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The Meaning of Sunday

Sociologists generally agree that Canada is becoming an increasingly secular society. But what is the significance of this shift? In his new book The Meaning of Sunday, Dr. Joel Thiessen, Associate Professor of Sociology at Ambrose University, aims both to sharpen our current understanding of the reasons people participate, or choose not to participate, in church communities in Canada, and to promote a deeper understanding of the Canadian religious and cultural landscape.

“We tend to think that yearly attendance by marginal affiliates proves that people want the things that religion has to offer,” Joel says. “But what if they actually have other motivations for showing up on special occasions?”

“My book is really one of the first studies in the world that has looked at that kind of question; there are a handful of shorter articles that have examined similar ideas, but no full-length study that has unpacked the problem in detail.”

Dr. Thiessen will be presenting a public lecture at Ambrose University, Calgary on Wednesday November 25 at 7:00pm.

The Meaning of Sunday is available through McGill-Queens University Press, Amazon or Chapters.

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