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Fall Programming

Sign up now for AUREL 270 Fall 2014: "Ultimate Questions in a Post-Christian Age," taught by David Goa; students as well as community members are welcome to attend.

Our Philosophers' Cafés this fall will be on the theme "The City and Its Possibilities." The series takes place at Steeps in Edmonton (11116 - 82 [Whyte] Ave between 109 St and 114 St).

In Camrose, we will host a series of conversation on current issues on religion and public life around the theme "Meeting in the Agora." These will be held at the Ronning House, 4606 - 49 St. For Greeks, the agora was the public square, a place of meeting, discussion, debate, and insight—a place of deep conversation where old perspectives were made new. We are replacing our early morning "Religion and Public Life Cafés" with this new series, and we hope you will join the conversation.

For all events listed below, full information can be found by clicking the link in the description.


29 October, "In the Heart of the Desert: The Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers," The Augustana Distinguished Lecture with the Rev Dr John Chryssavgis

30 October, "Peace and Justice: Spiritual Reflections on the Beatitudes," 10:50am-12:05pm A024, Lower Level, Auxiliary Building, Augustana Campus, The Rev Dr John Chryssavgis

30 October, "On Earth as in Heaven: Transforming Perspectives and Practices," The Augustana Distinguished Lecture with the Rev Dr John Chryssavgis

31 October, "On Earth as in Heaven: Transforming Perspectives and Practices," The Augustana Distinguished Lecture with the Rev Dr John Chryssavgis

1 November, "Outside the City Wall," Hannah Goa, Philosophers' Cafe

3 November, "Ultimate Questions in a Post-Age," David Goa

Please NOTE: Events listed in the Ronning Centre calendar from 6 November through 9 November with Dr Mohammad Ali Shomali have been POSTPONED to winter term due to travel difficulties. Stay tuned for further details.

7-8 November, "Respecting the Land: Transition to a New Economy" (Earlybird registration until Oct 31)

NEW EVENT!  10 November, "The Case of Trinity Western University Law School," Iain Benson, Conversations in the Agora

NEW EVENT!  10-11 November, "What Divides? What Unites? and Who Decides? Pluralism and the Limits of Law," Iain Benson

13 November, "Waging Peace When the Context is War," Salim Munayer

14 November, "Conversations in Christian Zionism," Salim Munayer

15 November, "Canada and Palestine in Conversation: ISIS, Israel, and the Aspirations of a People," MP David Anderson, Salim Munayer, David Goa

15 November, "Shaking the hands and Caring for the Land That Feeds Us," Monique Nutter, Philosophers' Cafe

17 November, "Ultimate Questions in a Post-Christian Age," David Goa

17-18 November, "Who Owns the Land: Israel/Palestine," Salim Munayer

24 November, "Ultimate Questions in a Post-Christian Age," David Goa


In the News

David Goa quoted in The Walrus article "The Education of Omar Khadr."

An article in the Huffington Post by our Augustana Distinguished Lecture speaker, Rev Dr John Chryssavgis on "Orthodoxy, Putin, and the West."

David Goa spoke about the Omar Khadr case, along with Dennis Edney and Michael DeMoor, at an event taking place alongside the opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights on September 19, 2014. Read more at the Edmonton Journal.

The inaugural Ibrahim Abu-Rabi Commemorative Lecture on "Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World" took place on May 7, 2014 with Professor Carl Ernst, the Kenan Distinguished Professor of Religion at the University of North Carolina.

A video of the recent talk on Ukraine with the Very Rev Fr Dr Cyril Hovorun is available: "Maidan: Church in the Public Square."

A video of Frank Schaeffer's talk at the University of the Fraser Valley is available from Icons of Insight. Respondents include: Brad Jerzak, Archbishop Lazar, and David Goa

Read a review of David Goa's Ronning Centre book "Working in the Fields of Meaning" from Religious Studies and Theology.


About the Ronning Centre

The Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life is the first (and only) gathering point in a public university in Canada focusing on a broad range of themes where religion and public life intersect. To the discussion of vital issues that often call forth deeply emotional responses, it seeks to bring original contributions that embody the highest standards of academic scholarship.

While rooted in the academy, our activities relate no less to the public square and the full range of religious communities, bringing the depth and texture of the most varied religious and civil ideas into a hospitable and constructive conversation. Scholars of the Centre are recruited locally, regionally, and nationally. Through partnerships with other institutions, our work has become increasingly international in scope.

Our Purpose

To cultivate a deep understanding of issues and themes at the intersection of religion, faith and public life and, to do so in the public sphere and in religious spheres.

Our Mission

To nurture a hospitable context that brings forward the finest thinking of women and men of faith and the depth and texture of their traditions in conversation with public intellectuals and various secular ideologies on the nature and shape of public life in our age of pluralism.

Our Goal

To focus the work of scholars on issues and themes where religion, faith and public life intersect and to nurture the public conversation as well as religious understanding of these issues and themes. We will do this through:

  • interdisciplinary research and publications shaping a new community of scholars and public intellectuals
  • deep ethical reflections which draw on religious sources associated with human rights, our care for the life of the world and our understanding of difference
  • deepen the public understanding of the vital role of religious perspectives and their complex sources as they are brought to bear on public discourse
  • deepen the understanding within religious communities of the fragile and complex nature of the public sphere in a pluralistic society