March 13, 2018
Speaker asks: How resilient are our gods?
“Right now, it’s popular to say younger millennials are highly secularized compared to past generations,” he says. “But when you look at the data since the 1980s, while there has been a slight increase in those who don’t value religion, there is stability in the segment of people who do value religion. People variously reject, embrace or take a middle position on religion.”
Bibby has conducted national surveys on religion in Canada every five years since 1975, producing data from thousands of Canadians and tracking trends over time.
Canadian values are changing
Even if it were true that Canadians are less religious now, what impact does that have on Canadian social life? Would we see major shifts in social and personal well-being and attitudes toward spirituality and death? Bibby poses the “great question” of how the presence and absence of faith can coexist for the benefit of all Canadians.
“The question that I ask my sociology students and that I address in my book Resilient Gods is 'So what? So what if people are turning away from religion, what are the implications for social life?'”
“In every area of Canadian life, we’ve seen the ideal of the mosaic and multiculturalism expanded. We accept a tremendous amount of diversity in family life, gender and sexuality, but it is not at all clear that we have a true religious mosaic.”
Religious pluralism on campus
On March 16, Reginald Bibby will deliver the keynote for University of Calgary’s Pluralism and Religious Diversity Week, at 5 p.m. in Room ST 147. In his keynote, Toward Enhancing Social Life: The Current Contributions of the Pro Religious, Low Religious, and No Religious, he will discuss the “so what” of Canadians being variously inclined to embrace and reject religion. A nationally renowned researcher, he is the author of 17 books and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. Bibby holds the Board of Governors Research Chair in Sociology at the University of Lethbridge.
Pluralism and Religious Diversity Week, March 12 to 16, is the Faith and Spirituality Centre’s annual week-long event. A free event for students, staff, faculty, and members of the community, the week is full of dialogues, workshops and events focused on encouraging understanding and awareness of cultural and religious diversity in the context of an inclusive and pluralistic campus open to all viewpoints. Bibby’s talk is presented in partnership with the Department of Classics and Religion and funded by the Department of Classics and Religion, the Faculty of Arts, and the Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic).