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MONTREAL, September 30, 2002 (LSN.ca) – A conference at McGill next month will discuss life issues and the role of religiously-based values in public discourse. Douglas Farrow, a McGill professor and Iain Benson of the Centre for Cultural Renewal, will host the conference on Pluralism, Religion and Public Policy from October 9 to 11 (Wednesday to Friday). Subjects of discussion will include cloning, abortion, euthanasia, civil unions between homosexuals, the place of religion in political life and its relation to business ethics.  Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, editor of First Things, will give a major lecture on religion and public life. Other speakers include Beverley McLachlin, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada; William Galston, professor of Public Affairs at the University of Maryland; Jean Bethke Elshtain from the University of Chicago divinity school; H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr., professor of philosophy at Rice University in Houston, author of The Foundations of Bioethics; David Novak, professor of religion and philosophy and director of Jewish studies at the University of Toronto; and Charles Taylor, the philosopher.  Mr. Benson, a lawyer, believes the tendency of people in politics and the media to exclude religion from public life in Canada is linked to “the corruption of Christianity itself”—a reference to the lack of fervour and acumen among church leaders.  For information about the conference see:  https://www.mcgill.ca/prpp/  For Montreal Gazette coverage see the Saturday, September 28 issue, p. H7 under the headline “Where church and state come together.”

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