Browse "Religion"

Article

St. Andrew’s Societies in Canada

Throughout the Diaspora, the Scots have been enthusiastic organizers, forming various types of ethnic or national societies in their places of settlement. These associations were bulwarks in the preservation of identity, culture and class for their group. The creation of St. Andrew’s Societies as with those of Highland, Caledonian and Burns clubs followed specific patterns, and served specific cultural and social needs. With the exception of the early Highland Societies, which were allied with the Highland Society of London, these associations were organized independently of one another and usually remained that way through their existence, although many created and maintained informal links which were stressed at key celebrational events. From the first society founded in Saint John in 1798, St. Andrew’s Societies have been an important part of Scottish associational life in Canada.

Article

Sun Dance

The Sun Dance is an annual Plains Aboriginal cultural ceremony performed in honour of the sun, during which participants prove bravery by overcoming pain.

Article

Synagogues

According to Jewish law, a synagogue is defined as any place where 10 men can gather for worship and study. Tradition holds that the synagogue was established to provide an alternative for those who were unable to travel to the temple in Jerusalem.

Article

Thanksgiving in Canada

The first official, annual Thanksgiving in Canada was celebrated on 6 November 1879, though Indigenous peoples in Canada have a history of celebrating the fall harvest that predates the arrival of European settlers. Sir Martin Frobisher and his crew are credited as the first Europeans to celebrate a Thanksgiving ceremony in North America, in 1578. They were followed by the inhabitants of New France under Samuel de Champlain in 1606. The celebration featuring the uniquely North American turkey, squash and pumpkin was introduced to Nova Scotia in the 1750s and became common across Canada by the 1870s. In 1957, Thanksgiving was proclaimed an annual event to occur on the second Monday of October. It is an official statutory holiday in all provinces and territories except Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Editorial

The First Thanksgiving in North America

It has become common knowledge that the first Thanksgiving in North America was held by Sir Martin Frobisher and his crew in Nunavut in 1578. There are those — mainly Americans upset by the thought of having their holiday co-opted — who argue that it wasn't a “real”” Thanksgiving. I would counter that Frobisher had reason to give thanks, and that giving thanks was an important aspect of Elizabethan society, so it would have been a natural thing for him and his men to do.

Article

Toronto Feature: Junction Shul

This text is from the free Toronto in Time app, which was created by The Canadian Encyclopedia and is available from the App Store and the Google Play store. Visit its companion website, which is linked below, to explore all the features of the app online.

Article

Two-Spirit

​Two-Spirit, a translation of the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe) term niizh manidoowag, refers to a person who embodies both a masculine and feminine spirit. Activist Albert McLeod developed the term in 1990 to broadly reference Indigenous peoples in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. Two-spirit is used by some Indigenous peoples to describe their gender, sexual and spiritual identity.

Article

Ultramontanism

Ultramontanism in Canada, as in Europe where it began during the French Revolution, was the theory of those who rejected any compromise by CATHOLICISM with modern thought, and demanded the supremacy of religious over civil society.

Article

Unitarians

Unitarians, adherents to a religious movement which originated in 16th-century Europe and whose members profess a holistic approach to religion. This has been theologically expressed in an emphasis upon the undivided unity of God, though many Unitarians now prefer to use nontheological language.

Article

United Church of Canada

The United Church of Canada was formed 10 June 1925 by union of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, the Methodist Church (Canada, Newfoundland and Bermuda), the Congregational Churches of Canada, and the General Council of Local Union Churches.

Article

Vision Quest

Coined by 19th century anthropologists, the term “vision quest” describes a spiritual journey in various Indigenous cultures in which participants, often adolescents, are said to receive sacred knowledge and strength from the spirit world. Practised as a rite of passage among some Indigenous cultures in North America, such as the Siksika (Blackfoot), Cree, Anishinaabe (including the Ojibwe) and Inuit, vision quests reflect the role of spirituality and contemplative thinking in Indigenous cultures, and provide an important connection between the participant, the Creator and nature. Though reduced as a practice following colonization, vision quests remain part of the cultural traditions of Indigenous populations in Canada in the modern era.