Over the past decade, scholars and policy makers interested in Canadian multiculturalism have begun to take religion much more seriously. Moreover, Christian communities have become increasingly aware of the impact of ethnic diversity on church life. However, until very recently almost no systematic academic attention has been paid to the intersection between the ethnic and religious identities of individuals or communities. This gap in both our academic literature and our public discourse represents an obstacle to understanding and integrating the large numbers of "ethnic Christians," most of whom either join existing Canadian churches or create ethnically specific congregations.
In Christianity and Ethnicity in Canada, eleven scholars explore the complex relationships between religious and ethnic identity within the nine major Christian traditions in Canada. The contributors discuss the ways in which changes in the ethnic composition of these traditions influence religious practice and identity, as well as how the nine religious traditions influence communal and individual ethnic identities. An introductory chapter by Paul Bramadat and David Seljak provides a thorough discussion of the theoretical, historical, and empirical issues involved in the study of Christianity and ethnicity in Canada. This volume complements Religion and Ethnicity in Canada in which the authors address similar issues within the six major non-Christian communities in Canada, and within Canadian health care, education, and politics.