See also: General Information | The Ph.D. ProgramFields of Study | SGS Calendar

The following nine fields help to organize the many aspects of the study of religion at the department. Faculty and students may find themselves in multiple fields—fields do not constrain research topics, but foster overlapping communities of research interest.

dharma iconBuddhist Studies

The study of Buddhist traditions with the use of historical, text-critical, art historical, philological, anthropological and philosophical methods.

The field currently highlights a context-sensitive study of Buddhism, focusing on ritual, philosophy, medicine and other intellectual developments and modes of practice in South Asia, the Himalayas, Nepal, Burma/Myanmar, Central Asia, Tibet, China, Korea and Japan.

Faculty teaching in Buddhist Studies are drawn from the Departments for the Study of Religion, Art, History, Philosophy, Psychology and East Asian Studies. Languages taught at the University to support the study of Buddhism include Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Sanskrit, Pali, Newar, Burmese, and Tibetan. The University supports a wide range of activities, events and programs focused on Buddhism. For more, see the Buddhist Studies website at buddhiststudies.chass.utoronto.ca and join them on Facebook.

Buddhist Studies Faculty

Emmrich, Christoph
Department for the Study of Religion
Purtle, Jennifer
Department of Art
Garrett, Frances
Department for the Study of Religion
Shen, Vincent
Department of East Asian Studies
Goodman, Amanda
Department for the Study of Religion

 

christian crossChristianity

The interdisciplinary study of Christianity in late antique, medieval, early modern, and modern settings, with attention to transformations and continuities in Christian thought and practice. Methods include historical, ethnographic, social-scientific, and philosophical approaches.

Faculty expertise encompasses Christianity’s Mediterranean origins and its movements and variations throughout Europe and the Americas in particular, as well as Christianity’s global influences and interactions.

Current faculty interests include areas such as ritual, politics and public life, gender and the body, interreligious engagements, media and material culture, textual analysis, healing, institutional life, and lay movements.

Christianity Faculty

Airhart, Phyllis
Department of History
 Kivimae, Juri
Department of History
Bryant, Joseph
Department for the Study of Religion
Klassen, Pamela
Department for the Study of Religion

Cochelin, Isabelle
Department of History
Kloppenborg, John
Department for the Study of Religion
Coleman, Simon
Department for the Study of Religion
Locklin, Reid
St. Michael’s College
Cunningham, Hilary
Department of Anthropology
Marshall, John
Department for the Study of Religion
Daswani, Girish
Department of Social Science, UTSC
Marshall, Ruth
Department for the Study of Religion
Donaldson, Terence
Toronto School of Theology
McGowan, Mark
Department of History
Dooley, Ann
Centre for Medieval Studies
McIntire, Thomas
Department for the Study of Religion
Eisenbichler, Konrad
Department of Renaissance Studies
Meyerson, Mark
Department of History
Everett, Nicholas
Department of History
Mills, Ken
Department of History
Goering, Joseph
Department of History
Newman, Judith
Department for the Study of Religion
Harrak, Amir
Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
O’Neill, Kevin
Department for the Study of Religion
Harris, Jennifer
Department for the Study of Religion
Scharper, Stephen
Department of Anthropology
Hewitt, Marsha
Toronto School of Theology
 Terpstra, Nicholas
Department of History

 

Hinduism symbol

Hinduism and South Asian Religions

The study of South Asian religions from ancient to modern eras using a variety of approaches including historical, philosophical, textual, literary, anthropological and post-colonial methodologies.

The field currently has strengths in religious traditions in South Asia including Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Zoroastrianism, and Christianity with expertise in languages including Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrits, Avestan, Pahlavi, Arabic, Persian, Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati, Nepali, Tamil, Newari and Tibetan.

Hinduism and South Asian Religions Faculty

Dhand, Arti
Department for the Study of Religion
 Raman, Srilata
Department for the Study of Religion
Emmrich, Chrisoph
Department for the Study of Religion
Rao, Ajay
Department for the Study of Religion
Garrett, Frances
Department for the Study of Religion
Ruffle, Karen
Department for the Study of Religion
Kasturi, Malavika
Department of Historical Studies
Virani, Shafique
Department for the Study of Religion
Locklin, Reid
St. Michael’s College

 

Islam symbolIslam

The interdisciplinary study of Islam in its various historical, cultural and geographic expressions from the seventh century to the present.

Methods include historical, text-critical, anthropological, philosophical, legal, and art historical approaches.

Faculty expertise encompasses the study of the Qur’an, hadith, Islamic forms of mysticism (including Sufism), Shi’ism (both Twelver and Ismaili), philosophy, law, history of science, Islamic aesthetics (both artistic and literary), gender and Islam, Muslim diasporas and interaction with other religious traditions.

The DSR has further strengths in the study of modern and contemporary Muslim societies, ritual, piety and popular practice, education and ethnography. The University of Toronto also offers classes in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu/Hindi, and a range of other relevant languages.

Islam Faculty

Boddy, Janice
Department of Anthropology
Reilly, James
Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
Emon, Anver
Faculty of Law
Ruffle, Karen
Department for the Study of Religion
Fadel, Mohammad
Faculty of Law
Saleh, Walid
Department for the Study of Religion
Lawson, Todd
Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
Subtelny, Maria
Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
Mittermaier, Amira
Department for the Study of Religion
Virani, Shafique
Department for the Study of Religion
Northrup, Linda
Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations

 

Star of DavidJudaism

The study of Jewish religion in its various manifestations, including ancient, medieval, and modern periods. Methods include textual, historical, philosophical, gender, anthropological, and cultural analysis.

Faculty expertise currently includes modern and contemporary Jewish philosophy, ethics, ritual, performance, and identity, Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Islamic relations, German Jewish thought, mysticism, medieval hermeneutics, Talmud, Midrash, and legal literatures, the second temple period, hellenistic Judaism, Dead Sea Scrolls, and ancient biblical interpretation.

Faculty engage materials in languages including: Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, Yiddish, Greek, Latin, Arabic, French, German, and Russian.

Judaism Faculty

Donaldson, Terence
Toronto School of Theology
Meyerson, Mark
Department of History
Fox, Harry
Department for the Study of Religion
Most, Andrea
Department of English
Gibbs, Robert
Department of Philosophy
Metso, Sarianna
Department of Historical Studies
Green, Kenneth
Department for the Study of Religion
Newman, Judith
Department for the Study of Religion
Kloppenborg, John
Department for the Study of Religion
Novak, David
Department for the Study of Religion
Marshall, John
Department for the Study of Religion
Taylor, Glen
Toronto School of Theology

 

Religion, Politics signpostReligion, Culture, Politics

The study of religion and modernity in a range of historical, regional, and cultural contexts.

Faculty draw upon theories and methods from religious studies, anthropology, sociology, political theory, history and philosophy.

This field is directly related to the DSR’s Religion in the Public Sphere initiative, which functions as a hub for students and scholars at the University of Toronto who are engaged with the study of religion as it intersects with public policy and public debate.

Religion, Culture and Politics Faculty

Airhart, Phyllis
Faculty of Theology
Gibbs, Robert
Department of Philosophy
Boddy, Janice
Department of Anthroplogy
Hewitt, Marsha
Toronto School of Theology
Bryant, Joseph
Department for the Study of Religion
Kingwell, Mark
Department of Philosophy
Coleman, Simon
Department for the Study of Religion
Klassen, Pamela
Department for the Study of Religion
Cunningham, Hilary
Department of Anthropology
Lambek, Michael
Department of Anthropology
Daswani, Girish
Department of Social Science
Marshall, Ruth
Department for the Study of Religion
Dhand, Arti
Department for the Study of Religion
Mills, Ken
Department of History
DiCenso, James
Department for the Study of Religion
Mittermaier, Amira
Department for the Study of Religion
Emon, Anver
Faculty of Law
Most, Andrea
Department of History
Fadel, Mohammad
Faculty of Law
O’Neill, Kevin
Department for the Study of Religion

 

Ethics signpostReligion, Ethics and Modern Thought

Critical approaches to theories and methods in the study of religion, with a focus on philosophy and intellectual history.

The interdisciplinary expertise of the faculty includes philosophy, psychology/psychoanalytic theory, political and social theory, feminist theory, legal theory, and ethical theory.

The field encompasses the historical and comparative study of the category of religion as well as thematic approaches to ethics including environmental ethics, social ethics, and bioethics.

Religion, Ethics and Modern Thought Faculty

Coleman, Simon
Department for the Study of Religion
Hewitt, Marsha
Toronto School of Theology
DiCenso, James
Department for the Study of Religion
Kingwell, Mark
Department of Philosophy
Emon, Anver
Faculty of Law
Marshall, Ruth
Department for the Study of Religion
Fadel, Mohammad
Faculty of Law
Mullin, Amy
Department of Philosophy
Gibbs, Robert
Department of Philosophy
Novak, David
Department for the Study of Religion
Goetschel, Willi
Department of Philosophy
O’Neill, Kevin
Department for the Study of Religion
Gooch, Paul
Department of Philosophy
Scharper, Stephen
Department of Anthropology
Green, Ken
Department for the Study of Religion
Stefanovic, Ingrid
Department of Philosophy

 

Medicine symbolReligion and Medicine

The critical study of varying epistemologies, ontologies, politics, and practices relative to embodiment, health, and wellbeing in religious contexts.

The expertise of the faculty joins the approaches of medical anthropology, history of medicine and science, psychology, and ethnography with the methods and theories of the study of religion.

Religion and Medicine Faculty

Boddy, Janice
Department of Anthropology
Mittermaier, Amira
Department for the Study of Religion
Garrett, Frances
Department for the Study of Religion
Novak, David
Department for the Study of Religion
Klassen, Pamela
Department for the Study of Religion
Raman, Srilata
Department for the Study of Religion

 

Antiquity vaseReligions of Mediterranean Antiquity

We focus on the context and interplay of religious traditions in the ancient world, from the 5th century BCE to 5th century CE.

Faculty expertise includes the study of Judaism, early Christianity, Greek and Roman religions, and various cults of the Mediterranean world, with the use of historical, philological, social-scientific, and archaeological methods.

Other contributing academic units include: Centre for Jewish Studies, Department of Classics, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Seminar on Culture and Religion in Antiquity, and Toronto School of Theology.

Religions of Mediterranean Antiquity Faculty

Bendlin, Andreas
Department of Historical Studies
Magee, John
Centre for Medieval Studies
Bryant, Joseph
Department for the Study of Religion
Marshall, John
Department for the Study of Religion
Donaldson, Terence
Toronto School of Theology
Metso, Sarianna
Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
Fox, Harry
Department for the Study of Religion
Najman, Hindy
Department for the Study of Religion
Harrak, Amir
Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
Newman, Judith
Department for the Study of Religion
Kloppenborg, John
Department for the Study of Religion
McLean, Bradley
Knox College
 Vaage, Leif
Emmanuel College