Articles by Peter Stockland
October 3, 2017
Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland visits a municipal election campaign in Montreal to discover small moments of magic in the cards.
I slipped his card into my pocket, imagining I’d done so with magically nimble fingers, fitting since it belonged to Mario le Magicien, star of children’s birthday parties in this long ago deindustrialized commuter arrondisement of Montreal Oddities into the bargain, municipal politics has a quality that fits perfectly with enjoying crispy fries and all-dressed burgers in a casse croute crowded with Saturday afternoon locals It was one of dozens pinned to a corkboard across from the cash register in a neighborhood casse croute where steady streams of fries and hamburgers were being served on a beautiful September’s end Saturday I wondered if he might suddenly materialize in the casse croute to buy fries or a hamburger and pop, then casually enchant the audience with a knowing forecast on how the election would turn out
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 dignit...
September 25, 2017
Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland delivers a sterling defence of sports and citizenship amidst the verbal clash between NFL players and U.S. President Donald Trump.
Trump, of course, set the sports world aflame this weekend when he verbally abused NFL players whom he accused of showing disrespect to the American national anthem during pre-game ceremonies While he stood stalwart behind what he called the “brotherhood of sport,” Wilfork characterized Trump’s comm...
September 25, 2017
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 ...
September 22, 2017
Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland reviews the venerable Patti Smith's new book Devotion, drawing out the profound themes of love, light, and freedom found therein.
Inspiration, for Smith, is a portmanteau of the “activist mystic” Simone Weil’s gifted discovery that “faith is the experience that the intellect is enlightened by love Because of Smith’s profound experience of grief that gives way to the intellect enlightened by love, it would be understandable if ...
September 5, 2017
Convivium publisher Peter Stockland knows the media world inside and out – knowledge he uses to dissect the latest bone-shaking controversy involving Ezra Levant and The Rebel, as well as the journalistic response to it.
In recent years, I’ve watched as Original Ezra left the house, to be replaced by Kinda Kooky Cartoon Ezra, an automated ideological variant of the very knee jerkery he used to skewer so zestfully But journalists vetting media outlets for political suitability? Journalists deciding image-appropriate ...
September 5, 2017
To follow in the footsteps of the faithful who have come before shapes our path to glory.
Like faith, you enter into it, drawn inexorably forward by the its unusual shape that has the pews flanking the nave in parallel rows rather than branching off it at horizontally ...
August 30, 2017
Convivium asked Calgary scholars, Irving Hexham and Karla Poewe to watch Dunkirk and then talk about its effect on them. Here's what they had to say.
Some would answer that the enemy is silent because it’s greedily watching a movie called Dunkirk that Hollywood’s finest marketing minds have manipulated it into seeing So, I had to see this as an existential phenomenon, a sense that it is epitomizing human experience: an extreme experience of rescu...
August 25, 2017
As Ottawa heads into one of the last Pride weekends of the summer in Canada, Convivium publisher Peter Stockland interviews Daniel Jonas, an Israeli LGBT activist trying to balance contemporary interpretations of human rights and identity with his devout commitment to the timeless truths of Orthodox Judaism.
Daniel Jonas is the chairperson of Havruta, a religious community that works for tolerance of LGBT people in Orthodox society in Israel C: But isn’t the Orthodox community abroad, in the diaspora, even more conservative than the Orthodox community in Israel? Why would that be? Is the focus of your w...
August 10, 2017
Today our Convivium Team takes you on a wander through the summer archives of years gone by as Publisher Peter Stockland captures the contradictory reality of our summers.
These are the days when it is given to us to try to hold hard to the impossible slip of summer warmth, time, memory "Canadian summer, as all Canadians know who've lived here for at least two years, is like a wall mural that shifts from exuberant colours of joy to shades of muted melancholy in a hand...
August 4, 2017
Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland reveals a new direction in the recently released family Census data.
On the positive side, the outcome is exactly as gay marriage advocates predicted: a decade of over 60 per cent growth still leaves same-sex marriage short of peeping over the one per cent mark for all Canadian couples The paradox is that the new data gives equal validity to those who opposed the cha...
July 31, 2017
Wally Buono defines success in the Canadian Football League. He is the winningest head coach in league history. He has won five Grey Cups as a coach, two more as a player. But the current head coach, general manager and vice-president of football operations for the B.C. Lions is also a devout Christian who says true success is God changing your heart.
I wasn't a church goer at that time, and then through certain things that occurred I started to look at the relationship with Christ slightly different and I started to see it as a more personal relationship C: The heart of the Christian faith is the recognition that human beings are capable of nail...
July 28, 2017
Montreal's Museum of Fine Arts features a summer exhibition, Revolution, paying tribute to the 1960s. Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland drops by and finds the only thing missing is the whole truth about that often dangerously demented decade. Did they forget how to spell Charlie Manson's name?
Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts is a major institution in Canada’s only real city, which is why its summer Revolution exhibit is such a serious let down So what do we do? How does one of Canada’s finest art institutions in its only real city respond? It Photoshops him out of history, then drags and d...
July 26, 2017
Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland reflects on the impact that the vote against the creation of a Muslim cemetery in Saint-Apollinaire, Quebec has on all Canadian citizens.
As my colleague Andrew Bennett, Canada’s first and last ambassador for religious freedom, puts it so eloquently: the freedoms of religion and conscience are and must be the first freedoms to which all others are bound Only digging deep into the truth underlying the ugliness will bring us face to fac...
July 20, 2017
Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland argues Canadians deserve better from the Khadr case than sketches of fact becoming caricatures of truth.
It does mean there remain a myriad of questions that journalists, and the Conservative official opposition, must start asking so Canadians have the whole Khadr story, not just selective parts that suit preferred images of good and evil It’s applicable to Khadr because, harsh as this might seem, the ...
July 14, 2017
Convivium author Peter Stockland reflects on the mysterious collapse of motels and the spiritual significance that these places of refuge possess.
Years ago, I wrote a long short story about two former childhood friends who reconnect in mid-life and conduct an adulterous affair by breaking into a particular room of the forsaken Motel Raphael that once truly stood just off Montreal’s Highway 20 What I learned on this year’s summer vacation is t...
July 13, 2017
For the past year, Peter Stockland has had the dream-work opportunity of gathering stories like that of Sikh artist Juss Rani Kaur, from Canadians across the country as part of the Thread of 1000 Stories project.
Rabbi Laura Duhan Kaplan, whom I met as part of my Thread of 1000 Stories gathering, says that’s why it’s important that inter-faith work be rooted in, and between, communities rather than just individuals For the past 18 months, I’ve had the dream-work opportunity of gathering stories such as Juss ...
July 13, 2017
After Canada’s July 1 bash for our 150th birthday, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) challenged every mosque, church, temple, synagogue and place of worship to commit to 150 acts of public service this year. Convivium publisher Peter Stockland asked CIJA CEO Shimon Koffler Fogel for more details.
How we can improve ourselves? How we can share certain values and principles that are inherent to what we believe as individuals and groups of faith to improve the lives beyond our own parochial communities to impact on those of all Canadians? I think that over the last few decades, and certainly in...
June 30, 2017
Convivium publisher Peter Stockland reflects on celebrating the dream worth having that is Canada.
What the monsters that create the need for security snake lines in the streets of the nation’s capital cannot extract from us, however, a denial of our dreams On this our 150th year, we can assert with all our honest pride that the Canadian dreams of the past 50 years have been good dreams ...
June 28, 2017
Blindness brought Father Jack Kennedy to the priesthood 52 years ago. Not blind faith. Not metaphorical inability to see. Literal legal blindness.
Blindness brought Father Jack Kennedy to the priesthood 52 years ago “When dad heard, he ran out to Loyola and said to one of the Jesuits ‘my son wants to become a priest; what do I do?’ The Jesuit said, ‘Nothing Father Kennedy sees the clear parallel between his own history and the breakdown of the...
June 22, 2017
In the past two weeks, Ottawa lawyer Albertos Polizogopoulos has argued the case for conscience rights of doctors, and won a major freedom of information legal battle over publicizing statistics about abortion. Convivium Publisher Peter Stockland sat down with him to discuss the cases.
In 2010, the Ontario Liberal government amended the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the FIPPA, to make it more transparent by applying it to other kinds of institutions such as hospitals In the conscience case, it was all about freedom, and whether the government - the governme...