Ian Cuthbertson is Head of Operations for SNC-LAB. He is a Baker Postdoctoral Fellow at Queen’s University working on critical approaches to the category ‘religion’ and in the ways dominant popular and academic discourses work to set limits on which kind of phenomena count as religion while supporting social and political efforts to manage and control both the expression of religious beliefs and also the presence of religious behaviours and objects in the public sphere. His PhD dissertation explored how dominant views of secularization, disenchantment, and modernity, which constitute a ‘modern imaginary,’ work to discipline academic and popular accounts of the place of religion in modern world such that magic, superstition, and other supra-rational beliefs and concerns are rendered largely invisible.
Ian is also interested in nonreligion or the growth of indifference and/or antipathy to religious options in modernity. In particular, I am interested is exploring the ways Canadians understand and express their own nonreligious identities. Future research goals involve designing and implementing an empirical research project informed by constructivist grounded theory. Through this project, tentatively entitled Nonreligion in Canada, he hopes to co-construct rich empirical data concerning the ways nonreligious Canadians imagine their own identities; the place of both religion and nonreligion in Canada; and the risks and opportunities that claiming a nonreligious self-identification provides in the contemporary Canadian context.