Out of sight, out of mind: the role of the body in Canada's multicultural religious identity
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“Out of Sight, Out of Mind: The Role of the Body in Canada’s Multicultural Religious Identity” examines the role of the body in contemporary conflicts of religious dress in public spaces in Canada. Utilizing policies, policy proposals, and legal precedents that regulate the religious body, I argue the physical religious body resides in a liminal space between the inclusive ideals of multicultural policy and the exclusionary policies of an overtly secular public sphere. Particular definitions of secularism and liberalism shape the construction of public life and civic spaces, and these specific understandings produce public space that is seemingly inhospitable to certain embodied religious expressions. The religious body complicates the assumed separation of religion and state, which understands religion to be an element of private, not public life. I argue that policies which seek to limit the religious body in public or civic spaces work to create an “ideal” secular citizen.