Conference Call for Papers

"The State of the Consecrated Life in Contemporary Canada"

We are pleased to announce the Call for Papers for the “State of the Consecrated Life in Contemporary Canada” Conference to be held on 25-­26 January 2013 in Montreal, Quebec. This conference is held as a part of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada research grant that explores the State of Consecrated Life in Contemporary Canada and seeks will bring together leading researchers from Canada and abroad to share research and insights on this important subject.

Conference Abstract:
Judging from statistics alone, the place of those living the consecrated life in a number communities of religious in Canada—variously known as monks, nuns, brothers, sisters, religious or consecrated depending on their internal categorization—has become considerably less important in the last two generations. Many communities established before the 1960s have experienced significant decline in the decades following, some decreasing in size by a small percentage, and others so much that they have had to merge with other groups or see their active ministries come to an end. Though the overall numbers are in decline, there are many kinds of consecrated life in major religious traditions that have shown stability or even increase. Using a representative sample of those living the consecrated life in Christianity and Buddhism, this conference explores these narratives of decline, stability and renewal using multi-­‐disciplinary scholarly perspectives. Though other types of religious communities might be evoked in presentations, this conference seeks to address the state of religious communities dedicated to religious virtuosity normally characterized by formal promise of chastity, poverty and obedience.

Presentations are invited on a broad range of subjects having to do with the general state of consecrated (or ‘religious’ or ‘monastic’) life in contemporary Canada in Christian or Buddhist traditions. We invite presentations that range in focus from narrowly defined (ie. concerning one religious house or leader) to broadly interpretive.

The Conference planning team intends to publish an edited collection from this symposium. Guidelines for submitting the conference paper to a peer-­‐reviewed process will be supplied to presenters along with notice of acceptance of their proposal.

Papers are invited which relate to the themes of the conference as outlined above, and especially on the topics identified. Paper presenters should be active researchers, whether new or established scholars, who have an interest in the topic and are planning to attend the conference. It is not necessary to be a religious or monastic, whether Catholic or Buddhist, or to speak from a religious perspective; any scholarly paper related to the themes will be considered. Please refer to the conference website for further information on material already published by research program participants and ethical guidelines for research.

Papers will be presented in parallel sessions and should be delivered in a maximum of 25 minutes and should be no more than 2500 words in length. To apply to present a paper, the following information is needed:

    —Your name, email and institution (if applicable)

    —Title of the proposed paper and short abstract (about 200 words)

    —A one page curriculum vitae referencing recent and relevant works

Paper proposals should be sent to by 30 June 2012. Successful presenters will be notified by 31 July 2012. A limited number of partial bursaries to support travel may be available.

Conference Planning Team:
Jason Zuidema (Concordia University)
Elizabeth Smyth (University of Toronto)
Victor Hori (McGill University)
Rick van Lier, o.p. (Dominican University College)

Further Information:
For further information about the event see:
For registration and other questions, please write the conference assistant Ms. Kathryn Sawyer at: