Religious Pluralism: Ground Rules for Living Together

Canada’s diversity is its greatest distinguishing characteristic. The phrase “unity in
diversity” is commonly used to describe the co-operation and respect between different
cultures, races, and religions within a society. It embodies a philosophy of tolerance that
goes beyond its common boundaries to include appreciation of what others offer to our
Look at Page 2 in your textbook
Discussion Question:
•Why can't people live together in peace and work
out their differences?
There are 3 forms of journals that we will be
– personal reflection journals (reflecting on personal
experiences and emotions)
– dialectic journals (recording ideas, notes, and
research data for a project or future use)
– creative journals (free-flowing creative writing
such as poetry, fictional narratives, and lyrics)
See handout for marking rubric.
Religious Pluralism in Canada
• The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees “freedom of
conscience and religion.”
• At Confederation in 1867, Canada had a population of around 3 million
people, mostly Aboriginal, French, and English.
• Today, the population is about 34 million people of tremendous diversity.
• Canadians speak many languages, practice many religions, and come from
many cultures and ethnic groups.
• All ethnicities, cultures, languages, and religions contribute to the fabric of
Canada and its identity.
• By law, all Canadians should participate equally in every aspect of
Canadian life while preserving their cultural heritage.
• Key factors that led to Canada’s diversity are:
– Immigration
– Canada’s policy of multiculturalism
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees
•freedom of conscience
•freedom of religion
The Multicultural Act of 1988 broadens these rights for all
Canadians regardless of their religion, culture, language or
ethnic group.
Please read History of Religious Pluralism in the text and
summarize the four ground rules for living together.
Canada is made up of people from many different cultures
and religions. A common understanding of how to live
together is necessary to live free from prejudice and conflict.
It is important that everyone know and understand these
rules or guidelines.
Let us brainstorm a list of strategies for living together in
How do we live and work together in harmony in this
What rules or strategies are in place or should be put in place
to help us?
 Canada has mostly been a Christian country.
 When the first explorers brought their Christian faith to
Canada, it became the faith for most Aboriginal peoples.
 As immigration increased, so did religious pluralism.
 Canadians today practise many faiths including Sikhism,
Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Jainism, Baha’i,
and Confucianism.
 Canada’s diversity of faith and culture will continue to grow in
years to come.
Please write down these statements:
i. Do you agree with the policy of multiculturalism?
Explain why or why not.
ii. What examples of the policy of multiculturalism can
you identify in your local
iii. In what way(s) are you affected by the policy of
1. Independently, record your thoughts and reasons for your
2. In pairs, share your ideas and thoughts before entering into
a small-group discussion on the topic.
3. In groups share some of your ideas with the class.
Religious pluralism is the co-existence of
many religions in a society.
What are some terms that can we can think
of that can explain religious pluralism?
Exploring the FOUR rules for living together - Pgs 7-9
Students in each group must:
i. State the rule in their own words
ii. Summarize briefly the key point(s) associated with
the rule
iii. Prepare to teach what they have learned to home
In color home groups, students will share what they
have learned and each student will complete the chart
Rules for Religions Living Together.
1. Respect the faith and religion of others
To respect a person means to respect who they are.
Our faith is a large part of our identity and needs to be respected.
2. There is no neutral stance
Each person has a set of beliefs by which he or she lives his or her life, and that
influences encounters with other belief systems.
To enter into dialogue with people of other faiths, Catholics need to be firmly grounded
in their own faith.
3. The truth of other religions
Those who follow a particular religion believe the teachings of their faith to be true.
Despite the differences in our beliefs, it is important to appreciate and respect what
others hold to be true.
4. Accept the importance of religion
Religion, even with its different forms, is important for human beings and their
Religious difference is a sign of human diversity.
Christianity celebrates this diversity while recognizing our oneness as children of God.
Create a poster or flyer to educate other
students on the four ground rules outlined.
You should state and describe your
interpretation of the rules in your own words.
Images should be included to enhance the
appearance and deepen the understanding of
each rule.