Doug Sikkema

Doug Sikkema, PhD, is a Cardus senior fellow, research, assistant professor of Core Studies and English at Redeemer University in Ancaster, Ontario. He holds a PhD in English literature from the University of Waterloo. His scholarship focuses on contemporary American literature. Dr. Sikkema is an editor with Front Porch Republic and the board chair of Oak Hill Academy, a classical Christian school in Ancaster, Ontario, that he co-founded in 2017.

Bio last updated December 21st, 2021.

Doug Sikkema

Articles by Doug Sikkema

  • Renewing End-of-Life Care

    There’s a growing need for more and better end-of-life care in Canada – especially as our population ages. But how does the national picture affect our local communities? Cardus Senior Researcher Doug Sikkema and Ottawa policy analyst Marisa Casagrande have analyzed two of Ontario’s larger communities to get a better idea of what challenges the health system will face, and what all parts of society need to bring to the table to meet them..

    While hospitals might not be ideally suited for death and dying because of their focus on restoration and health, they still have an integral role to play in the palliative care of Canadians The bill calls on the minister of health and long-term care to develop a “provincial framework designed to su...

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  • Treating College Like Costco

    Doug Sikkema, senior researcher at Cardus and the managing editor of our sister publication Comment, argues that until we know what higher education is for, we’ll have difficulty protecting those who toil within it

    Because of the mission drift of our higher education institutions, non-tenured educators and labour unions have a much more difficult time arguing their case for fair wages and secure positions Academic research is now quantified into “publishable units,” students are thought to be “primary customer...

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  • The Spirit of Prize Winning Poets

    The first and second place finishers in the poetry portion of the Ross and Davis Mitchell Literary Prize offer first hand accounts of the role faith played in their success.

    In that Facebook comment section that thankfully alerted me to the prize in the first place, Jared Bland and Mark Medley, the literary editors of the Globe and Mail, were asked by one poet, “Does this stuff matter?” Here’s my answer: It did to my mother, a good woman who worked hard every day of her...

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  • And The Mitchell Prize Winners Are….

    This Monday evening at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, a Canadian poet and a Canadian fiction writer will be feted – and awarded $25,000 – as winners of the Ross and Davis Mitchell Prize For Faith In Writing. Cardus’ editor and senior researcher Doug Sikkema, who oversaw the competition from its beginnings two years ago, says everyone who put pen to paper has contributed to advancing the vital role religious traditions play in Canadian life.

    It was late in 2015 when Greg Pennoyer and I grabbed lunch at Radius in Hamilton to scheme about a possible literary prize that would celebrate the role religion and faith played in the lives of Canadian writers today Greg had been brought on board to direct a new program (of sorts) all geared to ce...

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  • Countdown to the Mitchell Literary Prize

    Judges for the $25,000 Faith in Canada 150 Mitchell Literary Prize have their short list ready to announce today. Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland spoke with contest director Doug Sikkema about what the high quality of the entries means for Canadian literature.

    Doug Sikkema: David Adams Richards noticed this sort of dynamic in the literary community in Canada years ago:  the one group you can sort of still be bigoted against or prejudiced against is people of faith, people who believe Convivium: How does the Canadianness of both the poetry and the stories ...

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  • This Manner of Love

    Emergency surgery becomes the opening for Doug Sikkema to encounter some ribald characters, the troubled heart of a city, and the service of Christ suffering, Christ risen.

    With his IV still in and a large circle painted on his gelatinous torso like he’s some Druidic offering, this bear of a man pulls back the tiny cloth curtain separating us and repeats his question, louder: “You know what’s wrong with Catholics? They put these little statues in every room, like we’re...

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  • Telling Our Better Stories

    Convivium's Doug Sikkema examines the role that story telling plays in his life as a Canadian and a man of faith. And as project lead for The Ross and Davis Mitchell Prize for Faith and Writing, he's looking for Canadian writers and poets to submit unpublished short stories or suites of poetry by June 30. There's $25,000 in prize money to be won. 

    As a project lead for the Ross and Davis Mitchell Prize for Faith and Writing, I spend a lot of my week gathering short stories and poems by Canadian writers about their Canadian lives of faith Was their hospitality unrelated to their faith? Were the prayers of my elderly neighbours some erratic tic...

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  • Finding God at the AGO

    Perhaps most may never believe that traces of the metaphysical realm reside within the waterlilies of a Monet or the starry nights of Van Gogh as the artists themselves did, but we might feel increased pressure to wonder that if there were a God invisible to the world, and should He desire to make h...

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  • The New Scientism: Still Fighting the Phantom War

    And while it seems that perhaps Dietrich's "new" science is opening up pathways to a much older "religion" or, as he frames it, a less divisive and violent religion, there is almost nothing in his account of these natural mysteries that will form us into better people, provide a grounding of moralit...

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  • The New Scientism

    In his review of Eric Dietrich’s Excellent Beauty: The Naturalness of Religion and the Unnaturalness of the World, Convivium assistant editor Doug Sikkema finds a phantom war being fought by warriors of the author’s imagination.

    ...

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  • Commons & Commonwealth

    As students across North America head back to class, Convivium contributor Doug Sikkema considers the common ground between education, ecology and our common home

    If you read the tales of social disintegration in books such as Robert Putnam's Bowling Alone or follow some of the work being done by Cardus's Milton Friesen regarding social capital in urban spaces, it seems that the notions of the commonwealth, the civil society concerned for the common good, is ...

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  • Taking Care of Our Own

    One of the striking things in many of the reports is that a lot of Canadians want to be taken care of by their own—that is, taken care of by their spouses, children, family, or friends The system has failed to create new and better programs and to financially prop up natural caregivers with better C...

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  • The Muse of Appreciation

    Just what is it about how we speak that has the ability to move another person at some times, but not at others? In most accounts of rhetoric, the lion’s share of attention is given to the power and ethos of the speaker and to the extension of that speaker into a carefully crafted speech So might it...

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  • In Memory of Jack

    So why does God still allow death? Why did he grab Jack by the shoulders and shake his face? Why will he eventually do it to us? Perhaps because even we, if we're to be made ready for our new life, need to be shaken till only that which is unshakeable remains For two years he would greet me in the m...

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  • 2014 in Review: A Call for Civic Courage

    Because now that our trust might be scraped away, what we should find below it is not cynicism or gullibility, fear or cowardice, but a courage, bravery, and a firm resolve that civil society does not cower in the face of unjust forces which seek its undoing. ...

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  • Stealing Past the Dragons

    Marilynne Robinson is a 21st century successor to Flannery O’Connor and C.S. Lewis, with less shouting and fantasy.

    Although the narrative voice is relocated in each novel, Robinson continues to explore the quiet strength of belief, the difficult beauty of forgiveness, and the wild and unpredictable intrusion of grace into the mundane rituals of family life Perhaps, stirring below the hard, brittle shell of the s...

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  • Medics in No-Man’s Land

    In a century scarred by two world wars and continuously haunted with the threat of a third, it’s little wonder we often opt for martial metaphors But it’s a bit disingenuous to say the culture wars were just hyperbolic posturing of an entire generation held hostage by their metaphors ...

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  • The Imagination: Free, but Everywhere in Chains

    How do most North Koreans not see past such nonsense? Well, perhaps like all of us, they know what they know and can only imagine within the limits placed upon their imaginations While North Korea might be that reality most of us suppress into some dark realm of our subconscious, it bears a reminder...

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  • No Shame in Dirty Hands

    And they even do a good job, I'll add, in directing students to swim against the powerful culture-currents that push them to believe the best criteria for deciding on work have to do with money, power, and prestige ...

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  • Why Aren't Conservatives Funny?

    This month, with the launch of The Flipside, a show trying to be a conservative version of the Colbert Report, perhaps we've come full-swing into a brave new world where conservatives are the new outsiders, toppling left-wing progressives as they increasingly move into central positions of power and...

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