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Fifty Years of Religious Studies in Canada

A Personal Retrospective

By Harold Coward
Subjects Education
Series Editions SR Hide Details
Hardcover : 9781771121156, 240 pages, November 2014
Paperback : 9781771121163, 240 pages, November 2014
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781771121040, 240 pages, November 2014
Ebook (PDF) : 9781771121033, 240 pages, November 2014

Table of contents

Table of Contents for Fifty Years of Religious Studies in Canada: A Personal Retrospective by Harold Coward
1. Early Days: From Theology in Seminaries to Non-Sectarian Religious Studies
2. The Golden Decade 1966–1976
3. McMaster Days: My Personal Experiences of McMaster in the Early 1970s
4. McMaster's Contribution to Religious Studies in Canada
5. Growing into Maturity: Development of Religious Studies Departments from the Late 1970s to the Present
6. The Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria
7. Taking Seriously Our Interdisciplinary Heritage: The Future of Religious Studies
8. Conclusion


In Canadian universities in the early 1960s, no courses were offered on Hinduism, Buddhism, or Islam. Only the study of Christianity was available, usually in a theology program in a church college or seminary. Today almost every university in North America has a religious studies department that offers courses on Western and Eastern religions as well as religion in general. Harold Coward addresses this change in this memoir of his forty-five-year career in the development of religious studies as a new academic field in Canada. He also addresses the shift from theology classes in seminaries to non-sectarian religious studies faculties of arts and humanities; the birth and growth of departments across Canada from the 1960s to the present; the contribution of McMaster University to religious studies in Canada and Coward’s Ph.D. experience there; the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria; and the future of religious studies as a truly interdisciplinary enterprise.
Coward’s retrospective, while not a history as such, documents information from his varied experience and wide network of colleagues that is essential for a future formal history of the discipline. His story is both personally engaging and richly informative about the development of the field.