Queen's University



Queen’s University experts are available to discuss various aspects of Easter, from the history of chocolate to the religious traditions of the holiday.

Celebrating with chocolate - Heather Evans

Professor Evans can discuss one of the most popular aspects of Easter – chocolate.

“The history of chocolate is a long one, but chocolate eggs, bunnies, chicks, and other confectionery, are relatively new contributions to the very old celebration of Easter,” says Professor Evans. “Although chocolate is inextricably part of modern Easter celebrations, its role is the product of innovative technology, marketing and commerce, entirely distinct from the religious significance of the occasion.”

Professor Evans’ current projects include articles on food in Roald Dahl’s Danny the Champion of the World, cookery and gender in Beatrix Potter’s tales, the artistry of Oscar Wilde’s “The Happy Prince,” and chocolate, sweets and confectionery in nineteenth-century fiction. Articles derived from her doctoral dissertation, The New Woman’s New Appetite: Cooking, Eating and Feeding in Sarah Grand’s New Woman Fiction, are also in the works.

The death of Jesus, resurrection and movies - Richard Ascough

Professor Ascough can discuss the early stories surrounding Jesus’ death and resurrection, as well as the ways in which religion intersects with film, particularly in terms of mythmaking, worldview, and the creation of self or group identity through an artistic medium.

Professor Ascough is Associate Professor of New Testament at Queen's School of Religion. He received his Ph.D. from the University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto (1997) and is the author of five books and numerous articles and essays in the area of Christian origins and the New Testament.

Cultural vs. religious celebration - Jean Stairs

Professor Stairs can discuss the cultural celebration of Easter – that includes bunnies and egg hunts – in contrast to the religious celebration of the holiday.

Professor Stairs is an Associate Professor of the Practice of Ministry and Field Education and has been the Principal of the School of Religion, formerly known as Theological College, since 2001.

Resurrection and miracles – Jacalyn Duffin

Professor Duffin can discuss medical miracles, including resurrections, that have led to canonizations .
“Miracles are required for a saint to be recognized in the Catholic tradition,” says Professor Duffin, who examined 1400 miracles in the Vatican archives applied to canonizations between 1588 and 1999 and found that the vast majority (over 95%) are healings from illness, resurrection among them. “These records are a tremendous resource for social and medical history.”

Professor Duffin teaches graduates and undergraduates in the School of Medicine and in Philosophy and History. Her research focuses on medical epistemology and the history of medical saints and miracles. She is the author of five books, two edited volumes, and many articles. Her History of Medicine; A Scandalously Short Introduction is used in teaching across Canada, the United States and England.

To arrange an interview, contact Kristyn Wallace at (613)533-6000 ext 79173 or (613)331-0939 kristyn.wallace@queensu.ca or Michael Onesi at (613)533-6000 ext 77513 michael.onesi@queensu.ca, News and Media Services, Queen’s University.

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Last updated at 4:16 pm EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
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