Articles by Andrew Bennett
By Peter Stockland with Andrew Bennett
September 29, 2017
North American politics are consumed by new variations on the old debate about privilege, and consequent inequality and oppression. Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland and Andrew Bennett, program director for Cardus Law, sat down in Ottawa’s Moscow Tea Room to hash out the meaning of the words.
Andrew Bennett: Another part of the current challenge we face around this denigration of privilege, or assuming that someone who's privileged is not worth engaging in discussion with on certain issues, comes back to again that central reality of our Christian faith : an understanding of human dignity that the person who has been greatly privileged has the same dignity as someone who has grown up in a very remote reserve somewhere in this country, or who has grown up in a small village on the coast of Labrador, or has grown up in the Interior of B.C I think in this discourse today, which is really imbued with a certain anger and, again, a denigration of the human person, I would hope that I would be able to always see someone from a remote place in the world who hasn't had the material gifts and blessings that I've received, as not just my equal, but as bearing that image and likeness of God Peter Stockland: The one genuine privilege I've had in my working life, the thing I value above all others, is the ability to open doors for other people and say, "You know what? You're good at this The other aspect of that middle classness is the one whereby people who've had different opportunities in life, we can call that privilege, are still able to come together in a common place and work towards a common goal without the least bit of overt discussion or consciousness of that privilege I walked by the four or five young guys who were chanting as I walked by, "One, two, three, four, this is effing class war Now, someone can choose to take their privilege and lord it over people, and believe that you are owed certain things by others because of your status, because of your education, because of your background Peter Stockland: I liked particularly what you were saying earlier, too, about the need to orient people, however subtly or overtly, toward an understanding that we are image bearers of God, and that's why we need to help each other, not to satisfy some notion of class consciousness or some agenda of combatting an abstraction called privilege
June 7, 2017
In this final text from the Cardus’ What Makes a Good City forum, Andrew Bennett for reviving the spirit of urbi et orbi – the city and the world – by which religious traditions have made beauty and comfort integral to our urban lives.
What does a city look like that encourages and facilitates public displays of faith for all communities? What does a city look like when, instead of restricting building of places of worship, it actually encourages the Hasidic Jewish community on a festival like Simchat Torah, when they're celebrati...
May 31, 2017
The Cardus Ottawa office stands juxtaposed between the political temples of Parliament Hill and the soup kitchens of Lower Town. In this place where two sides of the city meet, Andrew Bennett sees signs of human dignity in the message of a homeless man.
The bells of St-François d-Assise in Hintonburg answer this call: “May your souls be saved!” In the mystery of salvation there is both call and response, there is a seeking and a finding, and there is a meaning to suffering as it becomes absorbed in the wood of the Cross –a public scandal then and s...
May 15, 2017
Addressing the Our Whole Society interfaith conference at St. Paul University in Ottawa, Cardus’ Andrew Bennett argues genuine pluralism ensures freedom to differ without any obligation to defer.
How then does religious freedom reveal human dignity? Freedom of religion relates directly to the metaphysical need of every human being to freely contemplate and adhere to beliefs that answer these questions: “Who am I? Who am I in relationship to you? Who am I in relationship to the country and wo...
April 25, 2017
With the release of a new research paper this week exploring relations between law, faith and government, and with planning underway for launch of a new religious freedom institute later this year, Cardus Law Program Director Andrew Bennett took time to catch up with Convivium.ca publisher Peter Stockland and discuss the critical balance between individual and institutional faith rights.
Professor Scharffs tries to anchor the whole understanding of religious freedom within the Western tradition, within the legal tradition, looking both at how do we understand freedom of religion as a core human right historically and also, given a lot of the present questions around jurisdictions, a...
February 9, 2017
In the wake of the homicidal attack on a mosque in suburban Quebec City at the end of January, Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland spoke with Cardus’ Andrew Bennett, Canada’s former ambassador for religious freedom, about the cultural signs such violence illuminates. Bennett is blunt: Canada has a religion problem.
There’s a distinction that needs to be made and we need to continually reinforce the idea that people of deep religious faith have a place within our society, they have a role to play within our society and they need to be able to practice their faith openly, express their faith publicly, otherwise ...
January 10, 2017
Andrew Bennett, Canada’s former Ambassador for Religious Freedom and now Cardus Senior Fellow, argues for the need to recognise the foundational nature of freedom of religion and conscience in our society and its link to our common life.
Through Cardus Law, we look forward to continuing our work with faith communities, religious freedom advocates, the academic community, public institutions, and our fellow citizens to affirm the importance of religious freedom In early December 2016, Cardus Law assembled an august group of academic ...
June 1, 2016
Last May, Canada’s former ambassador for religious freedom, Andrew Bennett, addressed the launch of Cardus’ Ottawa hub for Faith in Canada 150. The initiative brings to the national capital the presence of an interfaith movement to celebrate Canada’s religious traditions – past, present and future.
Let us, especially many of us as Christians who in the past have embraced the myth of the exclusively private space for religion, re-emerge now into the light of the public square and there encounter our fellow citizens and the image and likeness of God within them We must recall and reaffirm the ce...
February 25, 2015
In advancing religious freedom as a central element of Canadian foreign policy it is important that we as Canadians have an awareness of the role that religion plays in societies around the world Bennett: The importance of training diplomats has been recognized by a number of countries including Can...
February 1, 2015
Completing his second year as Canada's Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Andrew Bennett tells Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland he couldn't do the job without the religious faith he brings to daily life
One question that I get asked quite often is, "In religious freedom, how can you go ahead and defend the rights of different religious organizations that may have a prejudicial view against people with a same-sex orientation?" My response is always the same: It is perfectly justifiable from the pers...