Are you interested in Religious Studies?
-Do you want to uncover the origins and history of religious traditions?
-Are you interested in the lived issues and contemporary concerns of today’s religions?
-Would you like to examine all the major world faiths?
The study of religion has a valid and vital place in a liberal arts program and is not confined to those preparing for theological studies.
The study of religion deals with the deepest and most basic questions of human existence: the meaning and purpose of life, relations with a divine presence and power, interpersonal relations and ultimate human destiny. Mount Allison’s Religious Studies program takes an historical and critical approach, utilizing the insights and advances of modern scholarship. Our program does not advocate one faith rather than another, and neither does it proselytize on behalf of one denomination.
New Course Fall 2018!
This course provides an introduction to Islam and its varied mystical traditions known collectively as "Sufism." Through focusing on the theme of encounter, prevalent in Sufism, we will explore debates on perception, gender, and orthodoxy, and Islam’s relationship with its Byzantine and Syriac Christian neighbors from Antiquity to the present. We will interrogate the category of “Sufism” in the West and how contemporary media and politics represent Islamic spiritual devotion. No prior knowledge of Islam is necessary.
Summer research in the Bahamas
This summer, students Percy Miller and Aidan Legault visited the Bahamas with Dr. Fiona Black. Read more on mta.ca.
New Course in Fall 2018
Jensen-Fellows receives Mansbridge Internship
Fourth-year student Myfanwy Jensen-Fellows spent the summer in Nepal. Read more about her experience or attend her presentation on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Ralph Pickard Bell Library theatre as part of International Education Week.
Religion and Lyme disease
Third year student Percy Miller is interested in how faith and medicine intersect. Earlier this year, she was approached by Dr. Vett Lloyd from the Biology Department to interview Canadians about how they use religion or spirituality to cope with a Lyme disease diagnosis. Percy was supervised by Dr. Fiona Black and received funding from the MTA Lyme Research Network to use a Religious Studies-based approach to understand patient experiences. "We found that there was often a very important relationship to nature for Lyme disease patients which tied in a lot to their religion or spirituality." Percy will share her results with other researchers in Dr. Lloyd’s Lab for Lyme Disease Research.
The Road to Happiness
Kira Gill-Maher is a third year International Relations student who took Dr. Barbra Clayton’s Eastern Religions and Contemporary Ethical Issues (RELG3921) for credit towards her Religious Studies minor. Her assignment on Gross National Happiness (GNH) blossomed into an ongoing research project. This summer, Kira received a travel scholarship to attend the World Youth Buddhist Symposium in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She’ll continue her research by applying the GNH questionnaire to the university community. Kira notes, “In the Religious Studies Department, there are so many opportunities to do your own research and work closely with profs.” Recently, she also received a highly competitive Fessenden-Trott Scholarship.
Dr. Susie Andrews’ new book—The Rules of Engagement—coedited with Cuilan Liu and Jinhua Chen—has been published. Check it out!
Religious Studies Grad Receives Fellowship
Maggie Mitchell (’16) was inspired by an assignment in Dr. Susie Andrew’s Religions of China (RELG 3301) course. “I had never really studied anything about China before. We picked a religious object and got to work with that for the semester.” After graduating with her honours in Religious Studies, Maggie will be studying medieval and contemporary Chinese Buddhism at the University of British Colombia where she was accepted into the Master of Arts program. She received a prestigious Tianzhu-SSHRC Fellowship to fund her research and work with other scholars on the From the Ground Up project. Congratulations, Maggie!
Dr. Clayton’s Buddhism students met with Marshview Middle School students to teach them about mindfulness.
This event was funded through a Mount Allison University Student Affairs Service Learning Grant.
Thank you to the GEBIS Buddhist monastery on Prince Edward Island!
In March 2017, Religious Studies students visited the monks for a day and learned about life at the monastery.
Associate Professor Dr. Susie Andrews teaches East Asian religions. Read more in the Fall 2016 issue of the Record.
*About our website banner image
The colourful banner at the top of the page is a photograph of a child’s quilt made by a Religious Studies faculty member. The theme is “Garden”. The quilt evokes rich concepts of the environment and paradise. The design contrasts the popular, modern postage stamp pattern with ancient medieval motifs.