The board and the executive committee

Secretary of the CCSR

Paul L. Gareau is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Native Studies and Research Fellow for the Rupertsland Centre for Métis Research at the University of Alberta. His research is grounded in critical theory and methodology relating to the social and cultural impacts of religion on identity formation. His academic publications and community research projects explore the influence of Catholicism on early and late modern identity, the legacy of colonial discourses on Indigenous and ethno-cultural minorities, and the multiplicity of experience in rural spaces. His research focuses on the Métis, Indigenous religiosity, youth, gender, la francophonie, and rural Canada.

Faculty of Native Studies
University of Alberta
2–58 Pembina Hall
Edmonton, AB
T6G 2H8


Dr. Adéla Sandness is a specialist on the Hindu goddess Sarasvati in both classical Hindu and ancient Indian mythology and ritual. Her research in Vedic Studies is influenced by both the French school of Indology and the Moscow Tartu school of semiotics. Assistant Professor in St. Francis Xavier University’s Department of Religious Studies, Dr. Sandness has taught in the areas of Hinduism and Buddhism for over ten years at institutions which also include McGill University and the University of Regina.

Dr. Sandness received her doctorate in religious studies from the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes of the Sorbonne (Paris) where she held a fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Her dissertation on Sarasvati in the Rg-Veda explores early, classical and contemporary perceptions of the nature of this goddess. It also addresses such related themes as the Indian cosmology, the body, gender, the environment, creation, poetry, and sacrifice. Her previous research includes work on the classical Hindu goddess Durga as well as study of contemporary Hindu/Muslim relations in India.

Dr. Sandness has also conducted research on traditional practices in Montreal’s South Asian community. In addition to preparing French and English publications regarding her work on Sarasvati, Dr. Sandness is currently translating for publication a series of key works from French Indological tradition. Dr. Sandness has received invitations to speak at the XI and XIIth World Sanskrit Conferences, the third International Vedic Workshop, and the XXVIth International Congress of Asian and North African Studies.

She is presently member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the Studies in Religion, journal of the Canadian Society for the Study of Religion. She has served on the boards of the Canadian Society for the Study of Religion and the Société Québecoise pour l’Étude de la Réligion. She is a member of the Société Asiatique (Paris) as well as the American Oriental Society and the International Association for Sanskrit Studies; she is a life-member of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (Pune). Dr. Sandness is a collaborator with Canadian composer Michael Oesterle on the creation of an opera about the goddess Sarasvati which will be produced in Toronto. She has been interviewed on Canadian Tamil and Hindu radio stations and is often asked to speak about Sarasvati, and other aspects of Hindu mythology, to members of the Canadian Hindu community.

Department of Religious Studies. St. Francis Xavier University
P.O. Box 5000
Antigonish, NS
B2G 2W5

Vice-president and co-editor for the French language book series «Culture, société, religion» with PUM

Mathieu Boisvert has been a professor at l’Université du Québec à Montréal since 1992. He has completed a BA in Religious Studies at McGill University (1981-84), a diploma in Pali language at Siddharth College of Mumbai University (1984-85), master’s in South Asian Studies at the University of Toronto (1985-87) and a Doctorate in Pali and Sanskrit at McGill University (1987-91).

Given his initial training in languages and in ancient South Asian traditions, since his arrival at UQAM’s Department of Religious Studies, Mathieu Boisvert has shown particular interest in the interaction of South Asian religions with political and social spheres. He now works as the director of graduate programs in religious studies at UQAM.

Mathieu Boisvert has led numerous research projects in India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Nepal, and Bhutan, focusing on contemporary religious practices such as pilgrimage, asceticism and those of sexual minorities.

He is also one of the founders of GRIMER (Groupe de recherche interdisciplinaire sur le Montréal ethno-religieux), which showcased religion’s role in reconstructing the identities of people immigrating to Quebec. Mathieu Boisvert has worked extensively with Hindu communities of Tamil/Sri Lankan and Indian origins. He also worked with Bhutanese refugees who have lived in Quebec since 2009. Since 1998, Boisvert has headed many academic projects in South Asian territories and notably organized educational student trips spanning multiple weeks. He also founded the short graduate program “Études de terrain en Inde,” a nine-credit program wherein students stay in India for close to one month after having taken two 45-hour seminars in Montreal, one in autumn and the other the spring before departure.

Mathieu Boisvert is the founder of CERIAS.

Département des sciences des religions – UQAM. Université de Québec à Montréal
Montréal, Québec
H3C 3P8


Christopher Austin was born and raised in Montreal, and hold BA and MA degrees in Religious Studies from Concordia University, and a PhD in Religious Studies from McMaster University. Her doctoral dissertation treated the two concluding books of the Mahabharata, a 4th century Sanskrit epic poem. He has studied Sanskrit at the University of British Columbia, McMaster University, and the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in Pune, India, where he also undertook manuscript research on Mahabharata commentarial literature. Before coming to Dalhousie, he taught Introductory and Intermediate Sanskrit at McMaster University and South Asian Religions at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

The figure around whom her research revolves is the Hindu god Vishnu, particularly in his manifestation as Vasudeva Krishna. Four Sanskrit texts — the Mahabharata, Harivamsha, Vishnu Purana and Bhagavata Purana — constitute the key corpus for this research. Presently he’s working on the extended family of Krishna as treated in these poems, and the changing understanding in Hindu religious culture of the mythic and human identity of Krishna and his descendants.

Religious Studies Program. Department of classics. Dalhousie University
Dalhousie University
Marion McCain Building, Room 2185
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada  B3H 4R2

Student representative

Marie-Josée Blanchard is a PhD student currently enrolled in an interdisciplinary humanities program at Concordia University in Montreal and a member of the Center for Sensory Studies (CSS). Holding a B.A. in Psychology (University of Moncton) and an M.A. in Religious Studies (University of Ottawa), her research interests currently focus on the intersection between Hinduism, devotion, classical Indian dance, Indian aesthetics, culture, emotions and the senses. Marie-Josée’s PhD project explores the sensory and emotional nature of the notion of rasa in bharatanātyam, a classical Indian dance-drama (among many) that has been through a cultural renewal in the past century. Her most recent publication and work have been exploring the role of sense perception and the representation of Canadian aboriginal sensory models in museum space.

SCT representative

Faculté de théologie et études religieuses. Université de Sherbrooke
2500 boulevard de l’Université
Sherbrooke, QC
J1K 2R1

SQER Representative

Patrice Brodeur est professeur agrégé de la Faculté de Théologie et sciences des religions. Il est aussi titulaire de la Chaire du Canada Islam, pluralisme et globalisation.

Faculté de théologie et de sciences des religions. Université de Montréal
3333, chemin Queen-Mary
Montréal, QC
H3V 1A2

CSBS Representative

Dr. Keith Bodner [PhD, University of Aberdeen] is Professor of Religious Studies at Crandall University (formerly Atlantic Baptist University), with a concentration in Hebrew Language and Old Testament.

Until 2005, he was Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Tyndale University College.  Keith is the author of National Insecurity: a primer on the First Book of Samuel; Power Play: a primer on the Second Book of Samuel and David Observed: A King in the Eyes of His Court.

Dr. Bodner is teaching an online course on Judges during the Summer 2015 term.

Crandall University
Box 6004
Moncton, NB E1C 9L7

CSPS Representative and co-editor for the French language book series «Culture, société, religion» with PUM

Professeur à la Faculté de théologie et de sciences religieuses depuis 1979, Paul-Hubert Poirier consacre son enseignement et ses recherches aux origines chrétiennes, à la littérature chrétienne ancienne, aux langues de l’Orient chrétien (syriaque et éthiopien), à la paléographie grecque, au gnosticisme et au manichéisme. Ces dernières années, il a travaillé à la publication d’une traduction française intégrale des Écrits gnostiques découverts à Nag Hammadi, qui paraîtra dans la Bibliohtèque de la Pléiade (Gallimard) en septembre 2007. Il prépare également, en collaboration avec Thomas Schmidt et Agathe Roman, une nouvelle édition des versions grecque et syriaque du Contre les Manichéens de Titus de Bostra, un auteur syrien de la fin du IVe siècle. Depuis de nombreuses années, il travaille également sur les Actes de Thomas, dont il doit donner une nouvelle édition commentée (en collaboration avec Yves Tissot, Neuchâtel).

Faculté de théologie et de sciences religieuses. Université Laval (Pavillon Félix-Antoine Savard)
Québec, QC
G1K 7P4

CSSR Representative

Rubina Ramji is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Cape Breton University.  Born in East Africa and raised in Canada, Ruby received her B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Religion and Culture at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, ON.  She received her PhD in Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa in December 2003, which focused on images of Islamic women in various media discourses, including film and television.  She followed the PhD with a postdoctoral fellowship, which focused on issues of gender, ethnicity and identity amongst Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu immigrant youth in Canada.

Rubina teaches a wide range of courses, including courses on Islam, Christianity, Religion and Gender as well as Film and Popular Culture.  She finds a way to show movies and television clips in all her classes.

After serving as a Chair of the Religion, Film and Visual Culture Group for the American Academy of Religion and then the steering committee, Rubina continues to serve on the Executive Committee for the Canadian Society for the Study of Religion.  She is also the Senior Editor of the online peer-reviewed journal entitled Golem: Journal of Religion and Monsters and the Film Editor of the Journal of Religion and Film.

Her publications focus on understanding the images of Islam in North American mass media and its effects on Muslim identity.  Her recent research focuses on the emerging religious identities of second generation immigration Muslim youth in Canada.  Rubina is the author of a variety of articles and chapters in books, including The Continuum Companion to Religion and Film (Continuum Press 2009), Globalization, Religion and Culture (Brill Publishing 2008),Women and Religion in the West: Challenging Secularization (Ashgate Publishing, 2008),Mediating Religion: Conversations in Media, Religion and Culture (T&T Clark Ltd, 2003) andGod in the Details: American Religion in Popular Culture (Routledge, 2001).

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. Cape Breton University
Stdney, Nova Scotia
B1P 6L2

CTS Representative

Professor, Theological Department, University of St. Michael’s CollegeRay Vander Zaag –  Assistant Professor & Program Coordinator of International Development Studies, Canadian Mennonite University.

University of St Michael’s. Faculty of Theology
81 St Mary Street
Toronto, ON
M5S 1J4

Assistant to the editors of Studies in Religion

Sessional Instructor for Carleton’s College of Humanities and the University of Ottawa’s Department of Classics and Religious Studies. He received his Hon. BA in Classical Languages from the University of Guelph in 2000, and then went on to complete an MA in Religion and Culture from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2002, where he wrote a thesis on the Greek fragments of Heracleon, the earliest known commentary on the Gospel of John. He received his doctorate in Religious Studies from Université Laval in 2006, where he studied numeric patterning in Coptic Manichaean literature at the Institut d’études anciennes . He is interested in the religious culture of Late Antiquity in both the later Roman and Sasanian Persian contexts, with a specialized focus on the translation and interpretation of texts in Coptic, Greek, and Syriac. He is currently writing a biography of Mani and a commentary on Manichaean fragments found in Titus of Bostra.

Department of Classics and Religious Studies. University of Ottawa
21 Victor-Beaudry
Gatineau, QC
J9H 7A9

English editor for Studies in Religion

Domaines d’expertises

  • Études islamiques
  • Femmes et islam
  • Religion et nouveaux médias
  • Philosophie islamique (arabe et persane)

Département des sciences des religions. Université du Québec à Montréal
C.P. 8888, succ. Centre-ville
Montréal (Québec)

English language book series editor «Advancing Studies in Religion» with McGill-Queens University Press

Professor of Hebrew Scriptures

Education/Degrees: B.A. (Hons. Near Eastern Archaeology), Wilfrid Laurier University (1993), M.A. (Religion), Ph.D. (Comparative Literary Studies), Carleton University (1995, 2001)

Biography: Since I first started learning biblical Hebrew in 1989 as an undergraduate in archaeology, I’ve been fascinated by the text and world of the Hebrew Bible. I hope that I communicate my passion for the text to students, and that students learn the wonders of the biblical texts.

Research and Teaching Interests: Hebrew Bible, especially Persian-period texts such as Chronicles, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi; Comparative approaches to ancient texts; Literary theory, especially the works of M.M. Bakhtin, genre theory; Feminist approaches to biblical texts.

Courses include BA 110 (Introduction to the Jewish Bible), BA 221 (Pentateuch, with a focus on Creation Texts), BA 226 (Prophetic Books of the Hebrew Scriptures, with a focus on Haggai-Zechariah-Malachi), BA 229 (Feminist Exegesis of the Hebrew Scriptures), BA 329 (Inner-biblical Interpretation), and introductory and intermediate courses in biblical Hebrew language.

St. Andrew’s College. Department of Religion & Culture. University of Saskatchewan
1121 College Drive,
Saskatoon, SK Canada,

English language book series editor «Studies in Christianity and Judaism» with McGill-Queens University Press

Terry Donaldson is Lord and Lady Coggan Professor of New Testament Studies at Wycliffe College, and has had a status-only appointment with the Department for the Study of Religion since 2001. His current research has to do with ethnicity and identity formation within “Gentile Christianity” to the end of the second century. More generally, his research interests have centred on the process by which the movement eventually known as Christianity developed—within a century or so–from its beginnings as an eschatological renewal movement entirely within the Jewish environment into a largely Gentile religion, separate from the synagogue. His areas of teaching and publications include Second Temple Judaism and its literature; Jewish “universalism”; Matthew; Paul; Gentile Christianity; anti-Judaism and the New Testament. Before coming to Toronto (1999), he taught at the College of Emmanuel and St. Chad (Saskatoon), with a cross-appointment to the Department of Religious Studies (University of Saskatchewan).

Wycliffe College
5 Hoskin Ave
Totonto, ON M5S 1H7, Canada

French editor for Studies in Religion

Géraldine Mossière est professeure adjointe à la Faculté de théologie et de sciences des religions de l’Université de Montréal. Elle est cochercheure du projet Pluralisme et ressources symboliques: les nouveaux groupes religieux au Québec (CRSH, FQRSC), dirigé par Deirdre Meintel. Elle mène également un programme de recherche sur les secondes générations d’immigrants dans les églises pentecôtistes, en particulier leurs pratiques matrimoniales. Ses travaux de recherche portent sur la religion dans les sociétés contemporaines selon une perspective ethnographique. Elle s’intéresse entre autres à la diversité religieuse, aux liens entre religion, migration et transnationalisme, aux églises pentecôtistes africaines ainsi qu’aux subjectivités croyantes dans la modernité (itinéraires religieux individuels), notamment les parcours de conversion.

Faculté de Théologie et de Sciences des Religions. Université de Montréal
Case postale 6128, succursale Centre-ville
Montréal (QC), Canada
H3C 3J7

French book review editor

Domaines d’expertises 

  • Bible
  • Judaïsmes
  • Christianismes
  • Religion et mort
  • Méthodes et herméneutique en exégèse des textes anciens

Département des sciences des religions. Université du Québec à Montréal
C.P. 8888, succ. Centre-ville
Montréal (Québec)

English book review editor for Studies in Religion

W. Rory Dickson is Assistant Professor of Islamic religion and culture at the University of Winnipeg. His interests are in Sufism, Contemporary Islam, and philosophy. Dickson is the author of Living Sufism in North America: Between Tradition and Transformation (SUNY Press, 2015). He has published articles in Social Compass, the Journal of Contemporary Islam, and Studies in Religion, and presented at a number of national and international conferences.

Department of Religion and Culture.
University of Winnipeg
515 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB, R3B2E9

Member at large

Domaines d’expertises

  • Christianisme (perspective transnationale)
  • Histoire socio-religieuse québécoise
  • Missions chrétiennes (XIXe-XXe siècles)
  • Histoire orale
  • Dialogue interreligieux

Cheminement académique

  1. Postdoctorat (2012-2013)
    Centre for the Study of World Christianity
    University of Edinburgh
  2. PhD in Humanities (2008-2012)
    Concordia University
  3. MA Science politique (2003-2005)
    (Concentration Analyse et théorie politiques)
    Université du Québec à Montréal
  4. BA Science politique et Philosophie (1999-2002)
    McGill University

Département des sciences des religions. Université du Québec à Montréal
C.P. 8888, succ. Centre-ville
Montréal (Québec)

Member at large

Areas of specialization

Early Christianity in the Greco-Roman world, Biblical studies, History of Christianity, Methodology in the study of religion (anthropology, sociology, and the comparative study of world religions). Topics of interest relating to religion in the ancient world include: healing, travel and pilgrimage, ritual, social identity, and group relations.


  1. PhD, University of Ottawa
  2. MA, University of Calgary
  3. BA, University of Calgary
  4. BComm, University of Calgary

Faculty lead for Interdisciplinary Research Group on Travel
Director, Concordia Institute for Christian Studies and Society

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. Concordia University of Edmonton
Concordia University of Edmonton
7128 Ada Boulevard. Office: FH206
Edmonton AB T5B 4E4