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Dr. Sylvia C. Keesmaat is a biblical scholar, activist, and farmer. She obtained her doctorate at Oxford University, studying with N.T. Wright. She was the Senior Member in Biblical Studies and Hermeneutics at the Institute for Christians Studies from 1994-2004, before leaving to more deeply ground her academic work in environmental issues. She has taught at Canadian Mennonite University, Wycliffe College, and Trinity College, part of the Toronto School of Theology, as well as for the Creation Care Studies Program in Belize.
Sylvia is the co-author, with Brian Walsh, of Romans Disarmed: Resisting Empire, Demanding Justice (Brazos Press, 2019) and Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire (IVP, 2004). She is also the author of Paul and His Story: (Re)Interpreting the Exodus Tradition and editor of The Advent of Justice. She has also authored many academic articles and book chapters, as well as popular articles.
Sylvia is the past co-chair of the Bishop's Committee on Creation Care for the Anglican Diocese of Toronto, and is Chair of the Board of Sanctuary Ministries in Toronto. She speaks frequently on topics related to the Bible and economic justice, climate catastrophe, gender justice, and Indigenous justice.
Sylvia founded her online teaching platform Bible Remixed in 2021 to help nurture a community of Jesus followers who are deeply rooted in the biblical story, and who are becoming a community of welcome, healing and nurture for those people and creatures who suffer most from the violence of our world. She offers online courses throughout the year that are open to all on a pay-what-you-can basis.
From 2016 to 2023 Sylvia held an heirloom tomato seedling sale every spring on her farm . She also speaks to horticultural societies and other groups about permaculture, forest gardening, and pollinator insects. She earned her permaculture design certificate in 2014.
Sylvia lives at Russet House Farm, an off-grid permaculture farm in the Kawartha Lakes on the traditional territory of the Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg, with her husband, Brian Walsh, and a fluctuating number of people and animals.
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