Checking the Box Marked "None"

Photo Credit: <a href=''>Nickolai Kashirin</a>

Photo Credit: Nickolai Kashirin


Season 18: Episode 46

There was a time, not so long ago, when Canada's census form didn't even offer "no religion" as an option. The category simply didn't exist. Now, those who tick that box are so numerous they have their own nickname: the 'nones.'  They include atheists and agnostics, but also a lot of people who describe themselves as "spiritual but not religious."  

For more about this week's show...


Lori Beaman is a professor at the University of Ottawa. She teaches in the Department of Classics and Religious Studies. She's also part of 'The Religion and Diversity Project' - a 7-year study on the role of religion in Canadian society.

Lindsay Boyer is a spiritual director.  She has a Masters in Divinity from Union Theological Seminary, where she has taught courses on the psalms and on 'seeker spirituality.' Boyer is schooled in Christian, Hindu and Buddhist traditions.

David Cayley is a documentary producer for the CBC's program Ideas. His seven-part series was called, The Myth of the Secular

Siobhan Chandler holds a PhD in Religion and Culture from Wilfrid Laurier University.  Her  research focuses on the social significance of the growing phenomenon of the spiritual but not religious - now commonly referred to as the SBNRs.  

In particular, she examines how being spiritual outside the bounds of organized religion is connected to positive social change. She lives in Vancouver.

You can hear more from our interview with Siobhan here.  
Download Flash Player to view this content.

Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.