Religion

Religion: Introduction

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

Arts and Science

Degr​ee Programs

Religion

MA and PhD

Collaborative Specializations

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

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, the department is 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
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
Goodman, Amanda - BA, MA, PhD
Green, Kenneth - BA, MA, PhD
Hackworth, Jason - BA, MA, MCP, PhD
Hanneder, Jurgen - 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 (Chair and Graduate Chair)
Kloppenborg, John - BA, MA, PhD
Kortenaar, Neil ten - BA, MA, PhD
Lambek, Michael - BA, MA, PhD
Locklin, Reid - AB, MTh, PhD
Magee, John - BA, MA, PhD
Marshall, John - BA, MA, PhD
Marshall, Ruth - BA, MA, DPhil
McGowan, Mark - BA, MA, PhD
McGregor, Deborah - BSc, MES, PhD
Meacham, Tirzah - BA, MA, PhD
Metso, Sarianna - MA, PhD
Meyerson, Mark - BA, PhD
Mittermaier, Amira - MA, PhD
Most, Andrea - BA, MA, PhD
Moumtaz, Nada - PhD
Mullin, Amy - BA, PhD
Napolitano, Valentina - BSc, MPH, PhD
Newman, Judith - PhD
Novak, David - AB, PhD
O'Neill, Kevin - BA, MA, PhD
Raman, Srilata - BA, MPH, PhD
Rao, Ajay - PhD
Ross, Jill - BA, MA, PhD
Ruffle, Karen - PhD
Saleh, Walid - BA, MA, PhD
Sandahl, Stella - MA, MA, PhD
Scharper, Stephen - BA, MA, PhD
Scott, J. Barton - BA, MA, PhD
Seidman, Naomi - PhD
Shantz, Colleen - BA, MDiv, PhD
Sharma, Jayeeta - BA, MPH, 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.T. - MA, PhD
Northrup, Linda - BA, MA, PhD
O'Toole, Roger - DipEd, BA, MA, PhD
Richardson, G. Peter - BAR, BD, PhD
Schmidt, Lawrence - BA, MA, PhD
Stock, Brian - AB, PhD
Vertin, Michael - BA, PhD

Associate Members

Berger, Benjamin - LLB, LLM
Bibeau, Gilles - PhD, PhD
Brittain, Christopher - BA, MDiv, PhD
Bugg, Laura - DTh
Chartrand-Burke, Anthony - PhD
Clarke, Shayne - PhD
Derry, Ken - PhD
Fehige, Yiftach - BSc, MTh, MPH, PhD, DTh
Geissinger, Aisha - PhD
Goldberg, Sol - MA, PhD
Hampton, Alexander - PhD
Hoff, Shannon - BA, PhD
Irani, Ayesha - BA, MA, MSW, PhD
Jamieson, Christine - PhD
Kawanami, Hiroko - PhD
Louw, Maria - PhD
Neelis, Jason - PhD
Nijhawan, Michael - PhD
Nizri, Yigal - BFA
Obrock, Luther James - BA, MA, PhD
Raffaelli, Enrico - PhD
Stadler, Nurit - PhD
Talebi, Shahla - PhD
Turner, Alicia - PhD
Vig, Julie - MA
White, Kevin - MA, 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 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 A– 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 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 scholarship and necessary source languages, as approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. Classical and modern forms of the same language are not permitted. 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 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 present 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

RLG 1000Y
Method 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 2010H
Religion and Liberalism
RLG 2011H
Natural Law in Judaism and Christianity I
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 2021H
Mystical Poetics and the Study of Religious Aesthetics
RLG 2022H
Religion, Mourning, and Trauma
RLG 2023H
Religion, Media, and Culture
RLG 2025H
Critical Theory of Religion
RLG 2027H
Law and Religion: Critical Conversations
RLG 2030H
Historiography of Religion
RLG 2042H
Re-Enchanting Nature: Spirituality and the New Nature Writing
RLG 2060H
Religion and Philosophy in the European Enlightenment
RLG 2061H
Why Philosophy Matters to Religious Studies
RLG 2062H
Modern Hermeneutics and Religion
RLG 2064H
Constructing Religion
RLG 2065H Philosophical Texts in Religion
RLG 2067H
Philosophical Topics in the Study of Religion
RLG 2072H
Kant’s Theory of Religion
RLG 2081H Foundations in Psychodynamic Theory and Clinical Practice
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 3190H
Pseudepigraphy in Ancient Mediterranean Religion
RLG 3200H
The Politics of Bible Translation
RLG 3212H
Martyrdom and Christian Identity
RLG 3216H
Christianity in the Ancient Near East
RLG 3217H
Social Networks and Elective Cults in Antiquity
RLG 3228H
Social History of the Early Jesus Movement
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 3280H
Christianities of South Asia
RLG 3290H
Words and Worship in Christian Cultures
RLG 3401H
Reading Buddhist Texts I
RLG 3402H
Reading Buddhist Texts II
RLG 3413H
Burmese Religions
RLG 3414H
The Vessantarajataka
RLG 3419H
Teaching Buddhism
RLG 3454H
Readings in Tibetan Buddhism I
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 3490H
Buddhist Auto/biography
RLG 3501H
Special Topics in Islamic Studies
RLG 3516H
Islamic Law and Society
RLG 3517H
Shiʿi Studies: The State of the Field
RLG 3518H
Foundations in Shi’I Studies
RLG 3519H
Islamic Intellectual Traditions
RLG 3527H
The Anthropology of Islam
RLG 3528H
Tools of the Craft: Research Fluency in Islamic Studies
RLG 3544H
Islamicate Material Cultures
RLG 3555H The Prophetic Family in Islamic Tradition
RLG 3601H
Philo: The First Jewish Philosopher
RLG 3610H
Wisdom in Second Temple Judaism
RLG 3611H
Hebrew Literature and Religion: Midrash Aggadah
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 3700H
Debates in Ancient Indian Religion and History
RLG 3701H
Vaishnavism
RLG 3702H
Debates in Classical South Asian Religion and History
RLG 3704H
Readings in Sanskrit Literature
RLG 3710H
Newar Religion
RLG 3714H
Sacred Biography in South Asia
RLG 3717H
Renunciation and Erotica in Sanskrit Poetry
RLG 3718H
Sikhs in Early Modern India: Texts and Encounters
RLG 3722H Approaching the Literary in South Asian Religions
RLG 3741H
The Guru — East and West
RLG 3744H
Hindu Epics
RLG 3760H
Vedanta Through the Ages
RLG 3762H
Religion and Aesthetics in South Asia
RLG 3763H
Readings in Sanskrit Philosophy
RLG 3771H After the Śaiva Age: Regional Śaivism in the Second Millenium
RLG 3789H Burmese Buddhist Literature
RLG 3799H Problems and Methods in South Asian Religions
RLG 3931H
Topics in North American Religions
RLG 4001H
Directed Reading: TST Seminar
RLG 4004H
Colloquium Presentation
SRD 4444Y
Doctoral Seminar Series — Compulsory Attendance (Credit/No Credit)

Joint Courses

JPR 2051H
Fanaticism: A Political History
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