Leading-edge research at
Canada’s Christian university
Introducing TWU’s Canada Research Chairs
The Canada Research Chairs (;;;) program funds professorships for the nation’s top researchers and scholars.
Meet ;;;’s own ;;; recipients and find out what they’re working on.
DECIPHERING THE SCROLLS
The discovery of ;,;;;-year-old parchments, now known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, in a cave in Qumran in
;;;; remains one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the ;;th century. Previously, modern
translations of the Bible had been based on a Hebrew manuscript less than ;,;;; years old. Now, scholars
who examine these documents are gaining fresh insight into the ancient roots of both rabbinic Judaism
and early Christianity.
Peter Flint, Ph.D., Canada Research Chair in Dead Sea Scrolls Studies, belongs to a group of
international scholars in the process of publishing the Dead Sea Scrolls and interpreting their significance
for Judaism and early Christianity. His work is advancing the study and interpretation of scripture and ensuring that Canada’s
Dead Sea Scrolls Institute at ;;; continues to be a leading international centre for Dead Sea Scrolls research.
DEEP ANSWERS FROM LITTLE WORMS
Roughly ;; per cent of the mutated genes that cause human diseases are also found in the simple worm
Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), making this animal an ideal model for research. Eve Stringham,
Ph.D., Canada Research Chair in Developmental Genetics and Disease, is studying cell signaling (the
mechanism by which cells detect and respond to environmental stimuli) in C. elegans to uncover knowledge
that could lead to treatments for diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
“As a Christian, I find the process of discovery is very much a form of worship,” says Stringham. “When
you discover something new, that hasn’t been recorded in literature yet, it’s such a privilege. It feels like
you’re been entrusted with a little secret that God has about how the world was created.”
A COMMON HUMANITY
The philosophical climate of our times is encouraging a return to religion as the ethical and spiritual
foundation of human culture. At the same time, there is an emerging interest in the idea of a common
humanity. In post-Christian Western culture, what is the role of religion in providing ethical
guidelines for and understandings of our essential humanity? Jens Zimmermann, Ph.D., Canada
Research Chair in Interpretation, Religion and Culture, is tackling this question in his research by
examining the role of theories of interpretation in assessing the interrelation of religion and culture.
Zimmermann’s research is providing insights into the process of assessing the viability of religiously
rooted humanism(s) for the reshaping of the Western cultural ethos.