From the Editor's Desk

Ren Ito


For the Christian tradition, the struggle for social justice has always been and continues to be a theme of central importance.  From grassroots faith communities to the social encyclicals of modern popes, Christian engagement with the problem of justice has historically been characterised by remarkable depth and diversity.  This issue of Saeculum features papers which draw and expand on this rich tradition and offer original insights into the question of justice in the present.  Sheryl Johnson’s fascinating essay explores the connection between theology and social action, focusing on the high-needs community of St. James Town in Toronto and the ecumenical activity that has taken place there in the context of outreach.  Lisa Gasson’s paper reflects on the significance of human relationship in development, and is a product of her experiences in Ecuador as a participant in Intercordia, a service learning course in the Christianity and Culture program.  Finally, my own piece examines the commodification of social justice and the phenomenon of ethically branded products from a Christian theological perspective.

Alongside these featured pieces, we have included two additional, excellent papers.  In the first, Brigidda Zapata offers an insightful analysis of the early Corinthians’ understanding of prophecy, and the role that this understanding played in the development of their unique eschatology.  Meanwhile, Roseen Giles’ essay examines the deep theological, ritual, and psychological symbolism in the illuminated illustrations surrounding canon tables in medieval Armenian manuscripts.

We are sincerely grateful to the University of St. Michael’s College, the Rabanus Project, and the faculty of the Christianity and Culture program for their continued support.  I would also like to thank the members of the editorial board: it has been an honour working with them this past year, and without their efforts, the journal would not have been possible.  I ask them to join me in dedicating this justice-themed issue of Saeculum to the weak and the oppressed, who are vindicated; to the captives, who will be set free; to the downtrodden, who are lifted up; and to the poor – for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Ren Ito, Editor-in-Chief, 2008-2009