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Understanding the Consecrated Life in Canada

The story of the consecrated life in Canada since the 1960s should be about much more than numerical decline. Although the falling numbers are significant among Catholic religious in communities that pre-date Vatican II, many communities continue to show stability and even growth. This book provides nuance to that story by adding detailed portraits of movements, communities and institutions. In four parts, this book presents essays in both English and French from the leading scholars on religious life in Canada that seek to address the state of religious communities dedicated to religious virtuosity normally characterised by formal promises of chastity, poverty, and obedience. The essays examine a broad range of topics related to the general state of consecrated (or "religious" or "monastic") life in contemporary Canadian Christian and Buddhist traditions. In the first section, the contributors trace the demographics and definitions of religious life in Canada. The second section examines Canadian developments in Catholic religious life during the Vatican II and the post-Vatican II eras. A third section explores trends in contemporary Canadian religious life, while the fourth section describes the consecrated life in other Canadian religious traditions.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Living the Consecrated Life in Canada; Le nombre de religieux au Quebec : pourquoi est-il monte aussi haut avant 1960 et descendu aussi bas apres 1965?; Catholic Consecrated Life in Canada: A Statistical Overview; Le monachisme dans lcglise et la societe : une perspective de sociologie historique; La vie religieuse au Quebec : une place a trouver et une identite a repenser; The Local Bishop in the Renewal of Religious Life After Vatican II: G Emmett Carter & the Precious Blood Sisters in the Diocese of London, Ontario; The Canadian Province of the Religieuses de Notre Dame des Missions: The Horizon Reference & Reception of Vatican II, Moving Toward a New Constellation of Meanings; Experiencing Vatican II: Oral Histories of Women Religious Recalling Change, Challenges, & Creative Solutions; Avoiding & Exaggerating Renewal: Maritime Catholic Newspapers Reporting on Women Religious, 1962-1975; All Things Pass But Love Remains: The Closing Decades of a Religious Community; La Conference Religieuse Canadienne (CRC) : 60 ans au service des communautes religieuses; Un projet tisse desperance et ouvert a la nouveaute : La vie consacree contemporaine a travers un periodique catholique francophone, la revue En Son Nom (2003-2012); Entre tradition et innovation : nouveaux instituts, communautes nouvelles et nouvelles formes de vie consacree au Canada; Les instituts seculiers : nouveaux espoirs et nouveaux defis; New Monasticism among Evangelical Protestants; Canadian Catholic Religious Orders & the Social Economy Movement in Canada; A Prey to History: The Decline of Religious in Canada 1959-1988; Standing on Holy Ground: Benedict, Francis, & Monastic Environmentalism; Les causes de canonisation, porteuses de memoire des communautes; Buddhist & Other Monasticisms in Canada; The Thai Buddhist Forest Tradition in Ontario; The Avatamsaka Sagely Monastery & New Perspectives on Globalized Buddhism in Canada; Buddhist Meditation & the Consecrated Life: The Sitavana Birken Forest Monastery; Cultivating the Life of Divinity: The Consecrated Lifestyle of the Sri Chinmoy Centres of Canada; Renouncing the World to Get Engaged? Gampo Abbey & the Role of Monasticism in a Lay Buddhist Movement; Changing Perceptions of Monasticism within Ontario Khmer & Lao Buddhist Communities; Contributors; Index.

About the Author

Jason Zuidema is an affiliate assistant professor in the Department of Theological Studies at Concordia University. He is author and editor of a number of books and articles on Catholic and Protestant thought from the Early Modern to the Contemporary Periods.

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