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

President of the CCSR

Mathieu Boisvert est professeur à l’Université du Québec à Montréal depuis 1992. Il a effectué un BA en Religious Studies à l’Université McGill (1981-1984), un diplôme en langue palie au Siddhartha College de l’Université de Bombay (1984-1985), une maîtrise en études sud-asiatiques à l’Université de Toronto (1985-1987), puis un doctorat en pali et sanskrit à l’Université McGill (1987-1991).

Bien que sa formation d’origine soit les langues et les traditions anciennes de l’Asie du sud, il s’intéresse particulièrement, depuis son arrivée au Département de sciences des religions de l’UQAM, à l’articulation du religieux sud asiatique avec les sphères politiques et sociales.

Mathieu Boisvert a mené plusieurs recherches de terrain en Inde, au Sri Lanka, au Myanmar, au Népal et au Bhoutan, s’intéressant aux pratiques religieuses contemporaines telles le pèlerinage et l’ascétisme. Mathieu Boisvert est l’un des membres fondateurs du GRÌMER (Groupe de recherche interdisciplinaire sur le Montréal ethno-religieux) dont les objectifs étaient de faire valoir le rôle du religieux dans la reconstruction identitaire des nouveaux arrivants sur le territoire québécois. Il a travaillé extensivement avec les communautés hindoues d’origine tamoule sri lankaise et d’origine indienne. La situation des réfugiés d’origine bhoutanaise, présents au Québec depuis 2009, est également l’un de ses intérêts probants.

Mathieu Boisvert est également directeur et fondateur du Centre d’études et de recherche sur l’Inde, l’Asie du Sud et sa diaspora (CERIAS), logé à l’UQAM.  www.cerias.uqam.ca

Depuis 1998, Boisvert a mené plusieurs projets académiques en territoire sud-asiatique. Il a organisé, notamment, des séjours d’études pour étudiants de plusieurs semaines. Il a été l’instigateur du Programme court de deuxième cycle « Études de terrain en Inde », programme de 9 crédits où les étudiants doivent séjourner près d’un mois en Inde après avoir suivi deux séminaires de 45 heures à Montréal à l’automne et le printemps précédent le départ.

English

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.

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.

Mathieu Boisvert is the founder and the director of the Centre d’études et de recherche sur l’Inde, l’Asie du Sud et sa diaspora, hosted at the Université du Québec à Montréal.

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.

Past President

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

CSPS Representative

Lincoln H. Blumell is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto in the Department for the Study of Religion in 2009. He also holds a M.St. from the University of Oxford (Christ Church) and an M.A. and BA (Hons.) from the University of Calgary. His research focus is Christianity in the Roman and Byzantine periods with a special emphasis on Christianity in Egypt and Greek papyrology.

Department of Ancient Scripture
Brigham Young University
210F JSB

SQER President

David Koussens est professeur agréré à la Faculté de droit de l’Université de Sherbrooke, directeur du Centre d’études du religieux contemporain, titulaire de la chaire de recherche Droit, religion et laïcité et membre du Centre de recherche Société, Droit et Religions de l’Université de Sherbrooke (SoDRUS).

Après avoir suivi une formation de juriste en France et au Québec et exercé des fonctions juridiques au Conseil d’État et au Ministère français de la culture et des communications, il a complété un doctorat en sociologie à l’Université du Québec à Montréal. Il a été Max Weber Fellow à l’Institut universitaire européen de Florence (2010-2011) et chercheur postdoctoral au Centre de recherche en éthique de l’Université de Montréal (2011). Dans le cadre de ses recherches, il a également été chercheur invité à la London School of Economics (mars 2011), au Kadish Center for Morality, Law and Public Affairs de l’Université de Californie à Berkeley (août-septembre 2012) et au Centre Perelman de Philosophie du droit de l’Université libre de Bruxelles (avril-juin 2013).

Ses recherches proposent l’analyse comparée des représentations sociales sur la laïcité et des dispositifs juridiques nationaux de régulation de la diversité religieuse. Elles visent également à explorer les diverses qualifications du religieux par les acteurs sociaux, politiques et religieux, puis à retracer comment ces qualifications conditionnent la participation et l’inscription des groupes religieux dans l’espace public.

Faculté de droit
Université de Sherbrooke
Bureau A7-261
2500 boul. Université
Sherbrooke (Québec)
J1K 2R1

SCT president

Denise Couture, Ph D. (théologie), est professeure titulaire à la faculté de théologie et de sciences des religions de l’Université de Montréal. Elle est membre de l’équipe de direction du Centre de théologie et d’éthique contextuelles québécoises [CETECQ] et membre de la collective L’autre Parole. Ses champs d’expertise sont les suivants : théologie féministe, femmes et religions, interreligieux féministe; éthique théologique chrétienne, éthiques et religions, éthique et sexualité; théologie contextuelle, théologie et altermondialisme.

Vice-President of the CCSR

Member of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and thereby authorized to supervise theses.

Lori G. Beaman, Ph.D. is the Canada Research Chair in the Contextualization of Religion in a Diverse Canada, Professor in the Department of Classics and Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa, and the Principal Investigator of the Religion and Diversity Project, a thirty-seven-member international research team whose focus is religion and diversity.

She is internationally recognized for three core intellectual innovations: 1) the concept of deep equality as an alternative to tolerance and accommodation in responding to religious diversity; 2) the identification of the transformation of majoritarian religion into culture and heritage; and 3) the illumination of an emerging ‘will to religion’ and its impact on the growing category of those who choose no religion.

As the Canada Research Chair in Religious Diversity and Social Change, her research seeks to deepen understandings of the changes taking place in our religious and social landscapes resulting from the increasing number of people who identify as having no religion.  In the process of this exploration, her research identifies the range of interactions between these groups by mapping sites of conflict and negotiation and discovering how differences are negotiated or how conflict is intensified.

She is Principal Investigator of the Religion and Diversity Project, a $2.5 million, 7 year Major Collaborative Research Initiative funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council housed at the University of Ottawa. The international, comparative, multidisciplinary research project involves 37 team members at 24 universities in 5 countries (Canada, US, France, UK, Australia), and explores how religious diversity is ‘managed’ in global context. The project aims to address the following question: What are the contours of religious diversity in Canada and how can we best respond to the opportunities and challenges presented by religious diversity in ways that promote a just and peaceful society? Visit the project’s website: religionanddiversity.ca

University of Ottawa
Department of Classics and Religious Studies
55 Laurier Avenue East, Room 10125

Treasurer

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.

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

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
UQAM
C.P. 8888, succ. Centre-ville
Montréal (Québec)
H3C 3P8 CANADA

CSBS Representative

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,
S7N0W3

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)
H3C 3P8 CANADA

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
UQAM
C.P. 8888, succ. Centre-ville
Montréal (Québec)
H3C 3P8 CANADA

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.

Education

  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
Canada