DR. REGINALD W. BIBBY holds the Board of Governors Research Chair in the Department of Sociology at the University of Lethbridge. His third and most recent five-year term extends through 2016. Born and raised in Edmonton, he received a Ph.D. from Washington State University, an M.A. from the University of Calgary, a B.D. from Southern Seminary in Louisville, and a B.A. from the University of Alberta. In 2006, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the nation, the Governor General appointed him an Officer of the Order of Canada. He also is a 2012 recipient of the Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Over the past four decades, Reginald Bibby has been monitoring social trends in Canada through a series of well known national surveys of adults and teenagers, in the process gathering pioneering and historic data on religion and youth. He has presented his findings in North America, Europe, Australia, and Japan, lecturing at universities including British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, McMaster, Queen's, Toronto, Acadia, Oxford, Notre Dame, and Harvard. He is the author of fourteen books and some eighty journal articles. To date, more than 150,000 copies of his books have been sold.
Seven of his best known works focus on religion - Fragmented Gods (1987), Unknown Gods (1993), There's Got to Be More! (1995), Restless Gods (2002), Restless Churches (2004), Beyond the Gods & Back (2011), and A New Day: The Resilience & Restructuring of Religion in Canada (2012).
Four other books focus on youth, - the first two co-authored with Don Posterski - The Emerging Generation (1984) and Teen Trends (1992), along with Canada's Teen's (2001) and The Emerging Millennials (2009). The latter is something of a companion volume to his 2006 trends book, The Boomer Factor (2006), in that it draws on his most recent national survey of teenagers to examine the impact of the Boomer era on today's newest generation of youth.
Professor Bibby's three remaining books, as with The Boomer Factor, look at Canadian culture more generally. Mosaic Madness (1990) examined the factors back of our social fragmentation at a time when we believed we were experiencing a unity crisis. His extensive trend data were pulled together in The Bibby Report in 1995, and updated and expanded in The Boomer Factor a decade later.
Beyond the Gods & Back: Religion's Demise and Rise and Why It Matters, is the fourth in his "gods" series.The book examines religious developments in Canada, past and present. It documents the growing polarization between people who embrace and reject religion, and explores the implications for personal and social life. It is particularly unique in it use of extensive new global data that help to make it possible to see Canadian developments in world-wide perspective.
A New Day is unique and, for Bibby, something of a dissemination experiment. It provides a highly accessible, 62-page summary of the key findings in Beyond the Gods & Back, presented as a combination of PowerPoint slides and text, in colour. The book also explores the implications of the research, and discusses some possible responses. The goal is to make the material widely accessible, through providing it complimentary as an eBook. Made available free of cost in its e-form, A New Day had more than 10,000 downloads in the first three months it was available.
Professor Bibby has conducted research and analyzes in Canada for the United, Anglican, Presbyterian, and Alliance churches, along with the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. He also is well-known to Roman Catholics and many other groups as a researcher, writer, and consultant. His work in the United States has included a major study in the late 1990s of the ministry priorities of some thirty American denominations and close to 2,500 congregations carried out for a consortium of U.S. Protestant publishers.
He also has carried out surveys and data analyses for the Solicitor General of Canada, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Canadian Football League, the federal government's Social Trends Directorate, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, and the Province of Alberta. A decade ago, he conducted a significant national survey with the Vanier Institute of the Family on what Canadians want from family life. The results were summarized in the monograph report, The Future Families Project: A Survey of Canadian Hopes and Dreams (2004).
Currently, he is building on his social trends research to explore where life in Canada will be by around 2050. The project is being carried out in partnership with Andrew Grenville and Angus Reid Global, resulting in the generation of important new survey data that complement and extend his Project Canada Surveys program.
Dr. Bibby is one of the country's better known academics. His work has been covered in virtually all of Canada's major dailies and has received front cover treatment by Maclean's magazine on three occasions – April 9, 2001, July 1, 2006, and April 13, 2009). In addition, he has contributed articles to newspapers including the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Edmonton Journal, Calgary Herald, and Ottawa Citizen. His extensive national television and radio appearances over the years have included the CBC and CTV national news, Canada AM, Question Period, As It Happens, Cross Country Check Up, Sunday Edition, various CBC Newsworld/News Network programs, TSN's Off the Record, and such well-known former Canadian mainstays as Peter Gzowski's Morningside, Shelagh Rogers' Sounds Like Canada, Midday, and Pamela Wallin Live. In the United States, his work has been given exposure by prominent news outlets including as The New York Times, the USA Today, CNN, the Wall Street Journal,the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times.
Professor Bibby's efforts to interpret his findings have taken him into an unusually wide variety of settings across North America and beyond. He is routinely sought after for comment, data, and presentations.