Religious Freedom in Education - A Pluralism, Religion & Public Policy Symposium


Education is one of the chief interests of families, of religious communities, and of society and the state; it is both a field of cooperation between private and public bodies and, by nature, a primary cultural and political battleground. It has long been a legal battleground as well, particularly where religious issues arise.

From the famous 1940 Minersville case in the USA, for example, to the current Quebec case, Loyola v. Courchesne, the courts have been asked to adjudicate the boundaries between family, religion, and the state. The Universal Declartion of Human Rights (art. 26), the Toledo Guiding Principles on Teaching about Religions and Beliefs, and various international covenants seek to provide guidance in negotiating these boundaries.

The purpose of this symposium will be to explore the question of religious freedom in both public and private education.

Symposium information and schedule:



  • Iain Benson (Global Center for Pluralism)
  • Benjamin Berger  (Law, York)
  • Janet Epp-Buckingham (Laurentian Leadership Centre, Ottawa)
  • Dia Dabby (Law, McGill)
  • Paul Donovan (Loyola High School)
  • Bernard Drainville (Quebec Cabinet Minister)
  • Douglas Farrow (Arts and Religious Studies, McGill)
  • Ejaz Haider (Daily Times, Pakistan)
  • Asif Iftikhar (Islamic Studies, McGill)
  • Ian Jamison (Tony Blair Faith Foundation)
  • Solange LeFebvre (Religious Studies, U. Montréal)
  • Ian Leigh (Law, Durham)
  • Ian Linden (SOAS, London)
  • Kevin McDonough (Education, McGill)
  • Eugene Meehan, QC (SupremeAdvocacy LLP)
  • Víctor Muñiz-Fraticelli (Political Science and Law, McGill)
  • Mawlana Ammar Naasir (Al Shari‘ah Academy, Gujranwala)
  • David Novak (Philosophy and Jewish Studies, Toronto)
  • Mark Phillips (BLG Montreal)
  • Saleem Safi (Geo Television Network, Pakistan)
  • Charles Taylor (Philosophy, McGill)
  • Shauna Van Praagh (Law, McGill)
  • Mary Anne Waldron (Law, Victoria)
  • Kathleen Weil (MNA, Quebec)
  • Daniel Weinstock (Law, McGill)
  • Jonathan Waind (Religious Studies, McGill)
  • * Some remain to be confirmed


  • Newman Centre: 3484 Peel Street, H3A 3T6 (map)
  • Faculty of Law:  New Chancellor Day Hall, Moot Court (room 100) 3644 Peel Street, H3Z 1W9
  • Birks Chapel: Birks Building, 3520 University Street, H3A 2A7
  • Loyola High School: 7272 Sherbrooke Street West, H4B 1R2

Contact Information

Juli Gittinger
juli.gittinger [at]