Feb 29, 2016
In February, the department's Teaching and Learning Committee hosted a Roundtable on Diversity in the Religious Studies Classroom. In addition to our own faculty members and graduate students, two distinguished professors of Religious Studies from Ontario universities were our guest speakers:
Professor Carol Duncan, 3M Teaching Fellow, Professor of Religious Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University
We were also joined by Dr. Michael Agnew, a recent PhD from our department and now a postdoctoral fellow at the McMaster Institute for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (MIIETL).
The roundtable began with opening remarks from Dr. Duncan and Dr. Klassen in response to the following three questions:
• What is "diversity" in the Religious Studies classroom?
• Are there particular challenges or opportunities for us today in the rapidly-changing demographics of the university classroom?
• How should we be training our graduate students, both as TAs and as future professionals, with regard to diversity?
Michael Agnew introduced us to some of his research into religious diversity on the McMaster campus, and we enjoyed a wide-ranging discussion on the many aspects of diversity that we encounter in our teaching.
Invitations have now gone out to alumni for our celebration in May of the fiftieth anniversary of our graduate programs in Religious Studies at McMaster. We are looking forward to seeing many of our distinguished alumni there! If you have not received an invitation, and you think you should have, then please drop us a line.
James A. Benn, "Seduction and Spellcraft in an Apocryphal Buddhist Scripture," Buddhist Studies Forum, University of British Columbia.
Graduate Student Presentations
Robert Jones (PhD student, Biblical). presented a paper entitled "The Righteous Sage: Attitudes Toward Hellenism in the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls" at the CRASIS Master Class and Annual Meeting at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.
Karl Shuve (BA, MA, McMaster, PhD Edinburgh) has a new book coming out this month, The Song of Songs and the Fashioning of Identity in Early Latin Christianity (Oxford: OUP, 2016). Congratulations, Karl!