2014 J.J. Thiessen Lectures Series: Becoming Friends of Time
John Swinton

How might the experience of profoundly disabled people impact our understandings of God, creation, and the meaning of humanness?

Dr. John Swinton will explore that question at this year’s J.J. Thiessen Lectures at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) on October 14-15. Titled “Becoming Friends of Time: Disability, Timefulness and Gentle Discipleship,” the three-part lecture series take place in the CMU Chapel (600 Shaftesbury Blvd.) on Tuesday, October 14 at 11:00 AM and 7:30 PM, and concludes Wednesday, October 15 at 11:00 AM.

Swinton, Professor and Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, will discuss the nature and purpose of time, and the ways in which certain forms of disability draw attention to forgotten aspects of time and timefulness.

The lectures will focus particularly on people with profound intellectual disabilities and people with cognitive disabilities such as advanced dementia. People with such life experiences perceive and live out time in ways that are quite different from the expectations of our speed driven culture.

People with profound disabilities draw attention to the significance of time and point towards the fact that true knowledge of God and faithful discipleship is slow and gentle; not bound by the assumptions of speed, worldly success, and the quickness of one’s intellect.

He hopes that people who attend will walk away with an understanding that people with profound intellectual disabilities and people with advanced dementia are disciples with a God-given vocation.

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