May 8-9, 2017
Saint Paul University, Ottawa

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OUR WHOLE SOCIETY: RELIGION & CITIZENSHIP AT CANADA’S 150TH

At Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation, we are seeking a new way of talking, thinking and acting together so that Canada’s religious diversity can become a resource for our collective advancement. Our Whole Society: Religion & Citizenship at Canada's 150th built on years of experience in interfaith and religious-secular dialogue to convene a range of fresh perspectives that helped us think about how to build our whole society and promote a more active Canadian citizenry. We asked, 

  • How can an inclusive society provide space for diverse perspectives and practices to be welcomed into the public sphere? 
  • Can we advance beyond simple toleration of religious and other differences to embrace a wider respect for all citizens? 
  • How can we draw upon Canada’s religious and cultural diversity as a resource for strengthening civic engagement and fostering a more mature collective life?

Read the concept paper for a fuller exploration of the conference’s themes.

Many guests joined us, and our distinguished speakers, panelists and workshop leaders helped us explore these and other relevant questions when we met May 8-9, 2017 in Ottawa. 

This gathering, the third in a series of Our Whole Society conferences, followed on earlier conferences held at McGill University (2013) and University of British Columbia (2015).

The conference was organized under the auspices of the Canadian Interfaith Conversation in partnership with several Conversation Participants, Canadian Race Relations Foundation and Cardus' Faith in Canada 150 project.

Resources from the conference include: 

Dr. John Borrows - "Reconciliation and Refusal: The TRC and the Politics of Solidarity" (video)

Dr. John Ralston Saul - "The Place of Spirituality and Citizenship" (video)

Dr. Andrew Bennett, panel address (published in Convivium)

A "story" of tweets and photos from the conference

Photo gallery

Bahá'í World News Service article: Citizenship and Religion Explored in Canada

Peter Stockland on Howard Adelman's address (published in Convivium)