by William A. Stahl, Professor of sociology at Luther College, University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Is anyone in Canada secular? A facetious question. Obviously the answer is yes, but exactly how many is diffcult to determine. There are two problems inherent in the question. A great deal depends, of course, on what one means by “secular,” a problematic term inextricably bound with 19th-century ideology. The second problem is that Canada is paradoxical. On the one hand, self-identifcation with a religious organization is very high and “belief” in God is even higher. On the other hand, few Canadians today attend a place of worship regularly and religion is conspicuously absent from most of public life.
by Patricia O’Connell Killen, Professor of religion and director of the Center for Religion, Cultures and Society in the Western United States at Pacifc Lutheran University, Tacoma, Washington
I approach the Pasquale and Stahl chapters as an historian of religion, primarily of Christianity in North America, who has been working for some time on understanding the religious dynamics of the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia. Most recently, as part of the Religion by Region project of the Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life, I co-edited Religion and Public Life in the Pacific Northwest: The None Zone with Mark Silk. The volume provides a frst take on two questions:1) What is the religious configuration on the ground in the Pacific Northwest? 2) What difference does it makes for public life in the region?