want to be able to encourage at the Centre is reflective practice in the service of social justice.”

One of the projects the Centre is working on is a collaborative initiative between various CRC offices, agencies and ministries and the Centre for Community Based Research. The overall purpose of this research project would be to inform and advance the CRC’s justice mobilization efforts to encourage and enable members and congregations to embrace justice as mission. The project would also be action-oriented, mobilizing congregations for justice throughout the process of knowledge production.