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Rebekah Smick is Associate Professor of Philosophy of the Arts and Culture at the Institute for Christian Studies. She specializes in pre-Kantian art theory and criticism, in particular the relation of early modern visual arts theory to poetics, rhetoric, ethics and theology. Her research and teaching investigate the aesthetic values of beauty and grace, the link between knowledge and imagination, the aesthetic function of metaphor, and the place of compassion. She is author of Antiquity and Its Interpreters (Cambridge UP, 2000) and is currently working on a book manuscript entitled Michelangelo’s Vatican Pietà as Image in the Theology and Aesthetics of Compassion. She received her MA from Columbia University and her PhD from the University of Toronto.


John Terpstra is the author of four works of creative non-fiction, most recently The House Withthe Parapet Wall. An earlier work, The Boys, or, Waiting for the Electrician’s Daughter, was short-listed for both the Charles Taylor Prize and the BC Award for Canadian Non-fiction. He has also published nine books of poetry, includingTwo or Three Guitars: Selected Poems, and Brilliant Falls, which was short-listed for the 2014 Raymond Souster Award. An earlier work, Naked Trees, was recently republished with several works by the noted woodcut artist Wesley Bates. His poetry has won the CBC Radio Literary Prize, the Bressani Prize, several Hamilton Arts Awards, and been short-listed for the Governor-General’s Award. In 2011, one of his poems, Giants, was installed on a plaque at the crest of the Niagara Escarpment overlooking Hamilton, where he lives and works as a furniture-maker and carpenter.


Paul Roorda is an artist from Waterloo, Ontario, who investigates changing belief systems in religion, science, medicine, and environmentalism.  He has exhibited extensively with solo exhibitions in Canada, Germany and the USA.  Roorda was the Artist in Residence for the City of Kitchener, Ontario, in 2007 and at GlogauAIR in Berlin, in 2012.  He has been awarded numerous grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts and his work is included in the Donovan collection at St. Michael's College in Toronto.  Paul Roorda has been the subject of an episode of “The Artist’s Life” which aired on Bravo TV and was a finalist for the Blake Prize for religious art in Australia.