This event is co-sponsored by the University of St. Michael’s College, the Intercultural Dialogue Institute, the Focolare Movement, and the University of Toronto Multi-Faith Centre and University of Toronto Centre for Community Partnerships.
An undeniable aspect of human nature is our desire for change. In this conference we intend to highlight the various ways that religious traditions and religiously-inspired movements have served and continue to serve as forces for social innovation. A common received narrative, particularly in the West, is that religions typically represent forces for conservatism in politics and civic society.
Yet, in an increasingly globalized world, religious persons and movements have responded in creative ways to the challenges of various pluralist and secularist social orders. They have also inspired new political, economic or social initiatives from within their own religious frameworks. This conference will explore some of these initiatives and a range of distinctively religious expressions of innovation.
The International Conference on Religions and Social Innovations
The University of St. Michael’s College is a college of the University of Toronto, founded in 1852 by the Congregation of St. Basil of Annonay, France. While mainly an undergraduate college for liberal arts and sciences, St. Michael’s retains its Roman Catholic affiliation through its postgraduate divinity school.
St. Michael’s is most closely associated with teaching and research in the humanities. It is also known for being home to Marshall McLuhan throughout his influential career as a philosopher and communication theorist, from 1946 until his death in 1980. The Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies resides within the college, while St. Michael’s College School is an affiliated private preparatory school.