Civic religious literacy is a framework to guide individuals and organizations to understand that all religious, spiritual, and non-religious worldviews:

1.Influence the socio-cultural, political, and economic aspects of society in the past and present;

2.Differ from one another, and are also internally diverse;

3. Consist of individuals who share the same worldview, but may have diverse beliefs, expressions, interpretations, and terminology to describe it based on a number of factors (such as personal circumstance, place, political context, etc.); and, as a result, 

4. Hold a significant personal meaning to the religious, spiritual, and non-religious individuals affiliated with them. This leads us to discuss these worldviews from an individual or community’s distinct lens and not from the worldview of another person/group. 

Civic religious literacy therefore goes beyond mere knowledge of the basic tenets, principles, or practices of  a worldview. Additionally, developing civic religious literacy can empower individuals and organizations to engage better with members of their society. Specific economic, political, social, and legal reasons for the importance of religious literacy in Canada today are listed on this page: Why civic religious literacy?

CCRL’s approach to civic religious literacy is heavily informed by the work of the scholars listed at the bottom of this page. If you would like more details about our approach and conception in the Canadian context, please email, or read about it in our publication below.

JBV article

To understand the CCRL approach in our work, including our work alongside community leaders, elders, and knowledge keepers from each local community, please visit the Our work page. 


Eck, D. L. (2006.) “What is Pluralism?” The Pluralism Project: Harvard University.

Eck, D. L. (n.d.) “From Diversity to Pluralism.” The Pluralism Project: Harvard University.

Jackson, R. (2014). Signposts – Policy and practice for teaching about religions and non-religious worldviews in intercultural education. Strasbourg: Council of Europe.

Lester, E. (2013). Teaching about religions: A democratic approach for public schoolsAnn Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.

Miedema, S. (2013). Coming Out Religiously! Religion and Worldview as an Integral Part of the Social and Public Domain. Religious Education, 108(3), 236-240.

Moore, D. (2007). Overcoming religious illiteracy: A cultural studies approach to the study of religion in secondary education. New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan.

Prothero, S. (2009). Religious literacy: What every American needs to know–and doesn’t. Harper Collins.