Joel Thiessen: The Meaning of Sunday: The Practice of Belief in a Secular Age

Date(s) - October 29, 2015
9:00 am - 10:30 am

Trinity Western University (Fosmark Centre)

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The Meaning of Sunday: The Practice of Belief in a Secular Age” 

Joel Thiessen, Associate Professor of Sociology, Ambrose University 

9:00-10:30 am, Graduate Lounge, Fosmark, TWU


Fewer Canadians identify with a religion, believe in a god, or attend weekly religious services than in past decades. What explains higher and lower levels of religiosity? Is secularization a myth or reality? What impact does religiosity or secularity have on a society’s social and civil fabric? Drawing on material from my forthcoming book (November 2015), I turn to interview data with those who attend religious services weekly, those who attend services mainly for religious holidays and rites of passage, and those who do not identify with any religious group and never attend religious services. My central argument is that the “demand” for religion is waning regardless of what religious groups do to their “supply” of religion, and that secularization theory remains a useful way to describe and explain the current and future state of religion in Canada.


Joel Thiessen is Associate Professor of Sociology at Ambrose University in Calgary, Alberta. The focus of his research is religion and culture in Canada, including secularization, religious nones, nominal and regular church attenders, religious and secular socialization, and congregations. He is author of two books, The Sociology of Religion: A Canadian Perspective (co-author with Lorne L. Dawson, Oxford University Press) and The Meaning of Sunday: The Practice of Belief in a Secular Age (McGill-Queen’s University Press), along with a range of articles. For more information see

For more information Contact: Michael Wilkinson, Professor of Sociology, Director, Religion in Canada Institute.

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