I look forward to helping kick off a major conference here in Vancouver less than a fortnight from now. “Our Whole Society” doesn’t sound terribly provocative, but the convenors and scheduled participants and already-registered attenders know that the subject of the conference is vital: How are we Canadians, who are among the most diverse people in the world, going to get along in the years to come?
Why has so much diversity been without (much) bloodshed so far in Canadian history? Can we keep welcoming immigrants from all over the world, including fractious and violent parts of the world, without taking danger into our home? Can we remedy the injustices of the past and keep from inventing new ones in the future? And can we do all this with maximum freedom for individuals and communities while also expecting and even requiring that everyone contribute to the common good?
It isn’t only the economy, stupid, that is going to frame Canada’s future. It will be ideology, and values, and commitments, and passions—in short, it will be religion, and the interaction of various religions, that will frame Canada’s future.
The speakers will represent a fascinating and revealing sampling of current Canadian opinions and judgments. I expect to be thrilled by some of what I hear, corrected and even convicted by some of it, appalled by some of it, and bored by some of it as well. But each experience will tell me something of the state of play in this national (indeed, global) conversation.
How can you not be there? And as a reader of this blog, you get a discount, too:
Discount code “Vancouverguest” for 20% off standard regular and last-minute regular tickets.
Discount code “Vancouvergueststudent” for 15% off standard student and last-minute student tickets.