2013 Events

Below is a list of events that will be hosted by the Religion and Diversity Project in 2013.

January 2013

Lecture – Critical Thinkers in Religion, Law and Social Theory

Date: January 31, 2013, 4:00 to 6:30pm

Title: Critical Description after Progress: Recognizing Diversity in Damaged Times
Speaker: Anna Tsing (University of California, Santa Cruz)

Location: University of Ottawa, Simard Hall, Room 125, 60 University, Ottawa, Ontario

Abstract: As we lose expectations of progress, how shall we know the world? This talk introduces “critical description,” a genre for reinvigorating curiosity about heterogeneity, after progress. The talk draws from Anna Tsing’s book in progress: Living in ruins. Capitalism, blasted landscapes, and the possibilities of life on earth: a mushroom story. Based on research tracking the global search for high-value gourmet wild mushrooms called matsutake, the talk explores emerging lines of cosmopolitan difference and the challenges of making lives together across what one might call “contaminated diversity” — that is, kinds shaped by histories of damage and dislocation.

Bio: Anna Tsing teaches anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is also Niels Bohr Professor at Aarhus University, Denmark, where she will lead a transdisciplinary research group on the problems of living in the Anthropocene. She is the author of Friction: an ethnography of global connection and In the realm of the diamond queen: marginality in an out-of-the-way place, both from Princeton University Press. She has co-edited numerous volumes, most recently, with Carol Gluck, Words in motion: toward a global lexicon (Duke University Press). Her current research follows the humble trail of mushrooms into the great economic, cultural, and ecological dilemmas of our times.


February 2013

Seminar – Living with Religious Diversity International

Date: February 18, 2013

Co-ordinators: Sonia Sikka (University of Ottawa), Lori G. Beaman (University of Ottawa) and Bindu Puri (Delhi University)

Speakers: Rajiv Bhargava (Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi), Charu Gupta (Delhi University), Gopal Guru (Jawaharlal Nehru University), Pralay Kanungo (JNU), Rinku Lamba (JNU), Gurpreet Mahajan (JNU), Arshad Alam (Centre for Jawaharlal Nehru Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi), Sebastian Thomas Velassery (Panjab University), A. Raghuramaraju (University of Hyderabad), Solange Lefebvre (Université de Montréal), Ashwani Peetush (Wilfrid Laurier University), Ratna Ghosh (McGill University), Melissa Williams (University of Toronto), Linda Woodhead (Lancaster University), Elizabeth Shakman Hurd (Northwestern University)

Student Discussants: Manvitha Singamsetty (University of Ottawa), Leo van Arragon (University of Ottawa)

Location: India International Centre

To visit the Living with Religious Diversity website, please click here.

For the poster of this international seminar, please click here.

For the report, please click here.

March 2013

Lecture – Critical Thinkers in Religion, Law and Social Theory

Date: March 7, 2013, 4:00 to 6:30pm

Title: A European Perspective on Religion and Welfare: Connections, Reflections and Extensions
Speaker: Grace Davie (University of Exeter)

Location: University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario

Abstract: This presentation draws on a recently completed project on religion and welfare in eight European societies (Sweden, Finland, Norway, England,Germany, France, Italy and Greece). It starts by setting out the ideas of two key theorists:  Gøsta Esping-Andersen and David Martin.  Esping-Andersen’s work provides a touchstone for the understanding of welfare regimes; Martin’s work is equally well-known in the sociology of religion.  Seldom, however, are the two perspectives brought together. A combination of the two approaches permits a cogent comparative perspective.  All West European societies are faced with the same dilemmas regarding the provision of welfare and all of them, to a greater or lesser extent, are considering alternatives to the state for the effective delivery of services.  These alternatives include the churches.  Each society, however, has to face these questions within the parameters set by the past:  what is, or is not, possible varies from place to place.  It is well-known that the institutional separations of welfare and religion across Europe were dependent on key historical factors; it is less frequently realized that the same is true in terms of the options currently available.  Such a statement has crucial implications for policy, a point that will be illustrated from the case studies covered in the project.

Bio: Grace Davie is professor of sociology at the University of Exeter. Her research interests lie in the sociology of religion, with a particular emphasis on patterns of religion in Europe. She is also interested in the new theoretical paradigms that are emerging in the field – not least the notion of ‘multiple modernities’. How are we to make sense of the growing significance of religion in the modern world with tools and concepts that have emerged (largely) from the ‘exceptional’ European case? Her publications include Religion in Modern Europe: A Memory Mutates (Oxford University Press, 2000); The Sociology of Religion (Sage, 2007); she is co-author of Religious America, Secular Europe: A Theme and Variations (Ashgate 2008). She has also been co-director of several research projects including “Welfare and Religion in a European Perspective, 2006-06” and “Welfare and Values in European Societies, 2006-09”.

To access Grace Davie’s presentation, please click here.


Lecture – Critical Thinkers in Religion, Law and Social Theory

Date: March 21, 2013, 3:00 to 4:30pm

Title: Is Multicultural Equality Compatible with an Established Religion or Religions?
Speaker: Tariq Modood (University of Bristol)

Location: University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario

Abstract: I want to explore two intersecting tensions. The first is to do with liberalism and multiculturalism. The second is to do with the nature of the secular state in western Europe. While many liberals believe that the state should be neutral on matters of the good and culture, and above all on religion, multiculturalists hold that the state should not be blind to difference. Indeed, it should actively play a role in constructing and promoting a multicultural national identity in which minority identities are respectfully included. If this includes minority religious identities then multiculturalism must be opposed to radical secularism. Luckily for multiculturalists in western Europe, where all states support one or more version of Christianity, radical secularism is not the dominant mode of political secularism. So, is multicultural equality compatible with an established religion or religions? Might it to be more inclusive to pluralise the state-religion connections than to sever it?

Bio: Tariq Modood is the founding Director of the University of Bristol’s Research Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship. He has over 30 (co-)authored and (co-)edited books and reports and over 150 articles or chapters in political philosophy, sociology and public policy. He is the co-founding editor of the international journal Ethnicities. Recent publications include Still Not Easy Being British: Struggles for a Multicultural Citizenship (Trentham Books, 2010); as co-editor, Secularism, Religion and Multicultural Citizenship (Cambridge University Press, 2009); Global Migration, Ethnicity and Britishness (Palgrave, 2011); and European Multiculturalisms (Edinburgh University Press, 2012). He served on the Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain; the IPPR Commission on National Security; and on the National Equality Panel, which reported to the UK Deputy Prime Minister in 2010.


Workshop – Let’s Talk! Interprofessional Dialogue and the Intersections of Religion, Diversity, and Healthcare

Date: March 28, 2013, 8:15am to 4:30pm

Coordinator: Rukhsana Ahmed (University of Ottawa)

Location: University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, FSS 5028

What roles do diversity, and religious beliefs and practices play in health and healing, and medical decision-making? The one day event will focus on the theme: “Interprofessional Dialogue at the Intersections of Religion, Diversity, and Healthcare,” and cover topics, including cultural and religious issues surrounding organ donation; diversity and equity in medical schools/students; religious plurality in the context of end-of-life care; clinical perspectives on mental Illness of refugee populations in Canada; religion and HIV/AIDS; religion and psychiatry; diversity in nursing; counselling and spirituality; and women’s health and disability.

The timeliness of this event cannot be over-emphasized because as the Canadian society grows increasingly culturally, ethnically, and religiously diverse, the need for effective and appropriate healthcare practices to address patient and provider diversity and to create an inclusive health care environment grows larger. Effective healthcare is built on interprofessional collaboration that provides opportunities to problem-solve and learn together and create communities of practice. Despite the important role religion plays in the delivery of health care, the intersection of religion and health care is understudied and religion is an often-ignored topic in diversity training and cultural competency initiatives in health care. Against this backdrop, the workshop brings together top medical and nursing faculty, practitioners, patient advocates, and religious studies scholars from across Canada and engage them in two panel discussions on the intersections of religion, diversity, and health care. The panel discussions will examine the following questions:

  • Do the permeable boundaries of religion and health/religious and scientific sensibilities provide a framework for understanding issues of health and healing?
  • Can the fluid and shifting spatial boundaries of religion, diversity, and health open up new/alternative spaces/locations for public discourse about health issues/ for discourse and action for health care receivers, providers, and policy makers?

In doing so, panelists will present current research and best practices to proactively address issues at the intersections of religion, diversity, and health care. The workshop also hopes to use the panel discussions to consider possible trajectories over the coming years. How are the speakers uniquely poised to address the future of religious, cultural, and ethnic diversity in health care through their research, teaching, and advocacy? In the spirit of fostering an inclusive dialogue, the moderator will open up the floor for questions from the audiences, inviting them to share their experiences and work at the intersections of religion, diversity, and health care.

To read the report, please click here.

May 2013

Informal Seminar

Date: May 10, 2013, 10:00am

Co-organisers: Barbara Thériault (Université de Montréal) and Susan Palmer (Dawson College and Concordia University)

Location: Centre canadien d’études allemandes et européennes, Montréal, Québec

Workshop – The Study of Religion in Atlantic Canada

Date: May 28 to 29, 2013

Co-organisers: Nancy Nason-Clark (University of New Brunswick), Paul Bowlby (Saint Mary’s University), Rubina Ramji (Cape Breton University), Sam Reimer (Crandall University), Cathy Holtmann (University of New Brunswick)

Location: Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

This workshop series brings together students and scholars of religion in the Atlantic region.  Annually we highlight the diverse kinds of research taking place, identify knowledge gaps about religious diversity in the Atlantic provinces and strengthen professional networks in order to forge future research programs.

To read the report, please click here.

Concilium in Montreal – Living with Diversity – Ethical and Theological Analysis & Panel and General Discussion on Pope Francis

Date: May 29 to 30, 2013

Host of the Symposium: Solange Lefebvre (Université de Montréal)

Location: Université de Montréal, Pavillon de la Faculté de l’aménagement, Montréal, Québec, Auditorium 1120 (main entrance)

The editors and directors of the International Journal Concilium will be in Montreal.

Editors/Directors: Felix Wilfred, Président (India), Jon Sobrino (El Salvador), Regina Ammicht Quinn and Marie-Theres Wacker (Germany), Danny Pilario (Philippines), Diego Irarrazaval (Chili), Erik Borgman (Netherlands), Eloi Messi Metogo (Ivory Coast), Hille Hacker (USA and Germany), Lisa Sowle Cahill and Susan Ross (USA), Maria Clara Lucchetti Bingemer and Luiz, Carlos Susin (Brazil), Sarojini Nadar (South Africa), Mile Babić (Croatia), Thierry-Marie Courau (France), João J. Vila-Chã (Italy), Andrés Torres Queiruga (Spain), Solange Lefebvre (host of the Symposium)

The conference will be held in French and English with simultaneous translation

This symposium is made possible through funding from SSHRC,
University of Montreal* and Concilium

For more information, see www.ftsr.umontreal.ca

September 2013

Lecture – Building Bridges Lunch and Learn Lecture Series

Date: September 5, 2013, 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Title: ‘Gender Equality’ as Empty Signifier? Understanding Perceptions of the Gendered Division of Labour from Religious Young Adults Living in the UK
Speaker: Sarah-Jane Page (Aston University)

Location: University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario

Gender Equality has become a key value upon which liberal democratic governments measure themselves. Religious citizens are often positioned as a challenge to this, with the assumption that religions are overwhelmingly gender-conservative, endorsing traditional codes of behaviour. As it is young people who most embody the rhetoric of freedom and opportunity, young religious women in particular come to symbolise the assumed inequality of conservative religious regimes (Scharff 2011, 2012). Drawing on data from the study, Religion, Youth and Sexuality: A Multi-faith Exploration, a project which mapped the perceptions and experiences of young religious adults aged between 18 and 25 and living in the UK, this presentation will consider what gender equality meant to the participants, and how they oriented themselves to a traditional understanding of the gendered division of labour. Indeed, gender equality was a concept ubiquitously endorsed by our participants, but the majority were yet to embark on relationships and domestic settings where the gendered division of labour was negotiated in reality. Thus, the young adults’ orientations to gender often revealed a contradiction between their current understandings and their envisioned future lives.

Lecture – Laboratoire de recherche empirique des groupes religieux

Date: September 10, 2013

Title: Researching Religion using Video Diaries: Reflections on the Religion, Youth and Sexuality Project
Speaker: Sarah-Jane Page (Aston University)
Organiser: Chair in Religion, Culture, and Society

Location: Université de Montréal, 4030 Université de Montréal, Faculté de théologie et sciences des religions, Montréal, Québec

For more information, please click here.

Research Cluster – Religion, Youth and Identity

Date: September 13, 2013

Participants: Peter Beyer (University of Ottawa), Donald Boisvert (Concordia University), Spencer Bullivant (University of Ottawa), Paul Gareau (University of Ottawa), Sarah-Jane Page (Aston University), Solange Lefebvre (Université de Montréal), and Heather Shipley (University of Ottawa)

Location: University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario

Forum – Religion in the Public Sphere

Date: September 26, 2013

Title: Religion, Sexual Diversity and South Asian Youth Culture in the GTA

Location: University of Toronto, University College, Room 140, 15 King’s College Circle, Toronto, Ontario

For more information, please click here.

Workshop – Religion in the Public Sphere Community Research

Date: September 27, 2013

Title: Religion, Sexual Diversity and South Asian Youth Culture in the GTA

Location: University of Toronto, Mississauga Council Chambers, Davis Building, Room 3130, Toronto, Ontario

October 2013

Lecture – Série de conférences religion et sphère publique

Date: October 9, 2013, 11:30am to 1:00pm

Title: Gestion de la diversité religieuse en France. Entre le refus des symboles et la reconnaissance des cultes?
Anne Fornerod (Centre national de la recherche scientifique en France)

Location: Université de Montréal, 4030 Université de Montréal, Faculté de théologie et sciences des religions, Montréal, Québec

For more information, please click here.

Lecture – Critical Thinkers in Religion, Law and Social Theory

Date: October 24, 2013, 4:00 to 5:30pm

Title: Paul, Practical Pluralism, and the Invention of Religious Persecution in Roman Antiquity
Speaker: Paula Fredriksen (Boston University)

Location: University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario

Abstract: In antiquity, gods and their humans formed family groups. What we think of as “religion” – relations between heaven and earth, between humans and the divine – thus corresponded closely to ethnicity: Romans worshiped Roman gods, Egyptians worshiped Egyptian gods, Hellenes worshiped Greek gods, Jews worshiped the Jewish god.  People (Jews included) generally found ways to show respect to other gods while maintaining primary allegiance to their own god. The Empire, in brief, accommodated and indeed embraced great religious (thus ethnic) diversity. Why, then, were the early Christians persecuted?

Bio: Paula Fredriksen is the Aurelio Professor of Scripture emerita at Boston University and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. She has published widely on the social and intellectual history of ancient Christianity, and on pagan-Jewish-Christian relations in the Roman Empire.  Among her books are Augustine on Romans (1982); From Jesus to Christ (1988; 2000); Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews (1999); and Augustine and the Jews: A Christian Defense of Jews and Judaism (2010). Her most recent work investigates the way that ideas of God and of humanity shift in the period between Jesus and Augustine in Sin: The Early History of an Idea (2012). Paul, the Gentiles, and Israel, her current project, will appear next year from Yale University Press.


Collaborative Meeting – ESRC

Date: October 30, 2013

Location: University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario

The collaborators meeting on the topic of “Religion, Media and Diversity” will be held in Ottawa and will aim to ensure ongoing research networking.

Annual Team Meeting – Religion and Diversity Project

Date: October 31 to November 1, 2013

The Religion and Diversity Project 2013 Annual Team Meeting on the topic of “A Cultural Divide?” will be bringing together team members, student team members, postdoctoral fellows and selected guests.

Location: University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario

Lecture – Critical Thinkers in Religion, Law and Social Theory

Date: October 31, 2013, 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Title: Four Reasons why Religion has Changed and Will Never be the Same Again
Speaker: Linda Woodhead (Lancaster University)

Location: University of Ottawa, Simard Hall, Room 125, Ottawa, Ontario

Abstract: Change is inevitable, but since the 1980s it has become inescapable, and its pace has increased. Religion has not been immune: even when it rejects wider social changes, it has to respond. Even the most traditional religions are reshaped by the conditions in which they find themselves. This paper argues that religion has changed dramatically since 1989. It examines the main reasons for this change, and isolates four main ways in which religion has changed forever.

Bio: Linda Woodhead is Professor of Sociology of Religion at Lancaster University, Visiting Professor at Aarhus University and holds the research Chair of the Theology and Religious Studies panel for REF 2014. Recent publications include Everyday Lived Islam in Europe (Ashgate, 2013), Religion and Change in Modern Britain (Routledge, 2012), and A Sociology of Religious Emotion (Oxford University Press, 2011).


November 2013

Public Lecture

Date: November 4, 2013, 4:00 to 5:30pm

Title: Religious Literacy Recovered: Talking Well About Religion After a Century of Secularism
Speaker: Adam Dinham (Goldsmiths University of London)

Location: University of Ottawa, Simard Hall, Room 125, Ottawa, Ontario

Abstract: This talk will examine a context of public anxiety and ambivalence about faith as revealed in public policies and their related professional practices. Taking first of all the higher education sector in Britain as emblematic of wider concerns about religious faith and its place in the public sphere, the growing range of religiously-orientated policy demands on higher education institutions in the UK will be considered, along with the responses universities make to them. Specifically, four key policy ‘arenas’ will be looked at: equalities and diversity; widening participation and social mobility; student experience; and fostering good campus relations. Drawing on interviews, this talk will explore how these policies are viewed, how they have been responded to, and how religion and belief are engaged with. The talk will argue that universities are well-placed to lead a much better quality of conversation, inside and out the academy, which can help unpack public anxiety and ambivalence.

Bio: Adam Dinham is director of the Faiths and Civil Society Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he is Professor of Faith & Public Policy and is currently Programme Director for the HEFCE ‘Religious Literacy Leadership in Higher Education’ programme. Recent publications include Faith and Social Capital After the Debt Crisis (Palgrave, 2012).


Religion and Diversity Project – Graduate Student Workshop, Series 2, Session 1

Date: November 4 to 5, 2013

Theme: Intellectual directions and research design
Facilitators: Kim Knott (Lancaster University) and Teemu Taira (University of Helsinki)
Participants: Alyshea Cummins, Christine L. Cusack, Mohamed Fadil, Paul Gareau, Stéphanie Gravel, Jordan Palmer, Matthew Riddett and Giomny H. Ruiz.

Location: University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario

To read Christine Cusack’s student testimonial, please click here.

To read the report, please click here.

The Graduate Student Workshop Series’ have been a terrific success, creating three engaged cohorts of graduate students within the Religion and Diversity Project, who had the pleasure of meeting between 2011 and 2016 to exchange ideas, network and develop research relationships. Each Graduate Student Workshop Series was composed of three time spaced thematic components centered around intellectual directions and research design, knowledge transfer and results dissemination.

A Best Practices Guide for Graduate Student Training has been created by Research Associate Cathy Holtmann and Team Member Nancy Nason-Clark and can be found here.

Workshop – Whose Religion?: Education about Religion in Public Schools

Date: November 4 to 6, 2013

Co-organisers: Lori G. Beaman (University of Ottawa) and Leo Van Arragon (University of Ottawa)

Location: University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario

Our workshop, “Whose religion:  Education about religion in public schools”, will be held at the University of Ottawa on November 4 – 6, 2013.  The goal of this workshop is to examine the complex intersection of religion and education from a variety of theoretical and transnational perspectives. While there are unique features to the Canadian scene where education is a matter of provincial jurisdiction, the controversies in Canada have their parallels in other countries where the role of religion in education is also being contested by educators, policy makers, religious groups and parents.  While it engages current issues around religion in public schools, it goes further to ask critical questions about the ways in which religion in education is conceptualized and regulated in a variety of Canadian and international jurisdictions.  Religion and education are highly contested particularly in the 21st Century, making this a very timely topic for academic investigation as jurisdictions attempt to find the balance between religious freedom, equality, social cohesion, concerns about fundamentalism and security.

To read the report, please click here.


Conference – Media Democracy Days

Date: November 8 to 9, 2013

Organiser: Media Democracy Project

Location: Ottawa, Ontario

MDD is designed to raise awareness of media democracy, and to provide a networking opportunity for the local alternative media community, interested activists, and academics. Registration is FREE.

Media Democracy Days is a small non-profit progressive organization that offers free events to the public. We will be accepting donations on the day of the event so that we can improve the audience experience in years to come. MDD Ottawa is co-sponsored by the Ottawa Multicultural Media Initiative, Diversity and Equity Research Group (DERG), the University of Ottawa’s School of Information Studies , and Carelton University’s School of Journalism and Communication . MDD 2013 is an English conference but we hope to include French speakers as the event grows

Event Information

Friday, November 8, 2013

  • Time: 7:00pm-9pm
  • Location: Arts Building, 70 Laurier Avenue East

Saturday, November 9, 2013

  • Time: 1pm-4pm
  • Location: Lamoureux Hall, 145 Jean-Jacques Lussier

2013 Themes:

  • Information Control
  • Aboriginal Voices

Website: http://mddottawa.ca/

Lecture – Série de conférences religion et sphère publique

Date: November 11, 2013

Title: Faithful Translation? Cross-Cultural Communication in Religious Freedom Litigation
Speaker: Howard Kislowicz (New Brunswick University)

Location: Université de Montréal, Salon François-Chevrette – Faculté de Droit, Montréal, Québec (3101 Chemin de la Tour)

Le professeur Kislowicz nous présentera les résultats de sa recherche à propos de trois cas légaux liés à la liberté de religion ayant été entendus par la Cour Suprême du Canada. L’objectif de cette investigation est le développement de critères pouvant être utilisés pour mesurer l’efficacité du dialogue interculturel, qui seront utiles à la gestion de cas semblables dans le futur.

Howard Kislowicz est professeur adjoint à la Faculté de droit de l’Université du Nouveau Brunswick et spécialisé en droit constitutionnel et administratif.

Prière de confirmer votre présence au plus tard le 5 novembre 2013 à l’adresse suivante : giomny.ruiz.fernandez@umontreal.ca

Lecture – Laboratoire de recherche empirique des groupes religieux

Date: November 20, 2013, 11:30am to 1:00pm

Title: Enquêter auprès de victimes d’abus sexuels : défis méthodologiques
Speaker: Jean-Guy Nadeau (Université de Montréal, retired professor)

Location: Université de Montréal, Faculté de théologie et sciences des religions, Montréal, Québec, Local 4030 – Faculté de théologie et de sciences des religions (Pavillon D’Youville, 2375, chemin de la Côte-Ste-Catherine, 4ème étage)

Le professeur Nadeau est co-auteur de l’ouvrage Autrement que victimes. Dieu, enfer et résistance chez les victimes (Novalis 2012). Lors de sa présentation, il nous exposera les principaux défis méthodologiques soulevées par cette épineuse mais nécessaire recherche explorant les liens entre agression sexuelle, religion et soumission.

Un lunch sera servi, prière de confirmer votre présence au plus tard le 14 novembre 2013 à l’adresse suivante : mathilde.vanasse-pelletier@umontreal.ca

Lecture – Cycle de Conférences – SoDRUS

Date: November 27, 2013

Title: Porter le chapelet. Formes religieuses dans une prison de femmes
Speaker: Barbara Thériault (University of Montreal)

Location: Université de Sherbrooke, Agora, Sherbrooke, Québec