Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

Harold Coward

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pp. ix-xii

Fifty years ago, as the earliest religious studies programs were being established in the arts faculties of Canadian univeristies, I was completing a B.Th. degree in Christian theology at St. Stephen’s College, the United Church Seminary at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Forty-five years ago, I enrolled in the new religious studies graduate program...

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Chpater 1. Early Days: From Theology in Seminaries to Non-sectarian Religious Studies

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pp. 1-12

Religion was important in the early history of many Canadian universities and colleges, and has continued to make an important contribution. Early on, seminaries were established to teach ministers and full-time church workers the doctrines and practices of their denominations. Christianity was assumed to be the one true religion, and the denominational formulation...

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Character 2. The Golden Decade 1966–1976

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pp. 13-50

The decade 1966-1976 saw the shift from the theological, mainly Biblebased study of religion, to a comparative, interdisciplinary approach that resulted in the formation of departments of religious studies in arts faculties in universities across Canada. Although one or two departments began as early as 1964–1965 (e.g., the University of BC), the history of religious...

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Chapter 3. McMaster Days: My Personal Experiences of McMaster in the Early 1970s

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pp. 51-68

The golden decade (1966–1976), the period when departments of religious studies were springing up across Canada, was the context in which my life story of becoming a student of religious studies begins.
As I said in Chapter 1, while growing up as a boy on the southern Alberta prairie...

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Chapter 4. McMaster’s Contribution to Religious Studies in Canada

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pp. 69-80

Until I began doing the research for this chapter, I had not recognized the full extent and significance of the contribution of McMaster’s graduate program to the development of religious studies in Canada. Let me begin with an anecdote told by Wayne McCready, a McMaster Ph.D. in New Testament, supervised by Ed Sanders. Wayne tells how a good colleague...

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Chapter 5. Growing into Maturity: Development of Religious Studies Departments from the Late 1970s to the Present

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pp. 81-144

In his Religious Studies in Atlantic Canada: A State-of-the-Art Review, Paul Bowlby notes that religious studies have been at the forefront of defining the postmodern preoccupation with otherness, which has received much scholarly attention in humanities faculties since the late 1970s (Bowlby with Faulkner, 2001, p. 3). Bowlby notes that as religious studies programs matured...

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Chapter 6. The Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria

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pp. 145-178

While the impetus for an academic study of religion first took shape in arts or humanities faculties and their development of departments of religious studies (see chapters 2 and 5), a second and new initiative occurred at the University of Victoria in 1991–1992. The Centre for Studies in Religion and Society (CSRS) is an interdisciplinary research centre with a mandate...

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Chapter 7. Taking Seriously Our Interdisciplinary Heritage: The Future of Religious Studies

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pp. 179-198

From its beginnings in the 1960s, religious studies has taken its interdisciplinary heritage seriously. As noted in chapters 1 and 2, founding visions for the academic study of religion in the 1960s stressed the need for an interdisciplinary approach. George Grant’s vision stressed that the study of religions was to be interdisciplinary as well as comparative...

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Chapter 8. Conclusion

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pp. 199-212

Religion has played a major role in human history and deserves a prominent place in academic studies. As noted in Chapter 1, theological colleges and seminaries were often important in the early foundation of Canadian universities, and consequently the early academic study of religion in Canada was dominated by Christianity. During the 1960s...

References

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pp. 213-218

Index

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pp. 219-226