Fifty Years of Religious Studies in Canada
A Personal Retrospective
Hardcover 240 pp.
Online discount: 25%
Paper 240 pp.
Online discount: 25%
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.
Harold Coward is a professor emeritus of history and the founding director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He served as president of the Canadian Society for the Study of Religion and was the founding editor of the Journal for Hindu-Christian Studies and editor of the WLU Press series The Study of Religion in Canada. He has authored twenty books along with many edited books, chapters and articles. His publications include Scripture in the World Religions (2002), Mantra: Hearing the Divine in India and America (2004), and The Perfectibility of Human Nature in Eastern and Western Thought (2008).
By the same author
Silence, the Word and the Sacred, E.D. Blodgett and Harold Coward, editors
Readings in Eastern Religions, 2nd Edition, Harold Coward, Ronald Neufeldt, and Eva K. Neumaier
A Cross-Cultural Dialogue on Health Care Ethics, Harold Coward and Pinit Ratanakul, editors
Hard Choices: Climate Change in Canada, Harold Coward and Andrew J. Weaver, editors