Bridging the Secular Divide Conference

Supporting Leaders

Bridging the Secular Divide Conference

22 May 2013

The Tony Blair Faith Foundation is proud to support Bridging the Secular Divide, a conference hosted by McGill University.

This conference will explore the role of religion in Canada's public discourse, in terms of both thought and action. To many observers it appears that the Canadian national discourse is increasingly polarized and the civility of democratic deliberation is eroding. Fundamentalisms of many stripes – ideological, religious, and secular – can drown out the more moderate and considered voices.

Within this context, how should perspectives that draw from religion inform the national conversation? How do we judge the legitimate – and illegitimate – role of religion in our public discourse? Where does responsibility rest for changing the current state of affairs? These are questions that call for reflection on both values and practice, as we explore how to bridge the secular divide.

Speakers will include Dean Ellen Aitken, Dean of Religious Studies at McGill University; Dr Daniel Cere, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at McGill University; Ambassador Andrew Bennett, Office of Religious Freedom, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; Anne Leahy, Former Canadian Ambassador to the Holy See; Prof. Arvind Sharma, Birks Professor of Comparative Religion at McGill University; Rev. Dr. James Christie, Director of the Ridd Institute for Religion and Global Policy; and Douglas Todd, columnist with The Vancouver Sun. You can download a full schedule of events and speakers here.

Watch the live stream of the conference and tweet any questions to @BTDConference.