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Symposium to explore the intersection of secularism and religion

Mind + Action symposium "The Many Gods of Canada" takes place October 18 and 19
October 10, 2017
John Ralston Saul

Photo: Author and public intellectual John Ralston Saul will deliver the keynote address at “The Many Gods of Canada: Religion, Secularism and Public Policy.”

Can religious and non-religious values co-exist? A two-day symposium will bring together many of Canada’s leading thinkers to explore the intersection of secularism and religion.

The Many Gods of Canada: Religion, Secularism and Public Policy is a Mind + Action symposium featuring illuminating discussion, debate, and deliberation on Indigenous Spirituality, Religion and Public Space, Balancing Freedom of Religion, Gender and LGBTQ2 Rights; and Free Speech and Freedom from Hate.

Canadian author and public intellectual John Ralston Saul will deliver a keynote address, discussing how Canada remains the most successful pluralistic nation in the world. On day two, Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne will deliver a keynote on “Governing Ontario: One of the World’s Most Diverse Political Jurisdictions.” Other speakers include author, environmentalist and educator Chief Richard Atleo, Kimberly Murray (former executive director of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission), Rabbi Elyse Goldstein (first woman president of the Toronto Board of Rabbis), Ryerson Distinguished Visiting Professor James Turk, and Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam.

The event takes place October 18 and 19 at the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre. For a full symposium schedule and list of speakers, go to ryerson.ca/many-gods. Registration is required.

The symposium is also hosting an essay contest open to Ryerson undergraduate and graduate students. Students are invited to write on one of two themes: the challenges, riches and best approaches to living in a multi-religious, secular society; or the question, “Can Religious Diversity and Secularism Co-Exist?” Students are invited to write about any dimension of religious-secular relations drawn from personal experience and/or academic reading. Essays are to be between 800 and 1,000 words, with $1,500 for the winning essays and $500 for honourable mentions. Essays are due at noon on Friday, October 13, and can be submitted to manygods@ryerson.ca.


For more information, contact:
Haroon Siddiqui: hsiddiqui@ryerson.ca
Sharmaine McKenzie: smckenzie@arts.ryerson.ca