Religion and Diversity in Canada


Canada officially prides itself on being a multicultural nation, welcoming people from all around the world, and enshrining that status in its Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as in an array of laws and policies that aim to protect citizens from discrimination on various grounds, including race, cultural origin, sexual orientation, and religion. This volume explores the intersection of these diversities, foregrounding religion as the primary focus of analysis. Taking as their point of departure the contested meaning and implications of the term diversity, the various contributions address issues such as the power relations that diversity implies, the cultural context that limits the understanding and practical acceptance of religious diversity, and how Canada compares in these matters to other countries. Taken together the essays therefore elucidate the Canadian case while also having relevance for understanding this critical issue globally.
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Biographical Note

Lori G. Beaman, Ph.D. (1996) in Sociology, University of New Brunswick, is Canada Research Chair in the Contextualization of Religion in a Diverse Canada and Associate Professor in the Department of Classics and Religious studies at University of Ottawa. She has published extensively on religion and law including Defining Harm: Religious Freedom and the Limits of the Law (UBC Press, 2008). Peter Beyer, Ph.D. (1981) University of St. Michael's College, Toronto, is professor of religious studies at the University of Ottawa. Major publications include Religion and Globalization (Sage, 1994) and Religions in Global Society (Routledge, 2006).

Table of contents

Preface: Canada, Eh? William H. Swatos, Jr. Introduction: Religion and Diversity in Canada Lori G. Beaman and Peter Beyer 1. From Far and Wide: Canadian Religious and Cultural Diversity in Global/Local Context Peter Beyer 2. Québec and Reasonable Accommodation: Uses and Misuses of Public Consultation Pauline Côté 3. Fearing Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Sociophobics and the Disincentive to Religious Diversity Douglas E. Cowan 4. Two by Two: Religion, Sexuality and Diversity in Canada Pamela Dickey Young 5. Does Religion Matter? Canadian Religious Traditions and Attitudes Toward Diversity Sam Reimer 6. Canadian Religious Diversity Online: A Network of Possibilities Christopher Helland 7. Old Structures, New Faces: The Presence of Wicca and Neopaganism in Canadian Prison Chaplaincies Mireille Gagnon 8. Between Law and Public Opinion: The Case of Québec Solange Lefebvre 9. A Cross-National Comparison of Approaches to Religious Diversity: Canada, France and the United States Lori G. Beaman Afterword: Religion, Diversity, and the State in Canada John H. Simpson


Those who are interested in the intersection of religion and diversity, human rights, multiculturalism and globalization, and Canadian studies.