Department of Religious Studies

Full Time Faculty


A photo of Dr. Alexander Soucy.

Dr. Alexander Soucy

Religious Studies
Professor
Chair
Email: alec.soucy@smu.ca

 

Primary Field of Study
Vietnamese Buddhism

Secondary Fields of Study
Buddhism and globalization; anthropology of religion; Bicycle culture
 
Education
Ph.D. in Anthropology, The Australian National University
M.A. History and Philosophy of Religion, Concordia University
 
Publications
Buddhism in the Global Eye: Beyond East and West. London: Bloomsbury Academic. (co-edited with John Harding, Victor S?gen Hori) 2020.
 
"Global Flows of Vietnamese Zen." In Jørn Borup and Marianne Qvortrup Fibiger(eds.) Eastspirit: Transnational spirituality and Religious Circulation in East and West pp.149-171. Brill Publishing 2017.
 
"Vietnamese Traditions." In Michael Jerryson (ed.) Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism pp. 177-195. Oxford University Press 2016.
 
"Constructing Modern Zen Spaces in Vietnam." In Michael Dickhardt and Andrea Lauser (eds.) Religion Place and Modernity: Spatial Articulations in Southeast and East Asia pp. 125-145. Brill Publishing 2016.
 
Flowers on the Rock: Global and Local Buddhisms in Canada. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press. (co-edited with John Harding, Victor S?gen Hori) 2014.
 
"Wedding Invitations and Relationship Management in Hanoi, Vietnam." The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology 15.2 (2014):141-157.
 
The Buddha Side: Gender Power and Buddhist Practice in Vietnam. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press 2012.
 
Wild Geese: Studies of Buddhism in Canada. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press. (co-edited with John Harding, Victor S?gen Hori) 2010.
 
"Language, Orthodoxy and Performances of Authority in Vietnamese Buddhism." Journal of the American Academy of Religion 77.2 (2009):348-371.
 
Biography
Alexander Soucy central research question started with how gender relates to the ways that people engage and think about their religious practice. He has been looking at how globalization and modernity have reshaped Buddhism at a transnational level. As an anthropologist, he takes on these topics from an ethnographic perspective. Most recently he has been looking at how global discourses of Buddhism and modernity have fuelled an interest in Zen Buddhism in Hanoi, Vietnam. His research interest is now shifting towards looking at re-enchantment and religious resurgence. He is also leading a research project looking at the development of a bicycle culture in Halifax, Canada, in affiliation with Saint Mary’s Centre for the Study of Sport and Health.


A photo of Dr. Magi Abdul-Masih.

Dr. Magi Abdul-Masih

Religious Studies
Associate Professor
Chair in Catholic Studies, Undergraduate advisor
Email: magiabdul-masih@smu.ca

 

Primary Field of Study
The Catholic Church Today; Contemporary Religions in the Middle East; Orientalism

Education
B.A. (Bryn Mawr),
M.A. (Johns Hopkins),
Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins),
M.Div. (University of St. Michael's),
Ph.D. (University of St. Michael's)

Publications

BOOK

2001 Edward Schillebeeckx and Hans Frei: A Conversation on Method and Christology.
Wilfred Laurier University Press, Waterloo, Ontario.

ARTICLES

2019 Review: “Pilate’s Question: Ideology and Religion,” Toronto Journal of Theology, 2019

2019 Dr. Lindsay Maccumber-Jones and Dr. Abdul-Masih “Noah: A Journey to the Heart of God”. Journal of Religion and Film and hosted by the University of Toronto, 2019.

2014 “Orientalism in Theology” in Christian and the Middle East Conflict

2007 Review of Engaging the Bible: Critical Readings From Contemporary Women, Studies in Religion,

2002 “Constructing Identities: An Egyptian Looks at Jews.” Ecumenist, volume 39, number 1.

2000-2001 “Reflections on Hope.” Cornerstone, issue 23.

2000 “The Challenge of Present Day Palestine to Contemporary Theology” Studies in Religion (Canadian Journal of Religion), volume 29, #4.

1986 “Biochemical Studies on the Mutagen 6-N-Hydroxylaminopurine: Synthesis of the Deoxynucleoside Triphosphate and Its Incorporation into DNA in vitro”Written in collaboration with Dr. M.J. Bessman and published in Journal of Biological Chemistry, 1986, 261, 2020-2026.

1984 “Biochemical Studies on the Eukaryotic Mutagen 6-N-Hydroxylaminopurine” Written in collaboration with Dr. M.J. Bessman and published in Federation Proceedings, 1984, 43, 1887.

COMISSIONED ARTICLES:

IDRC “For Human Development: The Holistic Triangle”
2001 An article written in collaboration with Denis Goulet and Farhang Rajaee, William Ryan and Sharon Harper upon the request of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

IDRC “Science and Religion: Knowledge and Meaning”
2001 An article requested by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

PRESENTATIONS

2019 Paper presented by Dr. Adnan Hussain on a paper to be presented at the Dalhousie Law School and then published on the rights of animals in Islamic traditions. We use as primary text The Epistles of the Brethren of Purity: The Case of the Animals versus Man before the King of the Jinn. The Brethren of Purity were a sect of Shi’a Mystics from the 10th century.

2018 “Noah: A Journey to the Heart of God”. Presentation to Conference on Religion and Film sponsored by the Journal of Religion and Film and hosted by the University of Toronto, May 3rd to May 5th, 2018

2018 Participated in a Continuing Class: “Palestinian Liberation Theology.” Toronto, May 2nd and 3rd 2018 A2-day mini class on Palestinian Liberation Theology, put on by CFOS (Canadian Friends of Sabeel).

2016 A member of a panel discussion in Dr. Sheila Croocks class “Critical Thinking” Assisted Dr. Syed Adnan Hussain in the organization of a panel discussion entitled “Queering Islam” that took place at Saint Patrick’s Church, Halifax on July 28th, 2016.

2004 “Critical Perspectives on the Passion of Christ” Presented at “The Literacy Week” Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

2004 “Peace, Development and Security” Presented at “The Week of International Development”, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

2003 “Religious and Doctrinal Basis for Religious Dialogue” Presented at Sabeel: Palestinian Liberation Theology Centre. Jerusalem, Palestine/Israel.

2003 “Liberation Theology: Continuing Questions” Presented at the Egyptian Centre for Middle Eastern Research and Development (C.R.E.M.E.D), and the Jesuit Cultural Centre Alexandria, Egypt.

2002 “Despair and Hope.” Presented at the Canadian Commission for UNESCO Youth Forum in Halifax, NS, Canada.

2002 Facilitator in a public presentation: “A Time to Reflect on Islam and Afghanistan.” sponsored by Sisters of Charity, Halifax, NS, Canada.

2001 “Religion, Terrorism, and the Future” “After September 11th: Living Hope in a Multi-Cultural and Multi Religious World” Presented at the Centre for American and Jewish Studies, Baylor University, Texas, USA.

2000 “Challenge of Present Day Palestine on Contemporary Theology” Presented at the Canadian Theological Society convention in Edmonton, May 2000.

1993 “Revelation and Experience in Hans Frei and Schillebeeckx,” Presented to the Student-Faculty Seminar, Regis College, 199


Dr. Sailaja Krishnamurti

Religious Studies
Associate Professor
Email: sailaja.krishnamurti@smu.ca
SMU CV

 Primary Field of Study

Religious traditions in the South Asian diaspora; migration, race, and religion in Canada; religion, gender, and sexuality; religious traditions in the African diaspora; religion, literature, and popular culture; religion and comics; children, religion, and education 

Education
B.A .(York),
M.A. (Victoria),
Ph.D. (York) 


Dr. Syed Adnan Hussain

Religious Studies
Assistant Professor
Graduate Coordinator
Email: syedadnan.hussain@smu.ca

Primary Field of Study
Islam in South Asia, Political Islam, Modern Islam, Film, Queer Studies, Colonialism and Postcolonialism.

Education
B.A.(McGill),
M.T.S (Candler School of Theology at Emory University),
J.D. (Emory),
Ph.D. (Univeristy of Toronto)

Co-Chair, American Academy of Religion: Colonialism, Postcolonialism and Religion Section 

Steering Committee: American Academy of Religion: Religion, Film, and Visual Culture Group.



A photo of Dr. Mary Hale.

Dr. Mary Hale

Religious Studies
Assistant Professor
Email: mary.hale@smu.ca

 

 

Primary Field of Study
Love, Death, Introduction to Western Traditions, Religion and Social Issues in CanadaResearch Interests: Interrelatedness of Religion and Politics in Canada; Secularization in Canada; Judaism; Religion and Food; Religion and Education

Education
B.A. (Cal State - Long Beach),
M.Div. (Boston University),
Ph.D. (Concordia)


Part Time Faculty


Wendell Eisener

Dr. Wendell Eisener

Religious Studies
Part-time Instructor
Email: wendell.eisener@smu.ca

 

 

Primary Field of Study
Church History/Patristics

Secondary Field of Study
Biblical Languages

Education
M.A., Acadia,
S.T.D., St Elias Orthodox Seminary

Publications                           

Biography
Wendell Eisener has been a part-time instructor in the Department of Religious Studies since 2003.  He has also taught Church History, Systematic Theology, and Biblical Studies at the Atlantic School of Theology 



A photo of Professor David Sable.

Dr. David Sable

Religious Studies
Part-time Instructor, Adjunct Professor
Email: dsable@smu.ca

 

 

Primary Field of Study
Buddhism

Secondary Fields of Study
Spirituality and Work; Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Areas of Interest
Contemplative Education; Critical Thinking and Transformative Learning

Education
PhD (Interdisciplinary Studies), Dalhousie University
M.A. Developmental Psychology, Teachers College, Columbia University
B.Sc. Columbia University

Publications
(in press) Meditative Inquiry, Mindfulness, and Outcome-Based Education. In A. Kumar (Ed.) The Transformative Potential of Meditative Inquiry: Perspectives and Practices for a Holistic Way of Teaching, Learning, and Living.  Routledge.
(
2014). Reason in Service of the Heart: The Impacts of Contemplative Practices on Critical Thinking. Journal of Contemplative Inquiry, Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education, Amherst, MA. Accessible at www.contemplativemind.org/journal.
(2012). The Impacts of Reflective Practices on the Dispositions for Critical Thinking in Undergraduate Courses. Doctoral thesis retrievable at dalspace.library.dal.ca//handle/10222/15464

Biography
David is an Adjunct Professor in the Religious Studies Department of Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, where he has been teaching courses on Buddhism, Spirituality and Work, and related subjects since 2000. He has also team-taught and led courses in contemplative education for K-12 teachers in the Graduate Education program at Mount Saint Vincent University and co-led the first offsite, full-credit, residential Practicum/Retreat in Mindfulness/Contemplative Education for Mount Saint Vincent University (2013-2016).  He is co-editor of the online Journal of Contemplative Inquiry, published by the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society a subscriber-based, peer-reviewed academic journal serving institutions of higher education and university faculty around the world.



A photo of Chris Cutting.

Chris Cutting

Religious Studies
Part-time Instructor
Email: chris.cutting@smu.ca

 

 

 

Primary Field of Study
Sociology of Religion, Immigrant Religious Diversity in Canada and Multiculturalism, Religion and Public Policy, Islam in North America. (Doctoral dissertation is on the so-called “Sharia debate” that took place in Ontario between 2003 and 2005). 

Courses Taught: Death (SMU), Love (MSVU), Evil (UW), Field Research on Religions (SMU), Religion and Film (STFX), Sociology of Religion (STFX), Global Perspectives on Religion and Public Policy (Global Studies Department WLU), Political Approaches in Culture and Religion in Canada (Political Science Department WLU), Global Conflict and the Search for Peace (Global Studies Department WLU), Global Migrations and Refugees (Global Studies Department WLU).

Education
B.A. English Literature (Saint Mary's),
B.A. Religious Studies (Saint Mary's),
M.A. Religion and Culture (Wilfrid Laurier),
Ph.D.Religious Diversity in North America (Waterloo). 


Lindsay Macumber

Religious Studies
Part-time Instructor
Email: lindsay.macumber@smu.ca

Primary Field of Study

Religion and Popular Culture, Jewish Religious Tradition, Mythology 

Secondary Field of Study

Holocaust Representation 

Education 

B.A. Religious Studies (Saint Mary's University),
M.A. Theology (University of Saint Michael's College),
Ph.D. Religious Studies (University of Toronto)

Publications

“The Brightest Shadow: From Fighting Darkness to Seeking it” in The Myth Awakens: Canon, Conservatism, and Fan Reception of Star Wars, ed. Ken Derry and John Lyden. Oregon: Wipf Stock, 2018.

“A Journey into the Heart of God: Darren Aronofsky’s Noah (2014) as a Subversive Kabbalistic Text,” co-written with Magi Abdul-Masih, Journal of Religion and Film, 12 (2018).

The Trial of Adolf Eichmann: Retrospect and Prospect, University of Toronto, September 2012. German Historical Institute Bulletin 52 (Spring 2013).

Biography

Lindsay teaches courses in Religious Studies and Holocaust Studies at Saint Mary's and Dalhousie University. Her research interests include theodicy, religion and popular culture, Holocaust representation, mythology and gender. Her most recent publications explore connections between mythology and popular film. Some recurring courses she has offered at Saint Mary's University include, Violence, Myth and Story, God and Evil, Religion and Contemporary Culture, and the Jewish Religious Tradition.



A photo of Professor Wynne Jordan.

Ms. Wynne Jordan

Religious Studies
Part-time Instructor
Email: wynne.jordon@smu.ca

 

 

Primary Field of Interest
Love, Religion in Contemporary Culture

Education
B.A. (Saint Mary's),
M.A. (Queen's)


Mandy MacArthur

Religious Studies
Part-time Instructor
Email: mandy.macarthur@smu.ca

 Primary Field of Study

Religion and Environmental Ethics

Secondary Field of Study
Religion and Social Justice in a Contemporary Context

Education
BA (Hons) in Religious Studies, Saint Mary's University University
MA in Religious Studies, Saint Mary's University
Teaching Certificate, Saint Mary's University
Instructor Skills Certificate, Saint Mary's University & Dalhousie University
Facilitator Skills Certificate, Saint Mary's University & Dalhousie University

Biography
Mandy’s main area of interest is how religion can offer inherent ways of addressing the modern ecological crisis, while also focusing on topics such as eco-feminism and environmental racism. She is passionate about engaging with religion in a contemporary context, finding new and innovative ways to showcase its relevance for environmental sustainability and issues surrounding social justice. Mandy also works as an Instructional Designer at SMU, designing and developing online courses, and conducting research in online learning in higher education.


Pipukwes Latto’law (Raymond Gilbert Sewell)

Religious Studies
Part-time Instructor
Email: raymond.sewell@smu.ca

 

Primary Field of Study

He is a “community bridger” working at Saint Mary’s University in two roles, Indigenous student advising and religious studies lecturer. He volunteers on many committees including Neptune Theatre's Board of Directors, and guest lectures and interfaces with many organizations. He is a published poet and a patron of the arts. He is also a traditional instrumentalist as well as performer with an extensive background in music.

Education
BA,
MA is an l’nu from the Mi’kmaq district of Kespek – specifically Ge’gwapsgug.


Dr. Paul Bowlby

Religious Studies
Professor Emeritus

Primary Field of Study
Religious Diversity in Canada; Religions and Multiculturalism; Religious Traditions of Asia 

Education
B.A. (McMaster),
M.A. (McMaster),
Ph.D. (McMaster)


Dr. Anne Marie Dalton

Religious Studies
Professor Emeritus

Primary Field of Study
Religion and Culture; Religion and Ecology; Religion and Gender, Religion and International Development. 

Education
B.Sc. (Memorial),
B.Ed. (Memorial),
M.A. (Fordham),
Ph.D. (Catholic University of America)


Dr. Terry Murphy

Religious Studies
Professor Emeritus

Primary Field of Study
Research Areas: Religions in Canada and Atlantic Canada

 


Kathleen Jewell

Religious Studies
Secretary
Phone: (902) 420 5823
Email: kathleen.jewell@smu.ca

ROOM: MN508

OFFICE HOURS: 8:00 AM - 12 NOON & 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM