RUB » CERES » plureligion » Partners and Projects » Religion and Diversity Project

Religion and Diversity Project

The Religion and Diversity Project is a seven year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council funded Major Collaborative Research Initiative hosted at the Univeristy of Ottawa (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada). The project counts 37 team members from across the globe and led by an executive committee. Coordinating project director is Lori Bearman.


The team of international researchers is looking at religious diversity in Canada and it's challenges to society and weighing in on religious issues in Canada and abroad from a variety of perspectives including: religion, law, communication, sociology, history, political science, education and philosophy.

The project aims to address the following major research question: 

  • What are the contours of religious diversity in Canada and how can the opportunities and challenges presented by religious diversity best be responded in ways that promote a just and peaceful society?

Specifically, the proposed project investigates the following questions:

  • How are religious identities socially constructed?
  • How is religious expression defined and delimited in law and public policy?
  • How and why do gender and sexuality act as flashpoints in debates on religious freedom?
  • What are alternative strategies for managing religious diversity?


The project's comparative research will place Canada in the context of other western democracies and, over the course of the project, will identify global patterns in responses to religious diversity. The research will provide new data and theoretical articulations concerning religious diversity. This research program aims to present diversity not primarily as a problem but as a resource and to propose strategies for equality that will advance knowledge and enhance public policy decision-making. 

Learn more about the Religion and Diversity Project at