Presentation given at the annual Congress for the Humanities and Social Sciences held at Brock University for the Canadian Society for the Study of Religions special interest group.

Presented by myself and Arzina Zaver (PhD student, McGill University), we were very happy to share our thoughts and research at this years Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences hosted by Brock University. After submitting an abstract to the Canadian Society on the Study of Religion special interest group, we were asked to present our research on May 25, 2014.

Our presentations focused on the challenges of implementing religions education within state run schools. We suggest that absolute neutrality is problematic in three substantive areas within education discourse. The first is with regards to the neutrality of the teacher teaching, the second concerns the pedagogies that are utilized, and the third questions the neutrality of the curriculums being taught. We suggest however that while problems exist in applying neutrality in a completely transparent manner, efforts to run such religious education programs should still be encouraged.

Below are the premises and the thesis of our presentation.

Canada is becoming more diverse. Quebec has been challenged with this growth in diversity.

Quebec has attempted to address the emergence of this diversity through state neutrality.

We argue that the application of neutrality in Quebec has been highly problematic.

In our presentation, we will demonstrate how the application of this policy has impeded the development of religious literacy but that, while there are issues in Quebec, there are also great opportunities for educational progress as exemplified by the Ethics and Religious Culture program

Slides: Congress Conference (CSSR) May 2014 FINAL-1

Alim Fakirani