2023 Spring DSR Newsletter

Message from the Acting Chair


Professor Robert Gibbs
Professor Robert Gibbs

I am pleased to introduce you to our Spring 2023 DSR Newsletter and bring you news of the last few months at the DSR. It has been a great honour (and a set of significant tasks) to act as Chair while Pamela Klassen had academic leave as the William Lyon Mackenzie King Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies, Canada Program at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

Our faculty and students continue to do significant research in the study of religion. You will see below not only two new important books, many articles and other honours, but also a series of workshops and other events that engage communities of knowledge beyond the university. This includes ongoing research collaboration with Indigenous scholars as well as with various kinds of religious institutions.

This year, moreover, the DSR hosted rich intellectual interaction, from the ongoing graduate student colloquia series to our freshly established Alumni and Friends Lecture look out for a notice from us with details of the next one.

There has also been a series of comings and goings among our people. Not only have I been Acting Chair, but the Associate Chair role has been shared by Laura Beth Bugg and Srilata Raman. Next year, Nada Moumtaz will act as the Director of Graduate Studies while Bart Scott takes up a Jackman Faculty Research Fellowship, and Pamela and Srilata will resume their roles. We also welcome two faculty on board: Alessandro Graheli and Sara Verskin. In the staff area, we have a new financial officer, Harjit Bains.

A major change in our faculty line-up comes with the retirement of David Novak, J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Chair of Jewish Studies. A colleague and friend for many years, he was a centre of gravity in the research and teaching in my own field of Jewish philosophy, and we will honour him with an event in late October 2023.

We have also seen the graduation of many students, both undergraduates and graduates. Such departures are moments of pride and of reflection as we enjoy the greatest impact of our work here on the world at large: the graduates.

This moment of convocation is not the end of the story, though — if you help us. Our newsletter includes just a few updates about alumni, and we are eager to hear not only from those of you who are succeeding in academic contexts, but also from those who have found other paths of learning and of flourishing beyond the university domain. Please do get in touch with us. We would love to know what you are doing now and to share your news.

As my role as Acting Chair draws to a close, I am grateful for so much help from so many, including from Pamela Klassen, who set me up for success and whom we very much look forward to welcoming back.

Robert Gibbs
Professor & Acting Chair, Department for the Study of Religion


DSR Newsletter Spring 2023: Publications

The Write Stuff
Books, articles and podcasts by and about our faculty, postdocs and students. → Read more

DSR Newsletter Spring 2023: Honours & Awards

Honours & Awards
Including appointments and grants recognizing the DSR’s contribution to the academy. → Read more

DSR Newsletter Spring 2023: David Novak Retires

David Novak, FRSC, Retires
We salute the contributions of the J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Chair of Jewish Studies. → Read more

DSR Newsletter Spring 2023: Q&A with J. Barton Scott

Q&A with J. Barton Scott
What can history tell us about legislation aimed at protecting religious sentiment? → Read more

DSR Newsletter Spring 2023: Indigenous Focus

Indigenous Focus
Hands-on truth and reconciliation learning and strengthening ties with Indigenous partners. → Read more

DSR Newsletter Spring 2023: Meetings of Minds

Meetings of Minds
Conferences and workshops, colloquia and special lectures: a snapshot of intellectual exchange at the DSR. → Read more

DSR Newsletter Spring 2023: Celebrating the Class of 2023

Congratulations to the Class of 2023
We’re proud to present our sensational spring graduates! → Read more

DSR Newsletter Spring 2023: Our Community

Our Community
We bring you news of DSR alumni and friends. → Read more