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Independent Reading Groups

Winter 2012 series

Has "Religion" Killed Multiculturalism?

Over the past two centuries the world has undergone dramatic shifts in the ways in which we conceptualize the dynamics between the socio-political and religious-cultural domains of society. In response to the pressures that a globalized world places on political philosophy and public policy, multiculturalism has become one of the leading approaches for coping with problems that arise when attempting to accommodate the needs and demands of ethnic, cultural, and religious communities in liberal democracies. Recently, however, doubts over the viability of multiculturalism as an official policy are being experienced transnationally, with figures such as Angela Merkel, David Cameron, and Nicolas Sarkozy all decrying the ‘failure of multiculturalism’. As world leaders decry the failures of multiculturalism, the claims and demands of religious communities surface as the most serious conundrum.  Are religions the virus infecting and derailing the multicultural project?  Is religion killing multiculturalism? Or are robust religious traditions the key to vibrant multiculturalism? This reading group invites both graduate students and faculty members from various Faculties at McGill to engage in discussions on the issue of multiculturalism’s alleged failure. Beginning on 18 January 2012 and ending on 14 March 2012, this reading group will meet Wednesdays from 12:00 – 2:00pm. Given the nature of the topic, along with academic texts, articles from recent periodicals will be included and texts will be chosen in consultation with the group members themselves. Authors will include, but will not be limited to: Pierre Trudeau, Will Kymlicka, and Charles Taylor.

Reading List

christopher [dot] durante [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Contact): Christopher Durante (Religious Studies)
Meetings: Wednesdays, 12:00-2:00pm: 18 January; 1, 15 February; 7, 14 March
3610 McTavish St., room 21-6