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About Brett David Potter

Welcome!

I am an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Theology at Huron University in London, Ontario.
I completed my PhD in Theology at the University of St. Michael's College in 2016, and since that time have continued to teach, research, and write about what it means to be human (theological anthropology); the intersection of religion, beauty, and the arts, especially film (theological aesthetics); as well as new horizons in interreligious dialogue. I have a broad range of interests, and am always exploring new topics.

Be warned: in any class I teach, whether theology or cinema studies, I am likely to include documentary films, experimental cinema from the 1960s, Star Trek, and some classic musicals for good measure.

My teaching portfolio crosses the boundaries between systematic theology, religion and culture, world religions, and the philosophy of religion. I am appreciative of the opportunities I have to interact with a diverse range of students, and the creative possibilities of both in-class and online learning. If you are one of my students, I hope this page will help link you to some relevant resources from across all of these disciplines!

I also have experience working in video editing, with a BFA from York University. I have made my own short films and art installations as well as working on a range of video projects which I hope to post here soon. I love music as well and play guitar, bass, piano, tuba (though not for a while), and a bit of banjo.

My wife and I have three children, which means life is always busy - but never too busy for coffee and a nice walk in the woods near our home. Thanks for stopping by!

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Student Resources

These video segments relate to coursework in many of my current classes. Hopefully they can act as a resource for your learning. Keep checking this site for new links to video content regularly.

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Mahatma Gandhi – dying for freedom | DW Documentary
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DW Documentary

Mahatma Gandhi – dying for freedom | DW Documentary

Indian freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on 30 January 1948. Why was Gandhi killed and what events occurred before and after Gandhi's murder? This documentary shows how India was dogged by nationalism and religious conflict on its path to independence - and how these factors mark the country to this day. On 20 January 1948, Gopal Godse, a Hindu fanatic, attempted to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi. Ten days later, his brother Nathuram Godse managed to finish the job: he killed Gandhi. For Gopal Godse, India's Independence Day in August 1947 was a day of mourning. "Bharat Mata," "Mother India," which the young Brahmin zealously worshipped, had lost many of its provinces. Predominantly Muslim East Bengal had become East Pakistan, whilst western Punjab, the provinces of Sindh and Baluchistan and the land of the warlike Pashtuns made up West Pakistan a thousand miles away. This too was predominantly Muslim. Godse didn’t just see the former colonial power, Great Britain, as responsible for the "amputation," he also believed the Muslims were to blame. But, in Godse’s eyes, the main culprit was a Hindu who was celebrated as a hero because he had defied the English, a small man with round wire glasses and a white cotton robe: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, also known as "Mahatma," the great soul. The Godse brothers did not care that Gandhi had always condemned conflict between the various religious communities and opposed the partition of India. They were members of the far-right Hindu Mahasabha, the "Great Assembly of Hindus," which had close links with the anti-British and fascist National Volunteer Corps. And now extremist Hindus are gaining ground in India again... _______ Exciting, powerful and informative – DW Documentary is always close to current affairs and international events. Our eclectic mix of award-winning films and reports take you straight to the heart of the story. Dive into different cultures, journey across distant lands, and discover the inner workings of modern-day life. Subscribe and explore the world around you – every day, one DW Documentary at a time. Subscribe to DW Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW39zufHfsuGgpLviKh297Q?sub_confirmation=1# For more information visit: http://www.dw.com/en/tv/docfilm/s-3610 Instagram https://www.instagram.com/dwdocumentary/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dw.stories DW netiquette policy: http://www.dw.com/en/dws-netiquette-policy/a-5300954
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Current Projects

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Theology and the Films of Darren Aronofsky

Christ of the Neanderthals: Redefining the Imago Dei in Light of Modern Paleoanthropology

Christ the Shaman: Creation and Christology in the Paintings of Norval Morriseau

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Links to Publications

Research and Articles

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Inside Out and Outside In: Art, Truth, and Phenomenology in Hans Urs von Balthasar

Tracing the Landscape: Re-enchantment, Play, and Spirituality in Parkour

A Word Not Our Own: Northrop Frye and Karl Barth on Revelation and Imagination

Read More
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Courses

(selected)

Modern and Contemporary Christian Thought

Third-year course on modern Christian theology, ranging from Barth, Rahner, Balthasar, Tillich, and Bonhoeffer through to liberation theology, feminist theology, postcolonial, Pentecostal/charismatic, evangelical, and eco-theological approaches.

Theology of the Human Person

Theological anthropology in contemporary perspective. Readings cover patristic and reformation 
views of the human being, in dialogue with ecotheology, theology of disability, modern 
philosophical perspectives, and issues of race, gender, and justice.

Philosophies of World Religions

This course covers a range of topics, beginning with the origins of religion and the significance of Gobekli Tepe through to examining religion in contemporary popular culture and art. We read philosophers from Anselm to Shankara, examining different methodological approaches to the study of religion, reflecting on alternative modes of spiritual experience and religious belonging, and critically engaging with philosophical systems from a range of traditions.

World Religions

Introduction to world religions, covering major world faiths (Judaism, Christianity, 
 Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism), theories of the origin of religion, syncretism, and religion in modernity.

Religion and Social Ethics

Contemporary perspectives on religious narratives in the context of philosophical ethics. Historical survey of philosophical and religious ethics (inc. Socrates, Jesus, Buddha, Augustine, Kant, Levinas, Heschel) and notions of the common good alongside discussions of violence/nonviolence, hospitality to the stranger, social justice, civil disobedience, gender, sexuality, and environmental ethics.

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Academic CV

Achievements and Experience

2015 - 2019

Queen's University

Since 2015 I have taught as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Religion at Queen’s University, in the areas of the texts, history, and material culture of Christianity; modern Christian theology; and religion and culture. These courses have given me the opportunity to collaborate with students (both undergraduate and masters) on a range of exciting creative research initiatives, including a group art exhibition presented on campus; creative online components such as website design; and the collaborative use of social media alongside traditional research projects. Over the past five years, I have helped a diverse range of students develop critical skills and knowledge relevant to the contemporary study of religion within the unique ethos of the School of Religion.

2013-present

Sheridan College

My online and in-class teaching at Sheridan College spans 7 years and has consisted of courses in religious studies, philosophy, and across the humanities. In the multicultural setting of the GTA, it is not an exaggeration to say I have had the opportunity to teach hundreds of students from all of the major world religions, including many international students. I have also been able to place a particular emphasis on accessible learning, including in the online learning space, while working with a diverse group of students facing a range of socioeconomic, personal, and educational challenges.

2015-present

Tyndale Seminary

In my teaching at Tyndale Seminary, which spans both in-class and online offerings in theology and culture, I have been responsible for designing, creating, and teaching several courses in theology and culture. One example is the popular online course “Theology of the Human Person” which I have taught for three years. The course covers themes in theological anthropology ranging from ancient and contemporary philosophical approaches to the “self” to theological investigations of disability, gender, justice, ecological consciousness, and emerging technology. A second course I proposed, designed, and regularly teach is World Religions, where again multimedia combined with intuitive, web-ready instructional design work together to support an exploration of the religions of the world with an emphasis on dialogue and peacemaking.

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