.- An upcoming conference will explore the âculture warâ that has developed in social and political debates between religious believers and non-believers.
Citizenship and the Common Good: Secularism or the Inclusive Society will be held at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, May 19-20.
The two-day conference is sponsored by the Ottawa-based Centre for Cultural Renewal and Simon Fraser Universityâs Institute for the Humanities.
The conference will discuss what forms of religion-related discourse are acceptable in the public sphere. It will also address why, in a multicultural society, a religious group an "interest group" when teachers' unions or humanist associations are not. It will also explore the comparative validity of âsecular" and "religious" points of view in social debates, such as same-sex marriage.
Michael Pakaluk, professor of philosophy at Clark University in Worcester, will give the keynote address on the topic "The Religious Outlook in a Liberal Democracy: Threat or Foundation?"
Other speakers include Cristina Alarcon, Pharmacists for Life; Joseph Ben-Ami, Bânai Brith of Canada; Christine Jones, Simon Fraser University; Wael Haddara, Muslim Association of Canada and John Russell, BC Civil Liberties Association.
Registration is $75 (US$62); the student rate is $15 (US$12.50). For information or to register, go to https://secure5.radiant.net/tegus/citizen