A complete religious topography of a mid-sized Canadian city in the early twenty-first century, inspired by the Harvard Pluralism Project.
Religious life in Canada has changed dramatically in recent decades due to secularization and the population shifts resulting from urbanization and immigration. New varieties of pluralism have emerged, entailing massive changes in a culture once assumed to be almost uniformly Christian.
God's Plenty examines the religious landscape of Kingston, Ontario, in the twenty-first century. The rich religious life of Kingston - a mid-sized city with a strong sense of its history and its status as a university town - is revealed in a narrative that integrates material from sociological and historical studies, websites, interviews, religious and literary scholarship, and personal experience. In Kingston, as in every Canadian city, downtown parishes and congregations have dwindled, disappeared, or moved to the suburbs. Attendance at mainline churches - and their political authority - has declined. Ethnic diversity has increased within Christian churches, while religious communities beyond Christianity and Judaism have grown. Faith groups have split along liberal and conservative lines, and the number of those claiming to have no religion - or to be spiritual but not religious - has increased. Yet amidst all this, religion continues to be evident in institutions and public life and important to the lives of many Canadians.
God's Plenty, a ground-breaking contribution to the study of religion in Canada and a model for future community-based research, is the first overview of the religious topography of a Canadian city, telling the story of various faith communities and adding to the study of religious diversity and multiculturalism.