The Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life seeks to enhance the quality and civility of debate on contested issues through establishing hospitable environments for informed and lively dialogue and action. The Centre is a scholarly institution for the public square and faith-based communities, in all their diversity. Themes and issues that call for attention in both religious and civil spheres are the focus of the Ronning Centre’s concern. The Centre sponsors a range of events that feature presentations by highly qualified scholars, facilitate safe dialogue, and most importantly, encourage active participation by members of the public in response to the important issues of our time.
The Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life
KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
Village Vancouver Transition Society
Spirited Social Change
Vancouver School of Theology
The Faith & Society Committee of the BC Synod
The BC Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
The Eco-Justice Unit, Anglican Diocese of New Westminster
Dittmar Mundel has been a professor of Religion and Global & Development Studies at the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta for 33 years. He is also associate director of the Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life. Dittmar and his wife Pat created the award-winning Prairies-Mexico Rural Development Exchange. His educational approach is that our land, people, and community are the major “texts” we have to learn to read, reflect upon, and analyze. More recently, with Dittmar’s advice and support, students organized and led the highly regarded conference Responsibility for the Land: Conversations on Fracking in Alberta, the Alberta Voices project, and this Fall’s Spirit of the Land: Building a Community Land Ethic conference. Pat and Dittmar have four children and seven grandchildren whose future, in Dittmar’s words, depends onus preserving and healing all of creation.
Carmelle Javney Mohr is a local activist who has worked in and founded various social- and ecological-justice efforts in BC, Alberta and Peru. Through her endeavours, she strives to deepen kinships between human-communities and the Natural World in response to global crises. Her experiences of community in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside led her to study Freirian Pedagogy and Eco-Theology at the U of A. There, she led numerous civic engagement initiatives including the Responsibility for the Land conference and local non-profit, Christmas Presence. Having lived, studied and worked in Cuba and Peru, Carmelle has a deep understanding of Canadian extractivist culture as undercurrent to global injustice. Now home, she writes and presents about Canadian mining practices in Peru and neo-colonial impacts of faith-based development agencies in these contexts. In 2014, Carmelle begins further studies at UBC Farms in Sustainable Agriculture. She has recently been honoured as a Junior Fellow of the Chester Ronning Centre.
Tiffany McNaughton is a graduate of the University of Alberta in Global & Development studies. While there she enjoyed educational and student-led initiatives addressing community development and the environment including the Rural Development Exchange, Augustana Against AIDS, and the Student Chaplaincy. She has worked and volunteered with a variety of social agencies in Camrose and Prince George and served as Executive Director of Sahakarini Inter-World Education and Development Association from 2010-2012. She is currently working with an ecumenical youth group in Camrose, Alberta while studying Diaconal Ministry with the Centre for Christian Studies and the United Church of Canada.
The Guest Speakers:
More TBA! Stay tuned!
Seann Dory, Andrew Rushmere, Erika Mundel, Sven Wetering, Christine Boyle, Ross Moster…