Je n'aurais jamais imaginé que le premier magazine à me publier en anglais serait le Harvard Divinity Bulletin, le magazine produit par la faculté de théologie de l'Université Harvard. Mais bon, il y a des hasards comme ça, dans la vie.
For me, as for the vast majority of Quebecers of my generation (I was born in 1973), religion was an abstraction, something that happened to inhabitants of less modernly inclined countries, like Pakistan, say, or the United States.
Obviously, you can't expunge 350 years of Catholic fervor in the matter of a generation, and religion was still faintly visible, like a watermark: in the steeples that punctuate the Montréal skyline and the tin-roofed churches that dot the countryside; in our profanity that consists of strung-together religious terms such as tabernacle and ciborium; in our national literature, dramaturgy, and cinematography; in historical accounts, be they about politics or social issues or apparently unconnected subjects like colonization or botany; in the childhood stories of my parents, with their scary tales of convent life and boarding-school education. But religion had become a purely cultural factor, as much a part of my heritage as my eighteenth-century accent or my maple syrup habit, but without any actual connection to the modern world. The last churchgoing generation—that of my grandparents—was slowly disappearing.