Since the 1960s, religion in Canada has been viewed by most observers as in a state of decline, as seen in attendance drop-offs and organizational retrenchment. It has been widely assumed that the secularization patterns found in Western Europe and other advanced settings have taken root here, the apparent price of a country coming of age.

We now know that such an interpretation has been a misreading of religious trends. A new comprehensive national survey carried out in March of this year by Angus Reid in partnership with Reginald Bibby has found that the religious situation is characterized not by relentless secularization but by polarization. A solid core of Canadians continue to embrace faith, a growing core reject it, and a sizable segment of the population locate themselves between the two inclinations. What’s more, immigration from Asian countries in particular is having a revitalizing impact on religion. By 2050, demographers tell us, the market for religion in Canada will remain significant.

The good news for religious groups is that religion’s future is not in question. The sobering news is that their individual futures are anything but guaranteed.

Speaker: Dr. Reginald W. Bibby

Reginald Bibby holds the Board of Governors Research Chair in Sociology at the University of Lethbridge. Since the mid-1970s he has been monitoring social trends in Canada through a series of well-known national surveys of adults and young people. His findings have been widely disseminated through a large number of best-selling books, innumerable presentations, and extensive media attention. In the spring of 2016, two new books will be released, one an update on religion with UBC Press, the second a book on Canada’s Catholics that is being co-authored with Angus Reid and will be published by Novalis.

Moderator: Austin Fennell Date: Thursday, May 21, 2015 Time: Noon - 1:30 PM (30 minutes each for presentation, lunch and Q & A) Location: Country Kitchen Catering (lower level of the Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr. S Cost: $11.00 (includes lunch) or $2.00 (includes coffee/tea at the presentation)

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