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PROV Talks 2023

Dec 7, 2023 | Events, News, University College

On Thursday, November 16th, Providence hosted its annual PROV Talks event, where faculty and staff presented a variety of “ideas worth pondering.” For any who were unable to attend – or who would like to watch the presentations again – here are the PROV Talks from 2023.


Michael Gilmour – “Doctor Doolittle’s Snail: Revelation 4:6,10 and Hugh Lofting’s Apocalyptic Joke” (VIDEO)

Using the children’s literature of Hugh Lofting’s “Doctor Doolittle” and a scene from the book of Revelation as guides, Gilmour examines the interplay of mundane and spiritual domains, and the prospect of peace for human and non-human animals alike.

Holly Ammerman – “The Sex Trafficking Crisis” (VIDEO UNAVAILABLE)

With audience participation, Ammerman presents the sobering actuality that human trafficking is closer to home than many would like to believe, and encourages people to care more about the crisis because of its pervasiveness and preventability.

Bruce Friesen-Pankratz – “From Mexican Luchadores to Canadian Caminos” (VIDEO)

Comparing the communities of Ejido, Mexico and Otterburne, Manitoba, Friesen-Pankratz shares the value of establishing an Integrated Watershed Management Approach that is determined by natural boundaries, and highlights the importance of listening to all stakeholders.

Elfrieda Lepp-Kaethler – “Heal to Learn, Learn to Heal: Arts-based Curriculum with Refugees” (VIDEO)

Through storytelling, Lepp-Kaethler recounts her experience of travelling to Lesbos island in Greece with the organization Beyond Borders. During her time there, she facilitated trauma informed arts-based learning at a refugee camp with various asylum seekers.

Christopher Lortie – “The Exegesis of Father Brown” (VIDEO)

Employing a selection of examples from the fictional detective series Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton, Lortie speaks of the ways in which the biblical text is interpreted – warning people about the pitfalls of bias and jumping to conclusions when reading passages of scripture.


Luann Hiebert – “Slant Poetry” (VIDEO)

Sharing a number of poems that exhibit half, near, off or imperfect rhymes, Hiebert communicates how presenting ideas at an angle – a.k.a. “slant poetry” – helps to break lines, add voices, open spaces, and create movement for the reader or hearer.

Rebecca Dielschneider – “Trust in Science” (VIDEO)

Drawing from a number of recent books about trust and mistrust in science, Dielschneider presents a case for the confident reliance on scientific inquiry because of its demonstration of competence, benevolence, and integrity.

Daniel Rempel – “Does Christianity Need Disability?” (VIDEO)

Considering the embodied nature of existence, Rempel conducts a thought experiment about “disability” within the context of “Christianity” – calling into question terminology, medical and social models of understanding, and particularities of the human experience.

Jasmine Wiens – “The World’s on Fire. Does God Care?” (VIDEO)

Based on a selection of readings from Leviticus and Ezekiel, Wiens reflects on the global climate crisis that has led to a significant number of wildfires in recent years. By considering concepts like Sabbath and Exile, the implication is that humanity’s relationship to the land matters to God.

Mat Lortie – “Accipiters, Passerines, and Pollinators: An Avian Hermeneutic” (VIDEO)

By way of an extended comparison of birdwatching with biblical studies, Lortie proposes a hermeneutic that focuses on knowing, doing, and being; namely, one’s approach to reading scripture helps us to see what is there, can shape one’s practice, and reveal who we are as people.