Religious Studies and Theology, Vol 39, No 1 (2020)

Reflections on attending the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba’s Award for the Advancement of Interreligious Understanding Ceremony

Peter Bush
Issued Date: 6 May 2020


The Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Manitoba annually presents an Award for the Advancement of Interreligious Understanding. Such an award being created in a twenty-first century secular democracy is atypical. This essay examines the motivation behind the award’s creation and describes some of the recipients. The lack of religious practices during the award ceremonies suggests that state agents can talk about religion, applauding religion’s commitment to human flourishing, but cannot allow expressions of spiritual practices within a state-sponsored space. The essay concludes by asking if there are contexts where religious practices could be included in stated-sponsored spaces within a secular democracy.

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DOI: 10.1558/rsth.36826


Lee, Philip S. 2011. “Remarks at Award Ceremony, Award for Advancement of Interreligious Understanding.” 11 January. Copy of this speech in author’s files.

Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba. 2018. “Lieutenant-Governor to present Award for Advancement of Interreligious Understanding.” 10 January.

Rose, Carol. 1997. Behind the Blue Gate. Vancouver: Beach Holme.


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