What is Spirited Citizenship?
Spirited Citizenship is a research, networking and conversation initiative intended to stimulate greater public appreciation for the contribution of faith-motivated activities and organizations to Canada’s social fabric. Check out our previous cross-Canada tour with the Faith Alliance 150 Network.
- Spirited Citizenship is conducting extensive public opinion research into faith and the faithful in Canadian public life. Cardus and the Angus Reid Institute are releasing findings throughout 2017 with a view to stimulating public conversation.
The first installment was released on April 13, 2017
- See the full report at the Angus Reid Institute website: "A spectrum of spirituality: Canadians..."
- News story in the National Post: "Canadians may be vacating the pews but they are keeping..."
- Op-ed by Ray Pennings in the National Post: "It's time to change the narrative around religion..."
- Additional Coverage:
- Spirited Citizenship has partnered with various conferences planned for 2017, including a sponsoring partnership with “Our Whole Society” which was held in Ottawa on May 7-9, 2017. We are also in conversations with organizers at a British Columbian university about hosting a conference late September around themes related to the role of Christianity in Canada's First Nations' history, and considering how we might move toward reconciliation in the church and beyond.
- Spirited Citizenship is inviting you to contact us about an academic conference or symposium that you are planning for 2017 and how Spirited Citizenship might help you. Whether we contribute assistance in the promotion of your conference to a broadened network, or take more active involvement in your program, our aim is to showcase the range of active research which is taking place to help better understand the contribution of faith to our common life.
- Spirited Citizenship plans a major conversation of its own, joining academics and practitioners, in the fall of 2017. While there will be room for examining what the faithful do while in their own communities of faith or in their personal exercise of their faith, priority will be given to understanding the “citizenship” implications of faith – how faith motivates and impacts education, care for the poor, economic activity, justice advocacy, care for the environment, or other forms of community engagement. The aim of this conference will be to showcase and understand how Canada’s different faith communities contribute to our shared life together – not simply as a collective composition of diversity that can be celebrated, but in ways that impact our neighbours who do not necessarily share faith convictions. There will also be room in this conference to sort through some of the more difficult and challenging questions as to how those who differ regarding foundational assumptions about life and its meaning live together in civility and peace.
A Rising Tide:
Spirited Citizenship will leverage hundreds of individual research projects and scholarly works already taking place in a diverse array of institutions. We aim not to replace but rather support the many initiatives already planned and leverage them for a broader impact. Join your research to a larger narrative that can influence mainstream conversation!
While the activities of 2017 are the focal point of Spirited Citizenship, our long-term aim is to enable an ecosystem of scholarship that takes seriously the role and contribution of faith in the public square.
Mr. Ray Pennings
Ray Pennings is the Conference Director for Spirited Citizenship, and Executive Vice President of Cardus.
He has long experience in Canadian industrial relations, as well as public policy, political activism, and political affairs generally. He has headed several of Cardus' largest research projects over the years, including a monumental education survey which led to the Cardus Religious Schools Initiative in association with the University of Notre Dame.
Ray is a respected voice in Canadian politics as well, having held senior positions on campaign teams at municipal, provincial, and federal levels. Ray did his under-graduate at McMaster University and holds a Masters of Arts in Religion from Puritan Theological Seminary.
Dr. A.W. Barber
A.W. Barber is the Coordinator for both the South Asian Studies Program and for the East Asian Studies Program at the University of Calgary.
Dr. A.W. BarberAdvisory Member
Rev. Paul Bates
Paul Bates is a Senior Fellow with Cardus, and Assistant Professor of Leadership at McMaster Divinity College, following two years he spent as special advisor to the president at McMaster University.
Rev. Paul BatesAdvisory Member
Dr. Reginald Bibby
Reginald W. Bibby holds the Board of Governors Research Chair in Sociology at the University of Lethbridge. He has been monitoring social trends in Canada through a series of national surveys since the 1970s and has written about them in more then a dozen books. He is also an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Dr. Reginald BibbyAdvisory Member
Mr. Milton Friesen
Milton Friesen is program director of the Social Cities program at Cardus. Core ideas that orient a significant amount of his work include the exploration of complexity science by means of various network approaches. Network dynamics are a persistent feature of our human interactions including the organizations, institutions and societies that Cardus is working to support and make sense of.
Mr. Milton FriesenAdvisory Member
Ms. Shachi Kurl
A public policy analyst, Shachi Kurl directs research, communications, partner development and operations at the Angus Reid Institute. She brings 15 years of experience to her role, spending the first part of her career as political reporter and as a representative for the small business community. Shachi is a recipient of the prestigious Jack Webster award for Best TV Reporting. A frequent columnist and commentator, she holds a degree in Journalism and Political Science from Carleton University in Ottawa and serves on the boards of the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation and the CKNW Orphans’ Fund.
Shachi Kurl is also Co-Chair of the Cabinet of Canadians.
Ms. Shachi KurlAdvisory Member
Ms. Yael Levin
Yael Levin is the Manager of Community Relations at The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs in the Pacific Region (CIJA | PR). In this role, Yael has developed strategic advocacy experience focused on a wide range of issues, from foreign policy to social justice.
As a seasoned relationship builder, she has been responsible for establishing and strengthening key strategic relationships with British Columbia’s influential ethnic, cultural and religious leaders on behalf of the Jewish community in Canada and in Israel.
Yael has led CIJA | Pacific Region in numerous events – from the Holocaust Annual Memorial at B.C.’s Legislature in coordination with the Ministry of Multiculturalism to the events surrounding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report release, partnering with Reconciliation Canada and the City of Vancouver; as well as leading the official celebrations of the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Germany and Israel with the German Consulate in Vancouver.
Yael serves as a founding board member of Fundación B’nei El & Sefarad, a Spanish Foundation that seeks to collect and restore the history of Jews in the Iberian Peninsula. Locally, she is a member of the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation, the Laurier Institution, and serves as the Chair of the Executive Committee of the Multi Faith Summit Council of British Columbia.