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50th Anniversary

News from the Religious Studies Chair February 2016

50th Anniversary, Presentations, Graduate Student Presentations, Alumni News

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 

Professor Pamela Klassen, Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto 

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.

50th Anniversary

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.  

Alumni News

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! 

And Finally...

Thanks for reading February's News from the Chair.  Please let me know of any errors or omissions.  Please remember that you can always find the department on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.