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Winter Programming

Our Philosophers' Cafés this term will be on the theme "Beyond Right and Wrong." The series takes place at Steeps in Edmonton (11116 - 82 [Whyte] Ave between 109 St and 114 St), on Saturdays as noted below from 1:00-3:30pm.

In Camrose, we have replaced our Religion and Public Life Cafés with "Conversations in the Agora." These will be held at Ronning House, 4606 - 49 Street, just north of the Augustana campus. 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 hope you will join the conversation.

Our complete Winter 2015 calendar is available now (formatted legal size for printing).

Our Winter 2015 newsletter is also available.

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


27 February (NEW EVENT), 12pm-1:30pm,, "Assisted Suicide: The Supreme Court Ruling," David Goa, Conversations in the Agora, Ronning House

7 March, (NEW DATE) "Kant on the Supposed Right to Lie," Alan McLuckie, Philosophers' Café

11 March, "Hinduism Takes Root in Canada," Darrol Bryant

11 March, "Film Presentation: 'The Traveling Guru,'" Darrol Bryant

12 March, "Hinduism Takes Root in Canda," Darrol Bryant

21 March, "Gifts, Bribes, and the Ethics of Business," Jim Gaa, Philosophers' Café


In the News

Check out the Ronning Centre YouTube channel for newly uploaded videos featuring some of our recent speakers.

Senior Ronning Centre International Fellow Iain Benson was at the Ronning Centre for two talks this past week: "The Case of TWU Law School," and "What Divides? What Unites? and Who Decides? Pluralism and the Limits of the Law." To read more from Iain, you can also order a copy of his 2007 lecture,  published by the Ronning Centre "Living Together with Disagreement: Pluralism, the Secular, and the Fair Treatment of Beliefs in Canada Today" from our Publications page.

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