Contact Areas of Interest

Ken Derry
Department of Historical Studies
University of Toronto Mississauga
3359 Mississauga Road
Mississauga, ON L5L 1C6
t: 905-569-4550
  • Comparative Religion
  • Indigenous Traditions
  • Method and Theory
  • Religion and Literature/Film
  • Religion and Violence
  • Teaching Religion


BA, MA, PhD (University of Toronto)

Ken Derry’s primary undergraduate responsibility at the University of Toronto Mississauga is to teach the first-year “Introduction to the Study of Religion” course. He also lectures on Indigenous traditions, method and theory, and the various possible relations between religion and film, literature, and violence. In addition to his research into these areas of interest, Ken also enjoys thinking and writing about issues of pedagogy in connection to religion. In this regard, he was incredibly honoured to receive the 2013 UTM Teaching Excellence Award.

Selected Publications

Articles and Chapters

“Bulletproof Love: Luke Cage and Religion” (with Daniel White Hodge, Laurel Zwissler, Stanley Talbert, Matthew J. Cressler, and Jon Ivan Gill), Journal for Religion, Film, and Media 3.1 (2017):123-155.

“Problem-Based Learning and Two Studies of the Journal of Religion and Film: Self-Sacrifice and Music,” Journal of Religion and Film 21.1 (2017).

Interpreting Oz,” The Hooded Utilitarian. 6 July 2015

“‘Like You Could Read What Was Inside of Me.’ Genocide, Hermeneutics, and Religion in The Wizard of Oz,” Journal of Religion and Popular Culture 26.3 (2014): 293-309.

“Say What You Will: Further Adventures in Grade Renunciation,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 82.2 (2014): 356-64.

“Indigenous Traditions,” in World Religions: Western Traditions, fourth edition (Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2014), 296-361.

“A Buddhist, a Christian, and an Atheist Walk into a Classroom: Pedagogical Reflections on Religion and Humor,” Bulletin for the Study of Religion 42.3 (2013): 37-42.

“Believing is Seeing: Teaching Religion and Violence in Film,” in Teaching Religion and Violence (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 185-217.

“Of the 49th and Other Parallels: Thomas King’s Fluid Boundaries,” in ‘Survivance’ Beyond Canons: Mapping Canadian First Nations Literatures (Chennai: Emerald, 2007), 43-55.

“Religion and (Mimetic) Violence in Canadian Native Literature,” Literature and Theology 16.2 (2002): 201-19.

“On the Pedagogical Benefits of Using John Woo’s The Killer as a Model of René Girard’s Theory on Religion and Violence,” (With Tony Michael), The Journal of Religion and Film 5.1 (2001)

“One Stone on Another: Towards an Understanding of Symbolism in The Epistle of Barnabas.”  Journal of Early Christian Studies 4.4 (1996): 515-28.


“The 41st Toronto International Film Festival,” Journal of Religion and Film 20.3 (2016).

Arrival (dir. Denis Villeneuve), Journal of Religion and Film 20.3 (2016).

Gimme Danger (dir. Jim Jarmusch) and Leehom Wang’s Open Fire Concert Film (dir. Homeboy Music, Inc.), Journal of Religion and Film 20.3 (2016).

Goldstone (dir. Ivan Sen), Journal of Religion and Film 20.3 (2016).

Mahana (dir. Lee Tamahori), Journal of Religion and Film 20.3 (2016).

Accomplishments & Awards

  • 2013 UTM Teaching Excellence Award