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Department of Anthropology

Discover Your Focus

Texts & Tradition

Learn how authoritative religious texts have been composed, understood, interpreted, and reinterpreted by their diverse communities.

Culture & Contemporary Society

Explore the diverse ways in which religion impacts our contemporary world, both locally and globally.

Religion & The Human Condition

Discover how religious thinkers have grappled with the important philosophical, ethical, and political questions posed by various religions.

Religions in Historical Perspective

Understand the ways in which diverse religious practices and ideas have developed from antiquity to the present.

Dr. Hanna Tervanotko joins the Department of Religious Studies

Dr. Tervanotko joins McMaster's Department of Religious Studies in the Fall of 2017. Her interests include women in antiquity, Qumran, and Jewish interpretation of scripture.

Jun 23, 2017

Department writing retreat a huge success

Last month the Religious Studies department hosted an all-day writing retreat for our graduate students.

Jun 19, 2017

Celebrating 33 years of service. Dr. Stephen Westerholm retires.

The Department of Religious Studies recently celebrated Dr. Stephen Westerholm's lengthy career and 33 years of service to McMaster University.

May 11, 2017

Spring-Summer courses offered in Religious Studies

From learning how to become a critical consumers of news to the lighter side of religion. The Religious Studies Department has some great courses that will to keep you interested from first class to last.

Apr 25, 2017

The Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls as Evidence of a Second-Temple Period Literary Movement

Video: Daniel Machiela guest lecture in Bar-Ilan University and Hebrew University.

Apr 13, 2017

"We have made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another" A verse of the Quran and Western Errors

The Annual Global Islam Lecture and the Department of Religious Studies welcome Dr. Lynda Clarke from Concordia University on Wednesday March 22, 2017. Talk will be held in HSC 1A6 at 7:30 p.m.

Mar 06, 2017

Hons.B.A. Honours Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies

The BA Honours program offers students a deeper understanding of the discipline of Religious Studies and the subfields of Asian religious traditions, Biblical Studies, and the Western religious traditions, including Islam, Christianity and Judaism. In Canada's multicultural society and an increasingly globalized world, a strong grounding in critical thought and analysis is essential to navigating and understanding a variety of religious issues across cultures.

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Hons.B.A. Combined Honours in Religious Studies and Another Subject

Students graduate with a double major in Religious Studies and another subject.

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B.A. Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies

The 3-year BA program provides students with a foundation in the field of Religious Studies and its main subfields to help prepare you to work in Canada’s multicultural society.

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Minor Minor in Religious Studies

Students learn about theories of religion, the intersection of religion and culture, and religious phenomena around the world.

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Minor Minor in Japanese Studies

Students develop a working knowledge of the Japanese language and study the culture, people, and society of Japan.

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Minor Minor in Jewish Studies

Students explore Jewish Studies, a multidisciplinary field devoted to the study of Judaism and Jewish history, thought, culture, and communities.

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Minor Minor in Religion and Diversity

Students develop an understanding of religious diversity in contemporary Canada and beyond.

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Minor Interdisciplinary Minor in Muslim Studies

New in Fall 2017! The minor in Muslim Studies provides the opportunity to study Muslim beliefs, practices, thought, and history in a variety of geographic locales and timeframes.

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M.A. Master of Arts in Religious Studies

One of the first graduate programs in Religious Studies in Canada (established in 1964), McMaster University has been a leading center for the scholarly study of religion for more than four decades. The Department has three graduate fields of study (Asian, Biblical and Western) and research is conducted in a range of topics and traditions, time periods and cultures, employing a wide variety of approaches: textual, ethnographic, historical, philosophical, theological, philological. While the faculty and areas of research expertise have changed somewhat over the years, the Department’s commitment to the open, critical, and multidisciplinary study of religion—past and present, East and West, theoretical and practical—remains passionate and strong.

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Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Studies

One of the first graduate programs in Religious Studies in Canada (established in 1964), McMaster University has been a leading center for the scholarly study of religion for more than four decades. The Department has three graduate fields of study (Asian, Biblical and Western) and research is conducted in a range of topics and traditions, time periods and cultures, employing a wide variety of approaches: textual, ethnographic, historical, philosophical, theological, philological.

Learn more