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Up Next in 2022-2023 LCE Series: "None of the Above: Nonreligious Identity in the U.S. and Canada"

Up Next in 2022-2023 LCE Series: "None of the Above: Nonreligious Identity in the U.S. and Canada"

Date: Monday, November 14, 2022

ST. JEROME’S UNIVERSITY PRESENTS LECTURES IN CATHOLIC EXPERIENCE: 2022-2023 PRESENTING SPEAKERS Dr. Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme & Dr. Joel Thiessen: None of the Above: Nonreligious Identity in the U.S. and Canada.


WATERLOO, ON. (November 17th, 2022) – St. Jerome’s University (SJU) celebrates 40 years of our Lectures in Catholic Experience (LCE) series this year. Join us for the second lecture in our six-part series titled “None of the Above: Nonreligious Identity in the U.S. and Canada” presented by Dr. Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme & Dr. Joel Thiessen. During their lecture, they will examine how one-third of Canadian and North American adults say they have no religion and how this willful distance from organized religion impacts other aspects of daily and social life.


Our 2022-2023 Lectures in Catholic Experience series will be held in-person in the Notre Dame Chapel, SJ1 Classrooms & Library Building, at St Jerome’s University in Waterloo, Ontario. Doors will open at 6:45 pm EST, and the lecture will begin at 7:30 pm EST. Light refreshments will be served prior to the lecture, and there will be a question-and-answer period following the lecture. Free parking is located on-site, and the building is wheelchair accessible. The lecture will also be live streamed on our website for those who are unable to attend in-person. Please visit our LCE website for registration details and to access the link to the live stream.


President and Vice Chancellor, Dr. Peter Meehan remarks, “As North America shows increasing evidence of being ‘post-Christian’, Catholics, who experienced a remarkable ascendency during the twentieth century, face new and daunting challenges in the twenty-first. Professors Wilkins-LaFlamme and Thiessen’s work on the growth of religious disaffiliation and the sharp decline in religious self-identification will be critical for Catholics and really all of the mainline denominations as they plan their futures.”


Vice President Academic and Dean, Dr. Carol Ann MacGregor adds, “Empty churches, declining vocations, and enrolment and engagement challenges in Catholic education are now part of the contemporary Catholic experience. One might say that where we once talked about N-U-N-S we now talk about N-O-N-E-S-- those who report they don't belong to a particular religious tradition.  Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme and Joel Thiessen are leading experts on the growing phenomenon of disaffiliation and will bring to our audience a particularly rich and nuanced portrait of nonaffiliates in Canada and the United States”


Headshot of Dr. Joel Thiessen
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Dr. Joel Thiessen is Professor of Sociology, Director of the Flourishing Congregations Institute, and Chair of the Social Sciences Department at Ambrose University in Calgary, Alberta. He has published several books, including Signs of Life: Catholic, Mainline, and Conservative Protestant Congregations in Canada (2021, with Bill McAlpine, Keith Walker, and Arch Chee Keen Wong), None of the Above: Nonreligious Identity in the US and Canada (2020, with Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme), and The Millennial Mosaic: How Pluralism and Choice are Shaping Canadian Youth and the Future of Canada (2019, with Reginald Bibby and Monetta Bailey). His current research centres on Catholic and Protestant congregations in Canada. He regularly speaks with denominational and church leaders across North America. For more information, visit www.joelthiessen.ca



Headshot of Dr. Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme
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Dr. Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Legal Studies at the University of Waterloo. She is director of the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network (NSRN), and editor for the book series Advancing Studies in Religion with McGill-Queen’s University Press. She completed her DPhil (PhD equivalent) in sociology at the University of Oxford in 2015. Her research interests include quantitative methods, sociology of religion, immigration and ethnicity, and political sociology. Her books include None of the Above: Nonreligious Identity in the US and Canada, co-authored with Joel Thiessen and published in 2020 with New York University Press; Religion at the Edge: Nature, Spirituality, and Secularity in the Pacific Northwest, co-edited with Paul Bramadat and Patricia Killen and published in 2022 with British Columbia University Press; and Religion, Spirituality and Secularity among Millennials: The Generation Shaping American and Canadian Trends, published in 2022 with Routledge.  



About Lectures in Catholic Experience

The Lectures in Catholic Experience have been offering the local community opportunities to engage in critical issues of our time since 1982. Scholars, activists, experts, and religious leaders have been invited to address subjects in the areas of religion and politics, spirituality, health care, international relations and human rights, ecological responsibility, religious pluralism, ecumenism, interfaith dialogue, religion and the media, and others.

To find out more about the Lectures in Catholic Experience or to access archived lectures dating to 1982, click here. To add your name to the Lectures in Catholic Experience database to receive updates about upcoming events please contact info@sju.ca.


Image of text lectures in catholic experience at St Jerome's University 40th anniversary