SACPA in Partnership with the Lethbridge Public Library presents: To Pray or Not to Pray: What are the Ramifications of the Recent SCC Ruling on Prayers at Municipal Council Meetings?

Ideally, Canada does not discriminate on grounds of religion although many people complain that it falls short in practice. In ruling against the Saguenay city council’s recitation of prayer before its meetings the Supreme Court of Canada recently declared that a religiously neutral state may not “favour or hinder any particular belief or non-belief under the guise of cultural or historical reality or heritage.”

Following that ruling, many municipalities have discontinued similar practices with some deciding instead to sing the national anthem or observe a moment of silence. Others continue with prayer traditions or are waiting for further reviews. The speaker will weigh in on the implications of the SCC ruling putting it in a broader context of views on the role of religion and religious tradition in Canadian society and defend the court’s opinion on the need for state neutrality in matters of religion.

Speaker: Dr. James Linville

Dr. Linville has been a professor of Religious Studies at the University of Lethbridge since 2002, teaching courses in Old Testament, Judaism, and Mythology. In recent years he has turned his attention to the nature of religiosity, the rise of atheist activism, and the so-called Young Earth Creationist movement. Dr. Linville graduated from the University of Alberta in 1993 with a B.A in Religious Studies, and a PhD in Hebrew and Old Testament at the University of Edinburgh in 1997.

Moderator: Trevor Page

Date: Tuesday, June 2, 2015 Time: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Location: Lethbridge Public Library Theatre Gallery, 810 – 5th Ave. South

Free admission, everyone welcome

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