Preston Manning and Stephen Harper, uneasy alliance

By Dennis Gruending

The relationship between Preston Manning and Stephen Harper goes back a long way and has had its share of turbulence. Harper turned up on March 12 to give a speech at an Ottawa conference of Manning’s Centre for Building Democracy. Manning and …

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Harper promotes religious rightists

By Dennis Gruending

It’s been a good month for the religious right in Ottawa. The Hill Times newspaper reports that Stephen Harper has promoted religious conservatives to two senior positions in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) – the government’s political nerve centre. Darrel Reid, …

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Gunn says Catholic social teaching a well-kept secret

By Dennis Gruending

Catholics have a rich body of social teaching but their universities don’t teach it, their priests don’t preach it, and many people in the pews either do not know about it or are indifferent, says Joe Gunn, a long-time Catholic activist. Gunn spoke to …

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MP Paul Dewar says faith is political

By Dennis Gruending

You cannot be a person of faith without being political, says Paul Dewar, the New Democratic Party MP for Ottawa Centre. Dewar spoke to the Faith and Public Life class at the Ottawa Lay …

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Citizenship as ministry

By Dennis Gruending

The exercise of citizenship as ministry is rooted in the Biblical calling to do justice, says Kathy Vandergrift, an Ottawa-based Christian activist who has worked both within government and outside of it on behalf of religiously based and …

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Canada’s competing religious visions

By Dennis Gruending

The class in Faith and Public Life that I am leading this winter for the Ottawa Lay School of Theology met for its third session on January 26. I provided a quick survey on the political impact …

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Peter Harder on faith and public life

By Dennis Gruending

 Peter Harder was at the centre of government decision-making in Canada for more than 30 years prior to leaving the civil service in March 2007 to become the senior policy advisor in an Ottawa-based law firm. He served as a deputy minister in …

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Obama’s inaugurgal speech will draw on Lincoln, King

By Dennis Gruending

I have been curious about where Barack Obama will find the antecedents and inspiration for his inaugural speech on January 20. American writer Kathleen Hall Jamieson is an expert on rhetoric, particularly that of presidents. Jamieson says that while modern speeches may contain some new …

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