A public square stripped of faith and its expression is one in which virtues such as hope, forgiveness, grace, and mystery will wither.
Who We Are
Faith in Canada 150 was powered by the think tank, Cardus.
Cardus is dedicated to the renewal of North American social architecture. Drawing on more than 2,000 years of Christian social thought, Cardus works to enrich and challenge public debate through research, events, and publications, for the common good. Faith in Canada 150 originally celebrated faith in Canada specifically during its 150th birthday year in 2017 and was directed by Greg Pennoyer and the Cardus team.
Why did we do this?
A public square stripped of faith and its expression is one in which hope, forgiveness, grace, and mystery will wither. This underlies Faith in Canada 150 and summarizes why Cardus, as a Canadian Christian think tank, was the driving force behind the Faith in Canada 150 program.
From its beginnings, Cardus has been a public, Christian, organization. It has been intentional in fostering and implementing 2000 years of Christian social teaching.
We are not, however, church. Nor are we actors for specific Christian denominations. We reach out in honest yet hospitable ways to engage faith traditions other than our own. We welcome without overwhelming. We converse apart from imperatives of conversion.
In our secular age, we believe a fundamental commitment to pluralism is vital for a think tank committed to its Christian foundations, and for a free society to flourish. If faith can be categorized into act, content, and conduct, we begin with a grace-filled rapprochement among Canadians turned toward making faith the active principle in their lives.
We can respectfully disagree with the content of other faiths. We can offer charitable critique if the conduct of other faithful people is at odds with Canadian tradition. But we must always vigorously protect the shared space in which all acts of faith occur, even those acts of faith required to disavow belief in the transcendent.
Human beings, as Rabbi Jonathan Sacks says, are meaning-seeking creatures. We must then, as pluralists, as democrats, and as Christians called to love our neighbours, safeguard the freedom to pursue one’s path through mysteries of being, purpose and good.
The alternative, in an age often dismissive of faith, is isolation of the faithful from each other. The result will be stripping faith from the public square through the denial of the possibility of public acts of faith. It will be the withering of the fruits of faith: hope, forgiveness, grace, and mystery.
Faith in Canada 150 was a joyful force for celebrating faith in our past, present, and future.