Launching the Institute for Religion, Culture and Societal Futures (IRCSF)

We have some good news for the social scientific and empirical study of religion! Carol Ann MacGregor, Galen Watts and myself are very pleased to announce the launch of a new Canadian initiative, in partnership with St-Jerome’s University and the University of Waterloo: the Institute for Religion, Culture and Societal Futures (IRCSF).

The Institute for Religion, Culture and Societal Futures (IRCSF) aims to be a new hub for social scientific and empirical research related to religion, spirituality, and emerging forms of communities of belief and practice. The IRCSF is non-partisan, and brings together both resident and visiting scholars working in the fields of sociology of religion and the social scientific study of religion to support undergraduate and graduate students, researchers, community organizations, faith groups, schools, the media, and the general public in better understanding the religious landscape of Canada and connections between religion, spirituality, secularity and other aspects of public and social life. It’s already a great place to find qualitative and quantitative information on religion, and we aim to grow such resources even more over the coming months and years.

The IRCSF specializes in four main thematic areas of research:

  1. Religion data trends in Canada and internationally, including on religious and non-religious diversity
  2. The new social and political boundaries of religion, spirituality and culture
  3. Religion and spirituality in schools
  4. The realities and futures of Catholic life in Canada

We’ve already begun regularly posting interesting and important findings related to these four areas on our social media feeds. Beginning this Fall 2024, we will host a recurring series of hybrid in-person and virtual seminars and workshops. We then aim to expand in 2025 and beyond to more activities, such as publishing reports, media releases, and providing consulting services. We also have some space for researchers who would like to come for a visit in person in the lovely city of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada!

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For more information on the IRCSF, you can also visit our website:

You can also follow us on a number of social media platforms:

Facebook: Institutefor Religioncsf

X/Twitter: @IReligionCSF

Instagram: @ireligioncsf

LinkedIn: IRCSF Institute Religion Culture and Societal Futures

As the first director of the IRCSF, I am very proud of this new initiative and look forward to engaging with many of you and your research over the coming years at the IRCSF. Please feel free to reach out to me by email anytime if you have any questions or on any matters related to the IRCSF.

Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme
Associate Professor
Sociology and Legal Studies
University of Waterloo