Monthly Archives: June 2011

The Netherlands does not get a lot of media play in Canada. Save for improbable World Cup runs where the orange adopt an almost Canadian approach to soccer (complete with bone-crushing body checks), Holland quietly goes about its business as an overachieving country, unnoticed by the rest of the world. When North Americans do think about the Netherlands, it’s usually in favourable terms. The Netherlands … MORE »

Ray Pennings  |  June 29, 2011  |  Parenting, Religion

I watched the NHL draft last week and have forgotten most of the names mentioned. Two, however, stick in my mind. It isn’t their faults or credits I remember, but rather the presuppositions of the media questions which juxtaposed these young men as a commentary on our social condition. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was chosen first overall in this draft and received more coverage than most. Commentators … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  June 28, 2011  |  Arts, Film, Religion

The New Yorker‘s film critic, David Denby, damns director Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life with loud praise as an “insufferable” masterpiece. Denby is effusive in lauding the beauty and artistic daring of Malick’s long-awaited new movie. What he cannot endure is Tree of Life‘s open Christianity. What makes him writhe is that everyone is openly talking about the film’s open Christianity. The first source … MORE »

Alissa Wilkinson  |  June 27, 2011  |  Economy, Health, Politics

In last week’s Economist, I read a piece about the measures in the U.S. to improve nutrition information on food packaging and to overhaul the USDA “food icon”—which has now been changed from the pyramid that people my age remember so fondly into a plate divided into vegetables and fruits, grains, protein, and a bit of dairy. (The plate does make much more sense.) The … MORE »

Milton Friesen  |  June 24, 2011  |  Education, Globalization, Innovation

Universities are changing too slowly to survive in their current form. I recognize that most of them will outlast me but within the more expansive rhythms of history and institutions, the forms we are familiar with today will be curiosities from another time soon enough. People involved in higher education reflect on change often and at length but outside of the institutions themselves, we are … MORE »

Brian Dijkema  |  June 23, 2011  |  Justice, Politics, Religion

Christian social action is a game played largely by coalitions. Christians involved in the public square—which includes much more than politics—come from a hodge-podge of various backgrounds, and approach the public square with a diverse set of agendas. Exhibit A: the NDP’s Faith and Social Justice Coalition. Now, I’m not holding my breath in expectation of a book from the venerable Marci McDonald called The … MORE »

Ray Pennings  |  June 22, 2011  |  Justice, Leadership, Politics

Last week, I participated in a conference of trans-Atlantic policy makers discussing various issues affecting Europe and North America. The specific policy prescriptions suggested to deal with the fiscal, trade, and social challenges confronting western democracies were considered in the context of what might be politically realistic, a less-than-straightforward calculus in the post-Arab spring and Greek solvency crisis world. One of the participants made a … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  June 21, 2011  |  Arts, Culture, Literature, Religion

Listen to almost any magazine publisher’s public yawp these days and you’ll hear one of two things. You’ll either hear the cement mixer grind of accountancy minds grumbling on about declining ROI, plunging EBITDA and the urgent need to reduce FTEs to return to profitability by Q4 of Year Three of the Five Year Plan. Or you’ll hear mewling excuses for force-feeding Lady Gaga onto … MORE »

Alissa Wilkinson  |  June 20, 2011  |  Arts

Last Wednesday night, along with my husband and two friends, I went to Sleep No More, a production that’s hard to describe. It’s not a play, exactly. It’s based on Macbeth, and presupposes that the audience has a passing familiarity with its source material (though those who had never somehow encountered the play could still enjoy themselves). But the tale of treachery and blood has … MORE »

Robert Joustra  |  June 17, 2011  |  Politics

In the summer letter from St. Gregory’s Abbey, Abbot Andrew writes on the important stuff of fantasy and imagination. He says: These and many other stories that follow the outline of the Paschal Mystery baptize the imagination by imagining the world as ultimately redemptive through self-sacrifice in love. However, it is the Gospel which has baptized the human imagination so as to make these stories … MORE »