3 episodes

Emmanuel College is a theological college of Victoria University in the University of Toronto.

On Belief is a podcast produced for the University of Toronto’s Emmanuel College. The show is a home for conversations about the place of faith in the public sphere. It will explore the role and place of belief, whether defined as organized religious practice or individual spiritual understanding, in the culture and politics of secular society.

The podcast theme music was composed by sacred music professor, Lim Swee-Hong in consultation with worship professor, Bill Kervin and Emmanuel’s principal Mark Toulouse. Lim's friend, Lee Meng-Cham, music pastor of an Assembly of God congregation in Singapore, orchestrated it. The melody is crafted in compound duple time pattern, a common form across various world cultures. It also features a variety of sounds drawn from a global music palette. The matching of a simple diatonic melody with complex rhythmic patterns reflects the College’s ethos and efforts to address complex issues in a global context.

Emmanuel is the largest theological school associated with the United Church of Canada, one of seven federated theological colleges within the Toronto School of Theology and a fully accredited member of the Association of Theological Schools.

Please follow us... new episodes will be published on the 15th of each month!

On Belief Emmanuel College of Victoria University in the University of Toronto

    • Religion & Spirituality

Emmanuel College is a theological college of Victoria University in the University of Toronto.

On Belief is a podcast produced for the University of Toronto’s Emmanuel College. The show is a home for conversations about the place of faith in the public sphere. It will explore the role and place of belief, whether defined as organized religious practice or individual spiritual understanding, in the culture and politics of secular society.

The podcast theme music was composed by sacred music professor, Lim Swee-Hong in consultation with worship professor, Bill Kervin and Emmanuel’s principal Mark Toulouse. Lim's friend, Lee Meng-Cham, music pastor of an Assembly of God congregation in Singapore, orchestrated it. The melody is crafted in compound duple time pattern, a common form across various world cultures. It also features a variety of sounds drawn from a global music palette. The matching of a simple diatonic melody with complex rhythmic patterns reflects the College’s ethos and efforts to address complex issues in a global context.

Emmanuel is the largest theological school associated with the United Church of Canada, one of seven federated theological colleges within the Toronto School of Theology and a fully accredited member of the Association of Theological Schools.

Please follow us... new episodes will be published on the 15th of each month!

    Episode 10

    Episode 10

    Read the news, turn on the TV, or tune into social media and you’ll instantly be surrounded by confusion and anger. We’ve entered an era of harsh political rhetoric fuelled by a kind of fact-free or, as some would call it, post-truth worldview. Our politics have become divisive and it’s easy to feel untethered, to feel as though there’s no solid moral ground to stand on.

    Thinking about the role of faith in confronting this chaos is usually left to those who live a religious or spiritual life. But for many people, hanging on to faith-based values or spiritual lessons, whether they live a religious life or not, is one way to navigate through the noise and find a moral way forward. For this final episode of On Belief, we’ve brought together a group of people to talk about their experience of faith and how the values they draw from that background have guided them through conflict and change.

    Thanks to our guests Lisa Goldman in New York, Cheshmak Farhoumand-Sims in Ottawa, Umer Lee in St. Louis, and Emily Loewen in Winnipeg.

    • 55 min
    Episode 9

    Episode 9

    Episode 9
    In Canada, Muslim has mostly come to mean a religious identity. But in the past, in other places, it had a far more expansive meaning. Being Muslim went beyond religious ritual observance. It also often said something about where one came from, what food one ate, and which language one spoke.

    As Muslims leave their countries of origin and make Canada their home, they are re-imagining the ways in which they engage with their Muslimness. They are reviving conversations about the potential for expanding "Muslim" to, once again, encompass more than merely faith.

    Elamin Abdelmahmoud, Bano Murtuja, and Samira Mohyeddin were all born elsewhere and have come to call Canada home. And despite widely different background, they have all grappled with the question, what does it mean to call oneself Muslim?

    Music: Passage by Scott Buckley from scottbuckley.com.au

    • 57 min
    Episode 8

    Episode 8

    Episode 8
    Religious accommodations – the request for specific considerations on the basis of faith – prove, again and again, to be a source of controversy and, often, hostility. Requesting accommodation in the public school system is the right of every student but as the number of students from religiously observant households increases, there is a growing tension between those who advocate for a “neutral” public space and those who say practicing one’s faith is a fundamental right.

    The issue comes up each school year…whether it’s the sex ed curriculum or accommodation for prayers or opting out of Halloween costume parades. A seemingly small request can turn into a public fight about values, fairness, and what it means to be Canadian.

    This episode of on belief brings together two people asking similar questions but in different settings.

    Suzanne Muir is an equity consultant in Ontario and has worked with public schools for the last two decades. She deals with the day-to-day task of figuring out how people sharing space in public schools can learn to get along despite their differences.

    Anver Emon, from the University of Toronto, is also asking this question but he wonders if the answers, perhaps, lie in a complete reimagining of that relationship. What does it mean to be religious? And what does it mean to be public?

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    On Belief is a home for conversations about the place of faith in the public sphere. What happens when God meets public life and shapes our culture and politics?

    We explore the challenging questions about the role of religion in the 21st century and whether it can exist harmoniously alongside the modern ideals of a secular society.

    • 50 min

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