The Symposium Line Up: Day 1
This year’s Theological Symposium will follow a little different schedule. Instead of interspersing plenary presentations and sectionals, the plenaries will be delivered on the first day, outlining the broad strokes of brain research into memory, its biological, personal, and communal dimensions. The second day will be given over to sectionals by Concordia Seminary professors who will explore the implications of what we know about memory for congregational ministry and leadership, preaching and pastoral care, and the role of memory in the Bible and church tradition.
Introduction: Dr. Joel Okamoto (chairman, Department of Systematic Theology) sets the tone with his introduction about why memory is more important than we realize.
The plenaries are being given by individuals who are acknowledged to be experts in their field and will deal with the science involving brain research and memory. Reflections on the ramifications for theology and ministry will be given by a Concordia Seminary professor.
Plenary 1 (the biological dimensions of memory): “Brain, Memory and Mind: The Neural Structures that Allow Us to Remember”—Steve Joordens (Reflections—Joel Okamoto)
Plenary 2 (the personal dimensions of memory): “You Are What You Remember: How Our Memories Define Who We Are and Support Our Effective Functioning”—Steve Joordens (Reflections—Bruce Hartung)
Steve Joordens is a cognitive psychologist on the faculty at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), Ontario, Canada. His research, conducted within the Advanced Learning Technology laboratory that he directs, focuses on the development and assessment of educational technologies.
His innovative approach to teaching has resulted in a number of prestigious awards, including the 3M National Teaching Fellowship in 2015 and, with his Ph.D. student Dwayne Pare, the National Technology Innovation Award in 2009. His work also has been recognized institutionally. He is the recipient of the President’s Teaching Award (2010), the highest award for teaching at the University of Toronto, and a Special Commendation for Educational Innovation award from UTSC in 2014. Provincially, he has earned the Leadership in Faculty Teaching Award (2008) and OCUFA Teaching Award (2011) and was twice a finalist in TVO’s Best Lecturer Competition.
Professor Joordens’ reach extends beyond the walls of UTSC. In 2010 he recorded a course with The Great Courses titled “Memory Across the Lifespan” and in 2012 and 2013 he spoke at both the Carmel Authors and Ideas Festival and at TEDx conferences at UTSC and in Norway. In the summer of 2013 he offered a Gates-founded Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on “Introduction to Psychology” via Coursera that reached more than 150,000 students around the world.
Plenary 3 (the communal dimensions of memory): “Remembering with Stories: The Role of Narrative in Personal and Collective Memory”—Charlotte Linde (Reflections—Tony Cook)
Charlotte Linde is the author of two books on the relation of narrative and memory: Life Stories: The Creation of Coherence and Working the Past: Narrative and Institutional Memory (Oxford University Press). Her current research focuses on narrative in the development of individual and group identity, and the anthropology of wisdom.
She has been a research scientist at NASA, studying issues of cockpit and air traffic control communication, learning among the members of the science team of the Mars Rover, and knowledge management for long-term space missions. Prior to that, she was a senior researcher at the Institute for Research on Learning, and founded and lead Structural Semantics, a research and consulting company.
She has taught at the City University of New York; University of California, Berkeley; and Stanford University. She holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from Columbia University.