Civil Discourse

  • Two Kinds of Peace

    In the second of a two-part series, Josh Nadeau examines a way to engage with people who think differently, as well as come together to heal our polarized society.

    This article is the second of a two-part series. To read the first part, please click here: Desperately Seeking Civility.

    We live in a polar...

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  • Stitching an Abrahamic Tapestry

    During the years he spent knitting together a vast artwork of ecumenism, Kirk Dunn thought he might be wasting his time. Convivium’s Rebecca Darwent writes that what he produced is just what our present time needs.

    Photo credit: Jorjas Photography

    Unveiling the artist’s work at the end of a show might seem back...

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  • Questioning the Outrage-Apology Cycle

    The routine offense-apology-criticism as a response to issues of political correctness does not answer the deeper problems that could be addressed simply by slowing down and asking key questions, Peter Stockland writes.

    In its very particularity, the flap over St. Francis Xavier University’s apology to a former student for a plaque honouring Brian Mulroney has general application to what seems a deep error of our day.

    Earlier this ...

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  • Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

    Matthew Kaemingk, recently named Hamilton-based Redeemer University College’s 2019 Emerging Intellectual, challenges Christians to defend the religious freedom of all faiths as they do their own. 

    Christians are really good at defending their own religious freedoms. When it comes to other faith traditions, however, Christians often seem quite ill-prepared to defend the religious freedoms of non-Christians. 

    This discrepancy was one of two key ...

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  • Bringing Back Debate

    As a very tight federal election race kicks off today, we look to the importance of democracy and debate in a time of political cynicism.

    U.S.-based communications strategist Laura Williams has just published a short essay containing six words that should be inked under every Canadian’s ey...

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  • Shouting Down Democracy

    The mania for cranking every political message up to 11 is drowning out our democratic capacity to speak moderately, listen perceptively, and care about what our neighbours are saying, argues Convivium's Peter Stockland.

    It might be going a tad too far to say overstatement is killing us democratically.

    Hyperbole, thy name in politics has been true since the world’s second-oldest profession followed the world’s oldest profession into existence. Donald Trump is hardly ...

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  • The Peterson Protests

    Father Raymond de Souza was at a speech given by Jordan Peterson, perusing the foreword to the best-selling author’s latest book, when the mob erupted outside the hall at Queen’s University in Kingston.

    It’s sometimes hard to distinguish the show from the sideshow. Both came to Queen’s University last Monday, in the person of Jordan Peterson and those who profess outrage at the professor. 

    The show was the inaugural installment in a new law school l...

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  • The Art Of Troubled Remembering

    Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin brought two artists to church on Remembrance Weekend: muralists from Northern Ireland’s Bogside neighbourhood who have memorialized that city’s bloody sectarian sorrows in order to create space for remembering, truth-telling and reconciliation. Almost miraculously, only one member of the congregation showed his anger

    The two minutes silence were finished; the trumpet had blown The Last Post; and we had all sung the hymn ‘Abide with Me,’ as we had faithfully done every year in our local Anglican church in Cambridge in the U.K. Many people in the congreg...

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  • The Age of Hubris

    Cardus Executive Vice President Ray Pennings delivers a thoughtful essay on the Age of Hubris and the way in which dignity and humility serve as essential ingredients to effective disagreement. 

    The Age of Aquarius was supposed to bring peace, harmony and liberation. At least that’s what the 1960s song told us. I guess I missed the verse describing the Age of Hubris that was to follow.

    Hubris, in ancient Greek times, described “the intention...

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  • Fire in Fort McMurray: A Proper Response

    In the express aisle checkout at my local independent grocer in Ottawa, a sign popped up this week asking for donations to the Red Cross to help with the Fort McMurray catastrophe. Facebook, now the universal street corner/pool room/beauty salon for the exc...

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  • Mapping the Progressives Progress

    Redefining Responsible Government. Open Government was the theme of the Canada2020 conference, and constitutes a base of the new progressive agenda. Few can dispute the good of measured transparency, data sharing, and advanced use of technology to engage citizens in public processes. But as one participant insightfully noted near the end of the conference, it is one thing to value openness as part of transparency and providing modern quality service to the citizenry.

    Progressive politics is clearly on a roll in Canada. In fact, some pundits say it has already “run the table,” and question whether it has run out of new places to go. That is a matter for those who scan the political heavens to decide. Here on earth, New D...

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  • Pig Blood and Glowing Sand

    This article first appeared on providencemag.com, the website of Providence: A Journal of Christianity & American Foreign Policy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    According to recent polls, more than a third of self-identified white evangelical voters currently support a presidential candidate, Donald Trump, who ...

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  • A Deadly Form of Normal

    Or there soon might be, the executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association told a joint Senate-Commons committee this week. The committee is studying legislative responses to replace the Criminal Code prohibition on helping someone end his or her life. The B.C. Civil Liberties Association led in the battle to have the old law struck down. Not surprisingly, BCCLA representatives argued in front of the joint committee that any new law should be as minimalist as possible. By no means, executive director Josh Patterson contended, should there even be a requirement for a second medical opinion when a patient asks a doctor to end life prematurely.

    Euthanasia? Assisted suicide? There’s an app for that.

    Or there soon might be, the executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association told a joint Senate-Commons committee this week. The committee is studying legislative responses to replace ...

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  • Justin Time

    Our prime minister’s oration this week to the world’s richest at their annual gathering in Switzerland was top heavy with platitudes, Robson notes, while substance was left cold, curled and alone on the cutting room floor. It strikes me as an assessment that might be considered accurate without being fully fair.

    Waggish Ottawa columnist John Robson observes in the National Post that Prime Minister Trudeau’s maiden speech to the Davos Economic Forum left out much while not leaving out nearly enough.

    Our prime minister’s oration this week to the world’s riches...

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