Religion

Religion: Introduction

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Faculty Affiliation

Arts and Science

Degr​ee Programs

Religion

​​M​A
PhD​​

Collaborative Specializations

The following collaborative specializations are available to students in participating degree programs as listed below:

  1. Bioethics
    • Religion, MA, PhD
  2. Book History and Print Culture
    • Religion, MA, PhD
  3. Diaspora and Transnational Studies
    • Religion, MA, PhD
  4. Editing Medieval Texts
    • Religion, PhD
  5. Environmental Studies
    • Religion, MA, PhD
  6. Ethnic and Pluralism Studies
    • Religion, MA, PhD
  7. Jewish Studies
    • Religion, MA, PhD
  8. Knowledge Media Design
    • Religion, MA, PhD
  9. Sexual Diversity Studies
    • Religion, MA, PhD
  10. South Asian Studies
    • Religion, MA, PhD
  11. Women and Gender Studies
    • Religion, MA, PhD
  12. Women's Health
    • Religion, MA, PhD

Overview

The Department for the Study of Religion offers Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy programs in the study of religion and facilitates research and publication on religion. The department consolidates the vast curricular and faculty resources that are distributed throughout the many departments and colleges of the University and enables its students to use any resource in the University which serves the study of religion.

The department conceives the academic study of religion in interdisciplinary terms and embraces humanistic, historical, and social scientific approaches and methods. Programs of study are constructed individually to fit the specific needs and interests of each student. As a guideline for areas of strength in the department, we are organized by the following fields:

  • Buddhist Studies

  • Christianity

  • Hinduism and South Asian Religions

  • Islam

  • Judaism

  • Religion, Culture, and Politics

  • Religion, Ethics, and Modern Thought

  • Religion and Medicine

  • Religions of Mediterranean Antiquity

These fields do not determine program requirements. Most faculty and students participate in multiple fields.

Contact and Address

Web: www.religion.utoronto.ca
Email: religion.grad@utoronto.ca
Telephone: (416) 978-3057
Fax: (416) 978-1610

Department for the Study of Religion
University of Toronto
Room 305, 170 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5R 2M8
Canada

Religion: Graduate Faculty

Full Members

Airhart, Phyllis - BA, MA, PhD
Bendlin, Andreas - PhD
Bergen, Doris - MA, PhD
Black, Deborah - BA, MA, PhD
Boddy, Janice - BA, MA, PhD
Bryant, Joseph - BA, MA, PhD
Cobb, Michael - BA, MA, AM, PhD
Cochelin, Isabelle - DipdESup, BA, MA, PhD
Coleman, Simon - BA, PhD
Cunningham, Hilary - BA, MA, PhD
Daswani, Girish - BSc, BSc, MS, PhD
Dhand, Arti - BA, MA, PhD
DiCenso, James - BA, MA, PhD
Donaldson, Terence - BSc, MTh, DTh
Eisenbichler, Konrad - BA, MA, PhD
Emmrich, Christoph - PhD
Emon, Anver - LLB, BA, LLM, MA, PhD, SJD, CRC
Everett, Nicholas - BA, MA, PhD
Fadel, Mohammad - BA, JD, PhD
Fox, Harry - BSc, BA, MS, MA, PhD
Franks, Paul - AB, MA, PhD
Garrett, Frances - BA, MA, PhD
Gibbs, Robert - BA, MA, PhD
Goering, Joseph - BA, MA, MSL, PhD
Goetschel, Willi - PhD
Gooch, Paul William - BA, MA, PhD
Green, Kenneth - BA, MA, PhD
Hackworth, Jason - BA, MA, MCP, PhD
Harrak, Amir - MA, LTh, PhD
Harris, Jennifer - BA, MA, PhD (Director of Graduate Studies)
Hewitt, Marsha - BA, MA, PhD
Kasturi, Malavika - DPhil
Kingwell, Mark - BA, MA, MPH, DFA, PhD
Kivimae, Juri - AM, PhD
Klassen, Pamela - BA, MA, PhD
Kloppenborg, John - BA, MA, PhD (Chair)
Kortenaar, Neil ten - BA, MA, PhD
Lambek, Michael - BA, MA, PhD
Locklin, Reid - AB, MTh, PhD
Magee, John - BA, MA, PhD
Mangina, Joseph - AB, MTh, PhD
Marshall, John - BA, MA, PhD
Marshall, Ruth - BA, MA, DPhil
McGowan, Mark - BA, MA, PhD
McLean, Bradley - BSc, MTh, MDiv, PhD
Meacham, Tirzah - BA, MA, PhD
Metso, Sarianna - MA, PhD
Meyerson, Mark - BA, PhD
Mittermaier, Amira - MA, PhD
Most, Andrea - BA, MA, PhD
Mullin, Amy - BA, PhD
Napolitano, Valentina - BSc, MPH, PhD
Newman, Judith - PhD
Northrup, Linda - BA, MA, PhD
Novak, David - AB, PhD
O'Neill, Kevin - BA, MA, PhD
Raman, Srilata - BA, MPH, PhD
Ricco, John - BA, MA, PhD
Ross, Jill - BA, MA, PhD
Saleh, Walid - BA, MA, PhD
Sandahl, Stella - MA, MA, PhD
Scharper, Stephen - BA, MA, PhD
Shantz, Colleen - BA, MDiv, PhD
Sharma, Jayeeta - BA, MPH, MA, PhD
Shen, Vincent Tsing-song - MA, PhD
Smith, Kyle - BA, MA, PhD
Subtelny, Maria - BA, PhD
Sweetman, Robert - BA, MA, PhD
Tavakoli-Targhi, Mohamad - BA, MA, PhD
Taylor, Glen - BA, MPH, MTh, PhD
Terpstra, Nicholas - BA, MA, PhD
Vaage, Leif - BA, PhD
Virani, Shafique - PhD

Members Emeriti

Callahan, William - AB, MA, PhD
Davies, Alan - BA, BD, STM, PhD
McIntire, C. Thomas - MA, PhD
O'Toole, Roger - DipEd, BA, MA, PhD
Richardson, G Peter - BAR, BD, PhD
Schmidt, Lawrence - BA, MA, PhD
Stefanovic, Ingrid - BA, MA, PhD
Stock, Brian - AB, PhD
Vertin, Joseph Michael - BA, PhD

Associate Members

Berger, Benjamin - LLM
Bugg, Laura - DTh
Derry, Kenneth - PhD
Fehige, Yiftach - MA, PhD, DTh
Goldberg, Sol - MA, PhD
Goodman, Amanda - BA, MA, PhD
Hoff, Shannon - BA, PhD
Moumtaz, Nada - PhD
Nijhawan, Michael - PhD
Nizri, Yigal - BFA
Raffaelli, Enrico - PhD
Rao, Ajay - PhD
Rowe, Mark - PhD
Ruffle, Karen - PhD
Scott, Joshua Barton - BA, MA, PhD
Turner, Alicia - PhD

Religion: Religion MA

Master of Arts​

Program Description

The MA program may be taken on a full-time or part-time basis. The department's Graduate Studies Handbook, available on the web and from the department, provides additional details on admissions and programs as well as the research and teaching interests of the faculty.

 

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department for the Study of Religion's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Normally, an appropriate bachelor's degree with specialization in religion or a cognate discipline from a recognized university, broadly equivalent to the University of Toronto's BA Specialist degree in religion, with at least B+ standing in the final year. Students without appropriate preparation may be required to take additional work either before admission or during an extended master's program.

Program Requirements

  • Courses. Students must complete 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) including:

    • RLG 2000Y Major Research Paper (1.0 FCE)

    • RLG 1200H MA Method and Theory Workshop (0.5 FCE)

    • In some cases, students may be required to take additional courses, some of which may be at the undergraduate level. Students may be required to take more than 4.0 FCEs if their preparation is considered deficient in a subject required for their program.

    • Satisfactory performance requires the completion of all coursework taken for graduate credit with an average grade of at least A-.

  • Language(s). Reading knowledge of at least one language, in addition to English, selected from languages of modern scholarship and/or necessary source languages, as approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S);
6 to 8 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time

Religion: Religion PhD

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Description

From the point of admission onward, doctoral student programs must be matched with the expertise of at least three professors who help supervise the student's work. The department's Graduate Studies Handbook, available on the web and from the department, provides additional details on admissions and programs as well as the research and teaching interests of the faculty. The PhD program is taken on a full-time basis.

 

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department for the Study of Religion's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Normally, completion of all requirements of the department's MA program, or a comparable program at another university, with an average of at least A- in coursework and with no individual course falling below B.

Program Requirements

  • Courses. Students must complete a minimum of 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs), including:

    • RLG 1000Y Method and Theory in the Study of Religion (1.0 FCE)

    • at least 0.5 FCE outside the area of specialization.

    • Students may be required to take more than 4.0 FCEs if their preparation is considered deficient in a subject required for their program.

    • Satisfactory performance requires the completion of all coursework taken for graduate credit with an average grade of at least A-.

  • Languages. Reading knowledge of at least two languages in addition to English, selected from languages of modern scholarship and necessary source languages provided that at least one shall be a language of modern scholarship, as approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. The language requirements must be fulfilled before writing the general examinations.

  • Professionalization seminar. Doctoral students must complete SRD 4444Y Doctoral Seminar Series—Compulsory Attendance (CR/NCR, 0.0 FCE). This seminar consists of a series of workshops, all of which must be completed to fulfil the requirement.

  • General examinations. Upon completion of coursework, the language requirements, and the thesis pre-proposal, the student's supervisory committee will set General Examinations to assess the student's readiness for thesis research. There are three components in the General Examinations:

    • a four-hour written examination will cover the student’s area of specialization,

    • a three-hour written examination will cover at least one important cognate area, and

    • a two-hour oral examination on all materials assigned for the General Examinations.

  • A student who fails any portion of the General Examinations may be re-examined once, no later than nine months after the date of the first examination. The General Examinations must be completed before the end of the third year of doctoral study.

  • Thesis proposal. Within three months of successful completion of the General Examinations, the student must submit a thesis proposal for approval by the student's supervisory committee.

  • Thesis. Upon approval of the thesis proposal by the student's supervisory committee, the candidate proceeds to research and write a doctoral thesis which must be defended successfully at a Doctoral Final Oral Examination.

  • Colloquium presentation. Once general examinations are completed, PhD candidates are required to participate at least once in the Department for the Study of Religion's colloquium before undertaking their Doctoral Final Oral Examination.

  • Doctoral Final Oral Examination. The supervisory committee must approve the completed thesis before it is submitted for examination.

  • Residence. Students are required to spend at least two Fall and Winter sessions on campus in full-time study, normally in Years 1 and 2.

Program Length

4 years (some students may take longer)

Time Limit

6 years

Religion: Religion MA, PhD Courses

Not all courses are offered every year. Please consult the department's website, which lists the courses the department will offer this year as well as those cross-listed from other departments.

Religion

​RL​G 1000Y
Metho​d and Theory in the Study of Religion​
​RLG 1200H
​The MA Method and Theory Workshop
​RLG 1501H
​Directed Reading
​RLG 1502H
Directed Reading​
​RLG 2000Y
​Major Research Paper
​RLG 2008H
​Sex, Gender, and the Body in Religious Perspective
​RLG 2010H
​​Religion and Liberalism
​RLG 2011H
​Natural Law in Judaism and Christianity I
​RLG 2012H
Natural Law in Judaism and Christianity II​
RLG 2015H Comparing Religion
​RLG 2016H
​Radical Evil: Religious, Philosophical, and Psychological Response
​RLG 2017H
​Religion, Secularism, and the Public Sphere
​​RLG 2020H
​​Early Christianity, Ancient Judaism, Ancient "Magic"​
RLG 2022H Religion and Trauma: Psychoanalytic Narratives of Transmission and Transformation
​RLG 2025H
​Critical Theory of Religion
RLG 2027H
Law and Religion: Critical Conversations
​RLG 2028H
​Enemies of God: Religion and Violence in a (Post) Modern Time
RLG 2030H Historiography of Religion
​RLG 2043H
​Buddhism as Translation
​RLG 2060H
​Religion and Philosophy in the European Enlightenment
​RLG 2062H
​Modern Hermeneutics and Religion
​RLG 2063H
​Hermeneutics and Critical Theory
​RLG 2064H
​Constructing Religion
RLG 2067H Philosophical Topics in the Study of Religion
​RLG 2072H
​Kant’s Theory of Religion
​RLG 2073H
​Que(e)rying Religion
​RLG 2083H
​Social Scientific Approaches to the Study of Religion
​RLG 2084H
​Social Science Approaches to Early Christianity: Topical Investigations
RLG 2085H​
​Genealogies of Christianity
​RLG 2086H
Fieldwork in Religious Studies​
​RLG 3114H
​Christianity and Judaism in Colonial Context
​RLG 3143H
​Hebraica
​RLG 3144H
​Isaiah and Prophecy in the Early Judaism and Christianity
​RLG 3190H
​Pseudepigraphy in Ancient Mediterranean Religion
​RLG 3201H
​Topics in Christian Origins I
​RLG 3212H
​Martyrdom and Christian Identity
RLG 3215H Ethical Issues in Early Christianity
RLG 3216H Christianity in the Ancient Near East
​RLG 3228H
​Social History of the Early Jesus Movement
​RLG 3232H
​Sacred Space
​RLG 3237H
​Religion and Social Reform in Canada
​RLG 3241H
​Galatians
​RLG 3242H
​Christian Asceticism in Late Antiquity
​RLG 3243H
​The Synoptic Problem
​RLG 3249H
​Studies in the Synoptic Gospels
​RLG 3250H
​Heresy and Deviance in Early Christianity
​RLG 3252H
​The Letter of James and Early Christian Wisdom
​RLG 3272H
​Jews and Judaism in Christian Traditions
​RLG 3280H
​Christianities of South Asia
​RLG 3290H
​Words and Worship in Christian Cultures
​​RLG 3413H
​Burmese Religions
​RLG 3414H
​The Vessantarajataka
​RLG 3415H
​Theravada Practice
​RLG 3454H
​Readings in Tibetan Buddhism I
​RLG 3455H
​Readings in Tibetan Buddhism II
​RLG 3458H
​Rhetoric and Discipline in Buddhist Studies
​RLG 3460H
​Sanskrit Readings
​RLG 3461H
​Sanskrit Readings II
​RLG 3464H
​History and Historiography of Buddhism
​RLG 3468H
​The Buddhist Canon
​RLG 3470H
​Buddhist Tantra
​RLG 3480H
​Religion and Magic in Asia
​RLG 3490H
​Buddhist Auto/biography
​RLG 3501H
​Special Topics in Islamic Studies
​RLG 3505H
​Topics in Islamic Religious Literature
​RLG 3510H
​Studies in Islamic Thought and Spirituality
​RLG 3512H
​Introduction to Islamic Law
​RLG 3514H
​Ismaili History and Thought: The Persian Tradition​
​RLG 3515H
​Law, Ethics and Society in the Islamic Tradition
RLG 3516H Islamic Law and Society
RLG 3517H Shiʿi Studies: The State of the Field
​RLG 3544H
​Islamicate Material Cultures​
​RLG 3590H
​Islam and Sexuality
RLG 3601H Philo: The First Jewish Philosopher
​RLG 3610H
​Wisdom in Second Temple Judaism
​RLG 3611H
​Hebrew Literature and Religion: Midrash Aggadah
​RLG 3615H
​Post-Holocaust Jewish Thought
​RLG 3621H
​Modern Jewish Thought
​RLG 3622H
​Maimonides and His Modern Interpreters
​RLG 3634H
​Worship and Scripture at Qumran
​RLG 3645H
​The Jewish Legal Tradition
​RLG 3647H
​Early Rabbinic Judaism
​​RLG 3653H
​Jewish Exegetical Traditions in Antiquity
​RLG 3655H
​Readings in Jewish Literature (200 BCE–200 CE)
​RLG 3703H
​Indo-Islamic Civilization: The Sultanate and Mughal Periods
​RLG 3710H
​Newar Religion​
​RLG 3714H
​Sacred Biography in South Asia
​RLG 3715H
​Readings in Hindu Tantra
​RLG 3720H
​Sex, Body,​ and Gender in South Asian Religious Traditions
​RLG 3730H
​Fasting and Feeding in Hindu Traditions
​RLG 3740H
​The Mahaparinirvanasutra
​RLG 3741H
​The Guru—East and West
​RLG 3744H
​Hindu Epics
​RLG 3750H
​Topics in South Asian Religions
​RLG 3760H
​Vedanta Through the Ages
​RLG 3762H
​Religion and Aesthetics in South Asia
​​RLG 3931H
​Topics in North American Religions
​RLG 4001H
​Directed Reading: TST Seminar
​RLG 4004H
​Colloquium Presentation
​SRD 4444Y
​Doctoral Seminar Series—Compulsory Attendance (CR/NCR)

Joint Courses

​JAR 6510H
From Theory to Ethnography: Anthropological A​pproaches to Religion​
​JPR 2057H
Democracy and the Secular​
​JRG 2050H
​Religion, Culture, and Global Politics
​JRP 2000H
​Religion and Public Policy
JPR 2058H Postsecular Political Thought

​Other Departments

Other departments and collaborative specializations (see programs listed at the beginning of this entry) offer courses that may contribute to graduate programs in the study of religion. Visit the department's website for a current listing of such course offerings from:

  • Anthropology

  • Art

  • East Asian Studies

  • English

  • Ethnic and Pluralism Studies

  • German

  • History

  • History and Philosophy of Science and Technology

  • Italian Studies

  • Law

  • Medieval Studies

  • Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations

  • Philosophy

  • Political Science

  • Sociology

  • Toronto School of Theology