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Society

Feature

February 2013

Something about bears

By Therese DesCamp

They’re unpredictable. They’re nuisances. And they can be deadly. But our encounters with bears can also inspire the wildest kind of love.

Feature

February 2013

An ill wind

By Lisa Van de Ven

The Dutch were among the first to embrace the green promise of turbines. Now they’re having second thoughts. Has wind energy lost its momentum?

Feature

February 2013

Becoming Ruth Wood

By Trisha Elliott

Terry and Anne Wood had a normal married life. All of that changed when Terry, a lay minister, realized he was a woman trapped in a man’s body.

Feature

January 2013

Refuge on Bloor Street

By Chantal Braganza

A Toronto church welcomes an influx of refugees fleeing poverty and repression in North Korea

Feature

January 2013

The passage of rites

By Larry Krotz

Secular ceremonies are becoming more elaborate all the time. Are they filling a need that used to be satisfied in church?

Feature

January 2013

Scared senseless

By Trisha Elliott

The 9/11 generation sees danger everywhere. How do we combat the culture of fear?

Feature

January 2013

Manning up

By Evie Ruddy

Almost 40,000 Canadian women were abused by their spouses in 2010. Bruce Wood is part of a movement helping men work through their inner demons.

Feature

January 2013

Full stomachs, empty souls

By Pieta Woolley

Studies suggest obesity is a problem in churches. Liberal Christians may scoff at the evangelical diet craze, but perhaps they’re on to something.

Feature

December 2012

Bernadette's secret

By Chelsea Temple Jones

Her parents needed a place to hide her. They found it in a United Church maternity home. Decades later, she’s still haunted by what she lost.

Feature

November 2012

Gateway ground zero

By Will Braun

Kitimat, B.C., is the proposed terminus of a controversial oil pipeline. But what does it mean for the local community?

Feature

November 2012

Cold comfort

By Chelsea Temple Jones

Out of the Cold programs shelter untold thousands every winter. Their success points to a bigger failure: society’s chronic indifference to poverty.

Feature

November 2012

Have ailment, will travel

By Anne Bokma

Canadians are increasingly crossing borders to access faster and cheaper hospital care. But does medical tourism carry too much ethical baggage?

Feature

October 2012

End-of-life ethics: 'a pioneer phase'

By David Wilson

What does religion bring to the bedside? Winnipeg faith leaders discuss euthanasia, physician-assisted dying and the meaning of death.

Feature

September 2012

Gloria's choice

By Chelsea Temple Jones

The 2012 Observer survey showed readers overwhelmingly support physician-assisted dying. Gloria Taylor's battle for the right to end her own life could provoke an unprecedented ethical debate.

Feature

September 2012

Uncivil disobedience

By Kasia Mychajlowycz

Is an aversion to leadership allowing a violent minority to hijack the message of today’s mass youth movements?

Feature

July 2012

Rights and wrongs at the edges of life

By Observer Staff

The 2012 Observer survey on life and death decisions reveals startling gaps between the views of churchgoers, the general public and the law

Feature

July 2012

Unpacking compassion

By Trisha Elliott

Feature

July 2012

Choosing a better death

By Richard Wright

Feature

July 2012

Little lives, big questions

By Pieta Woolley

Feature

June 2012

Where credit’s due

By Susan Peters

How an underprivileged Winnipeg neighbourhood fought back after the big banks up and left

Feature

June 2012

To spank or not to spank?

By Sarah Boesveld

Recent abuse cases have shone a new spotlight on an old controversy. For some believers, hitting your children is a God-given right. To others, it’s an inexcusable sin.

Feature

June 2012

Tough on crime, weak on evidence

By Edward L. Greenspan

One of Canada’s top defence lawyers picks apart the government’s case for more prisons and longer sentences

Feature

May 2012

Three partners, one family

By Pieta Woolley

Feature

May 2012

Handmaids no more

By Laurel Walton

We were young, unmarried and pregnant. They forced us to surrender our babies. Now we're older, braver and determined to change an adoption system that still favours the privileged.

Feature

May 2012

The problem with Bountiful

By Brian Platt

A renegade Mormon sect in rural British Columbia has long flouted Canada's polygamy ban, citing religious freedom. Prosecutors have been stymied - until now

Feature

April 2012

Reconciling to a Hard Truth

By Richard Wright

An adjudication process set up to compensate residential school survivors has been flooded with thousands of new claims. The numbers suggest that abuse was far more common than anyone imagined.

Feature

March 2012

Dementia Sidebar: A light in the fog

By Trisha Elliott

Underneath the pain of dementia, faith runs deep

Feature

March 2012

The silent epidemic

By Kylie Taggart

In Canada today, a new case of dementia is diagnosed every five minutes. In 25 years, it will be one every two minutes. Are churches ready for a full-blown pastoral crisis?

Feature

March 2012

The locavore conundrum

By Larry Krotz

Buying locally sourced food seems like the right thing to do. But is it an ethical luxury that excludes the less fortunate?

Feature

February 2012

Without fail

By Anne Bokma

Everyone wants their kids to succeed. But we’re not doing them any favours by shielding them from life’s hard knocks.

Announcement

New Observer editor and CEO, Jocelyn Bell. Photo by Lindsay Palmer

New editor named

by Observer Staff

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Editorials

Jocelyn Bell%

Observations

by Jocelyn Bell

We’ll miss you, David Wilson

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Video

ObserverDocs: My Year of Living Spiritually

by Observer Staff

Anne Bokma left the Dutch Reformed Church as a young adult and eventually became a member of the United Church and then the Unitarian Universalists. Having long explored the "spiritual but not religious" demographic as a writer, she decided to immerse herself in practices — like hiring a soul coach, secular choir-singing and forest bathing — for 12 months to find both enlightenment and entertainment.

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Society

November 2017

Trump country

by David Macfarlane

A northern Alabama county voted almost unanimously for Donald Trump in 2016. One year later, the writer, together with photographer Nigel Dickson, travels there to try to understand why.

Faith

November 2017

Involuntary pilgrim

by David Giuliano

The return of a tumour sets David Giuliano on a path he calls his ‘Camino de Cancer’

Faith

October 2017

A tale of two cancers

by Catherine Gordon

One year after the writer discovered she had breast cancer, her sister in California received the same diagnosis. They both recovered, but their experiences were worlds apart.

Society

November 2017

Trump country

by David Macfarlane

A northern Alabama county voted almost unanimously for Donald Trump in 2016. One year later, the writer, together with photographer Nigel Dickson, travels there to try to understand why.

Faith

November 2017

Involuntary pilgrim

by David Giuliano

The return of a tumour sets David Giuliano on a path he calls his ‘Camino de Cancer’

Faith

November 2017

Grey matter

by Trisha Elliott

Is consciousness just a function of the brain — or something more?

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