In the Department of Religion, all major world religions are studied as both historical and living traditions. The department studies religious languages, world-views, ethical systems, practices, organizations, and institutions as historically connected in complex ways to the cultures and societies in which they operate.
University Distinguished Professor Dawne McCance is an internationally recognized Derrida scholar. Dr. McCance has published six books, numerous book chapters and journal essays, and has delivered invited papers around the world. Her current book project is based on Derrida’s as yet unpublished or translated 1975-76 seminar, La vie la mort, a seminar in which Derrida engages Nobel Prize winning molecular biologist François Jacob’s 1970 publication, La Logique du Vivant in relation to Nietzsche’s texts on the university institution and Freud’s Beyond the Pleasure Principle. She has worked as advisor, internal or external examiner, with over 130 graduate students. She is also the recipient, as sole applicant, of over $750,000 in SSHRC funding. Her teaching areas include ethics, world religions, psychology and religion, body history, philosophy, and psychoanalysis. For eighteen years, she as served an Editor of Mosaic: an interdisciplinary critical journal.
Kenneth G. MacKendrick completed his dissertation on the early writings of Jürgen Habermas at the Centre for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto and has been published as Discourse, Desire, and Fantasy in Jurgen Habermas’ Critical Theory (Routledge, 2008). He is working on Evil: A Critical Primer for Equinox Press and has recently written essays on mythmaking and superheroes, imaginary companions, and the writings of Chuck Palahniuk. In addition to his interests in critical theory and religion, he also teaches on the topics of evil and world religions, death and concepts of the future, cognitive theories of religion, religion and the imagination, religion and democracy, and the supernatural in popular culture.