The Religion in Canada Institute (RCI) is an interdisciplinary research centre and intellectual community of scholars at Trinity Western University committed to understanding the multifaceted role of religion in Canada for culture, individuals, and social institutions.
RCI is an official TWU university-based Institute. The Institute was founded in 2007 and is responsible to the Vice Provost of Research and Graduate Studies.
Current members of RCI:
- Paul S. Rowe, PhD (Director), Professor of Political and International Studies
- Janet Epp-Buckingham, LLD, Professor Emerita of Political Studies and History
- Matthew Etherington, PhD, Professor of Education
- Bruce Guenther, PhD, Professor of Church History and Mennonite Studies
- Myron Penner, PhD, Professor of Philosophy
- Joanne Pepper, PhD, Associate Professor of Religious Studies
- Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham, PhD, Professor of Nursing
- Katie Steeves, PhD, Assistant Professor of Sociology
- Michael Wilkinson, PhD, Professor of Sociology
Religion has played a central role in Canadian life since its origins. First Nations described the essential sacredness of the Canadian landscape. Canada’s first French Catholic and English Protestant settler communities established a working compromise to live together with mutual respect. Later arrivals from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia contributed to the diversity of this nation’s religious heritage. Today, religion in Canada reflects the complexities of religion worldwide.
Established in 2007, the RCI is positioned at TWU's faith-based campus as an interdisciplinary research centre and intellectual community of scholars committed to understanding the diverse role religion plays in Canadian lives, culture and social institutions and in all aspects of religion past and future. It also engages in research projects that assist religious organizations in Canada to conduct their activities knowledgably and thoughtfully.
What makes the RCI unique is the broad base of scholars from different disciplines who are working together to understand the historical and socio-cultural significance of religion in Canada. Topics of investigation include evangelicalism; faith-based social services; Pentecostalism; religion and ethnicity; religion, culture and conflict; religion and globalization; religion, law, and public life; spirituality and health; and gender and religion.
Members of the Religion in Canada Institute spearhead a number of related projects. These include:
- Humanitas Anabaptist-Mennonite Centre
- The Canadian Pentecostal Research Network
- The Religion, Culture, and Conflict Research Group
- International Institute for Religious Freedom - Vancouver