Faith & Public Life

Faith commitments – each person’s deepest commitments, whether formally religious in nature or not – shape how each person interacts with our neighbours, our institutions, and our environment. CPJ is convinced that Canada needs to engage in serious reflection on core values and faith perspectives and their implications for our public life together – the common good. Without such a debate, the public sphere will continue to be a place for individuals or groups to advance only their own particular interests rather than come to meaningful consensus on how to address important public issues.

One of the key components of a person’s and a community’s identity is the deepest convictions they hold which shape their private, but also their public life. Faith shapes the most basic questions of identity: Who am I? How did I get here? What is wrong in the world? How can it be fixed? The faith perspectives of Canadians, whether Aboriginal, Muslim, Jew, Christian, Hindu, Sikh or Humanist, shape how they participate as citizens in building and shaping a cohesive and inclusive Canadian society.

Some have argued that people must deny their religion, ethnicity, and culture to participate fully in Canadian life. Some have a deep distrust of religion and a tendency to regard public life as distinctly secular – having no room for faith perspectives. CPJ believes that differing faith convictions should be acknowledged as key elements of how individuals and communities can best contribute to the common good. Learning how to do that in a multi-cultural and multi-faith society is crucial to the common good.

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The 10 percent solution

“Stewardship Sunday” in many churches is the day we talk about our giving. In the church where I grew up this meant filling out our “faith promise” pledges for our annual giving. A giant, gradually reddening thermometer-graph tracked our pledges against the proposed church budget for the year. Read more about The 10 percent solution


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