Articles by Jason Zuidema
April 13, 2020
Jason Zuidema, executive director of the North American Maritime Ministry Association, writes that all of us should actively battle social isolation – not just governments or businesses.
But how do we respond to that need? Enormous sums are being spent to tackle the healthcare and economic fallout of the crisis, but what about the social challenges that will inevitably result, especially the harmful impacts of prolonged social isolation? We might learn how to reach out to each other at this time from the example of seafarers’ centres, which take care of seafarers in social isolation regularly Breaking down social isolation is not done passively, by sitting on our hands waiting for seafarers to ask us to reach out to them, but takes effort: we need to organize drop-in centres, transport buses, and a team of ship visitors to make sure it happens
April 21, 2017
Earlier this month, Convivium featured a review by John O’Brien, S.J. of Rod Dreher’s disputatious new book The Benedict Option. Today, readers respond both to O'Brien's piece and the conversation that Dreher has opened within the contemporary faith community.
But O’Brien, she says, gets it right when he corrects Dreher’s error in relying on only one saint – Saint Benedict – rather than on the communion of saints that is essential to the faith of all Creedal Christians O'Brien helpfully reminds us that Benedictine monasticism itself had varying relationsh...
April 1, 2014
The infamous attempt to legislate so-called neutrality is really a religious initiative wrapped in an obscuring veil, argue Jason Zuidema and Harold Ristau
All of these great leaps forward in the history of isolating "religion" from the public sphere will now be crowned with a Charter for the ages — a Charter that ironically enshrines discrimination against a plurality of religious expression into a document that purports to celebrate pluralism By focu...
December 1, 2013
Jason Zuidema's research on the consecrated life makes him wonder how its possible to teach someone to be a monk
Though one might contend that the Buddhist traditions of contemplation or monasticism have never needed that kind of theological commitment more akin to Christianity, I am not sure it is entirely unlike the Christian contemplative, monastic traditions Again, the point of contemplation or the monasti...
April 1, 2013
Jason Zuidema’s continuing study of Canada’s religious orders
Finally, if religious were key figures in pre-Vatican II understandings of evangelization, how do they now function? If they were essential to a previous stage in evangelization, that is the "old" evangelization, is there a way in which religious are no longer necessary for evangelization? Is there ...
January 1, 2013
Crime novelist Louise Penny's The Beautiful Mystery projects pop culture's take on religious life, Jason Zuidema writes.
Though The Beautiful Mystery is only one of a wide range of stories with the religious life as a backdrop, it is representative of trends in popular culture that present the veneer of veracity rather than more nuanced portraits In an age of blogs, Facebook "friending," and tweets, how is religious l...
November 1, 2012
The second part of a series on the future of religious communities in Canada looks at what is being done to help future generations remember the communities even as they fade from fallible memory.
Plantinga's point about narratives can help us understand what is going on as communities of religious plan for their memory to live on and become part of the narrative of a society that might have little or no direct memory of them I have had the pleasure of visiting Edmonton three times in the pas...
September 1, 2012
What will bring new life to religious communities in Canada? What "deaths" must happen, Jason Zuidema ask, for that new life to arise?
Further, because of the mixed nature of many of these communities, including ones with married members, it has taken time to figure out how they ought to be understood within the structure of Catholic religious life So even with new communities and immigration, will the religious life die in Canada?...