Ariadne’s Notes, The World Poetry Café Radio Show was honoured to receive a call from Dr. Paul Rowe , the spokesperson for upcoming conference, March 22-24, “Our Whole Society: Bridging the Religious-Secular Divide”. To hear more at 9:45 pm, Tuesday, March 17th, please CLICK HERE
“Our Whole Society: Bridging the Religious-Secular Divide”, a conference sponsored by The Laurier Institution and organized by a national inter-faith leadership committee which will take place March 22-24, 2015 at UBC Robson Square, an academic setting that provides a space for open inquiry in the heart of downtown Vancouver.
The purpose of this conference is to bring together thinkers and practitioners to investigate the process of reconciling secularism, religion and the common good.
We invite you to join us and our distinguished speakers, moderators, and guests as we explore these and other timely questions at our second annual conference, following on “Bridging the Secular Divide: Religion and Canadian Public Discourse,” held at McGill University in 2013.
Please visit www.ourwholesociety.ca for further information and for a full lineup of speakers, or email our administrator, Helen Mo, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spokesperson Paul S. Rowe is an Associate Professor of Political and International Studies at Trinity Western University and senior research fellow with the Religion, Culture, and Conflict Research Group. He completed his PhD in Political Science at McGill University in 2003. His research interests surround the politics of religion in developing countries and at the global level. He has also written extensively on the politics of Christian minority communities in Middle Eastern states. Dr. Rowe is the author of Religion and Global Politics (Oxford University Press Canada, 2012), and co-editor of Christians and the Middle East Conflict (Routledge UK, 2014) and Politics and the Religious Imagination (Routledge UK, 2010).
It is often assumed that a secular society has no need for religion in its public affairs, and that faith ought to be left to the private lives of individuals. And yet, Canadian public discourse is increasingly preoccupied with the role of religion in society. Religious freedom, religious accommodation, the secular charter – these have been the subject of headlines for the past several years.
We need to consider how to create appropriate space for religion in public discourse, and how to do so in a society that is increasingly diverse. We need to build a society that includes everyone – a whole society.
What does it mean to build a “whole society”? What is the purpose of secularism, and what are its limits? How can we re-conceptualize the role of religion in Canadian public life? What is the role of religion and spirituality in cultural reconciliation?