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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
December 7, 2016
Canadian Excellence

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Recruitment & Admissions Office - Waterloo Campus

Laurier conference addresses religious literacy and public education in Ontario

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Mar 7/12| For Immediate Release


Alexander Damm, Instructor
Department of Religion and Culture
519-884-0710 ext. 4341 or


Kevin Crowley, Director, Communications & Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 3070 or

WATERLOO – Wilfrid Laurier University’s Religion and Culture department will hold a Religion and Public Life Conference March 8 and 9, 2012 on Laurier’s Waterloo campus. This year’s conference will focus on the role of religious literacy within the Ontario public school system.

Religion literacy in public schooling is a topic that sparks much debate and interest from communities across Ontario. Speakers will focus on the role, or lack of role, that the academic study of religion plays in Ontario’s Public and Separate school systems and consider how the academic study of religion might better be addressed at the post-secondary level.

The conference will begin with keynote speaker Don Quinlan. A pioneer in the development of world religion courses for secondary schools, Quinlan has authored numerous textbooks, including his latest book World Religions in a Canadian Context. Approaching world religions from a unique Canadian perspective, Quinlan provides Canadian secondary students with a textbook that is written recognizing the religious milieu that is celebrated within the multicultural diverse landscape of Canada. Quinlan’s keynote address is titled, “Ontario’s World Religion Classrooms: Battleground or Meeting Ground?”

David Seljak, chair of Religious Studies at the University of Waterloo will respond to Quinlan’s address. Seljak’s research on religious diversity in Canada has added to the understanding of the increasing complexity of Canada’s religious landscape. 

On March 9, students and scholars will present their own visions and research on the academic role of religions within Ontario's school system. Following these presentations, the public is invited to participate in the discussions. A public panel will also be held with invited experts including Linda Fabi, director of education and secretary to the board for the Waterloo Region District School Board and Jonathan Wright, religion consultant for the Waterloo Catholic District School Board.

All events will be held at Wilfrid Laurier University, and registration is free. For further information or to register please visit:

For further information about the event, or for interviews, please contact Alex Damm at


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