The Department of Classics and Religious Studies offers programs of study leading to the degrees of Master of Arts (MA) in Religious Studies and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Religious Studies.

Objectives and Methods

The Department of Classics and Religious Studies (sector: Religious Studies) focuses on the study of the religious phenomenon through teaching and research in the same manner and on the same level as any other category of facts accessible to human experience and observation.

The disciplines that play a role in the study of religions are primarily of a historical, sociological, psychological and anthropological nature. Such a study must take into account the plurality of religious traditions and expressions in society and examine the relationships among them.

Research on the meaning of religious phenomena is accomplished through analysis and comparison of the various means of religious expression, both in the past and present. No tradition is considered normative.

Areas of Research

The programs focus on religions in Canada, including Amerindian and Inuit traditions, and on religions in the comparative cultural context as well as religions in the Graeco-Roman World. The comparative cultural approach provides an opportunity to explore religious phenomena across different religious traditions expressly within their specific cultural contexts. The program favours the methods of anthropology, history, psychology and sociology.

The Department participates in collaborative programs in Women’s Studies and in Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the MA level and in Canadian Studies at the PhD level. For more information on these programs, see "Apply now."

Because of its strength in relevant areas, its bilingual character and its location in the national capital, the University of Ottawa is uniquely positioned to offer a collaborative program leading to a specialization in Canadian Studies at the doctoral level. The program is especially designed for doctoral students in selected programs in the humanities and the social sciences who wish to enrich their training in a particular discipline by including an interdisciplinary component. The program is governed by the general regulations in effect for graduate studies.

The programs are governed by the general regulations in effect for graduate studies.

For the most accurate and up to date information on application deadlines, language tests and other admission requirements, please visit the specific requirements webpage.

Candidates must have a Master of Arts in Religious Studies or the equivalent, and must meet the requirements in effect for graduate studies. When they apply, candidates must indicate their preferred area of research, consult a full-time professor of the department whom they hope to have as a supervisor, and submit a two-page statement of their doctoral research project.

Official applications should be submitted by the deadlines in effect for graduate studies. Applications received after a deadline will be considered only if positions are available.

All applicants must be able to understand speak and write either English or French proficiently. Applicants whose first language is neither English nor French must provide proof of proficiency in one or the other. The list of acceptable tests is indicated in the “Admission” section of the general regulations in effect for graduate studies.

In accordance with the University of Ottawa regulation, assignments, examinations, research papers and theses can be produced in either English or French.

Collaborative Program

The doctoral program in Religious Studies participates in the collaborative program in Canadian Studies at the doctoral level. This program has been established for students wishing to enrich their training in religious studies by including an interdisciplinary component in Canadian studies. The seminar (CDN 6520 or CDN 6910) fits into the departmental course requirements and does not add to the number of courses required for the doctorate in religious studies.

Transfer from Master's to PhD

Students enrolled in the MA program may be allowed to transfer to the PhD program without being required to write a master’s thesis provided they meet the following conditions:

  • Hold an honours BA in Religious Studies with a minimum average of 8.0 (A-) in the last eight relevant courses of the undergraduate transcript and a minimum of 9.0 (A) in four of these eight courses, or hold a master’s degree in a field other than religious studies;
  • Have completed the mandatory MA course SRS 5915/SRS 5115 and three other MA courses with a minimum grade of A- in two courses and a minimum grade of A in two courses;
  • Have completed a 40-page research paper (SRS 5999);
  • Provide a written recommendation in support of the transfer from the supervisor of the research paper and from the Graduate Studies Committee;
  • Provide an agreement on the part of a faculty member of the Religious Studies program to supervise the student's doctoral thesis.

The transfer must be completed by the end of the fourth term following initial enrollment in the master’s program. Please note that the minimal admission average requirements for the doctoral program must also be met. Following transfer, all of the usual requirements of the PhD must be met: a total of 30 units of graduate coursework (MA and PhD combined); the comprehensive exam (SRS 9998); and, the thesis (SRS 9989).

The doctoral program consists of 18 units in courses and directed studies, a comprehensive examination, and the writing and defence of a thesis. For students in the collaborative program in Canadian Studies, the 18 units in courses comprise:

Compulsory Courses (SRS):
3 course units from:3 Units
Seminar in Religious Studies
Seminar in Religious Studies
Thesis Proposal:
SRS 5928Thesis Proposal 13 Units
9 elective course units or directed studies in religious studies at the graduate level9 Units
Compulsory Courses (CDN):
3 course units from:3 Units
Séminaire sur la francophonie canadienne
Seminar in Canadian Studies
Comprehensive Examination
SRS 9998Comprehensive Examination (PhD)0 Unit
Thesis
SRS 9989PhD Thesis0 Unit

Note(s)

1

Students who have completed a master’s degree with thesis or the equivalent in terms of research and writing may substitute a three-unit course or directed study for SRS 5928.

The Graduate Studies Committee may require additional courses from the student depending on the nature of the research.

Comprehensive Examination

Students must successfully complete a comprehensive examination in which they demonstrate their knowledge of the general and the specific fields of research to which the doctoral thesis is related. Instructions regarding the examination can be obtained from the Director of Graduate Studies in the department.

After consulting with the research supervisor, the student shall submit a comprehensive examination proposal to the Committee of Studies for approval at least two months before the proposed examination date. After approving the plan, the Committee shall designate two examiners in addition to the research supervisor, taking into account the suggestions of the student, and set the examination date. The department shall forward a written confirmation of the examination date to the student one month in advance. Any student who decides to withdraw must advise the department in writing at least two weeks prior to the date scheduled for the examination.

Thesis

After consultation with their research supervisor, students must submit their thesis topic to the Committee of Studies for approval.

Before the end of the second year of studies, the thesis project must be presented for examination and discussion at a colloquium attended by professors and students of the department. After the colloquium, the project must be submitted to the Committee of Studies for approval. Instructions regarding the colloquium and the thesis project can be obtained from the Director of Graduate Studies in the department.

For additional information on deadlines and on the writing, submission, examination, and revision of the thesis, please consult the general regulations in effect for graduate studies as well as the guide Preparing a Thesis or a Research Paper.

Colloquium

Participation in the department's regular research colloquia is compulsory for all enrolled graduate students.

Minimum Standards

The passing grade in all courses is C+. Students who fail two courses (equivalent to 6 units), the thesis proposal, or whose research progress is deemed unsatisfactory are required to withdraw.

Duration of Program

Students are expected to fulfill all requirements within four years. The maximum time permitted is six years from the date of initial enrollment in the program, or seven years in the case of the students transferring from the master’s to the doctorate.

Courses Taken Outside the Department

Subject to the approval of the director of graduate studies, students enrolled in a graduate program may receive units for two graduate courses (equivalent to six units) taken outside the department.

Research Fields & Facilities

Located in the heart of Canada’s capital, a few steps away from Parliament Hill, the University of Ottawa is among Canada’s top 10 research universities.

uOttawa focuses research strengths and efforts in four Strategic Areas of Development in Research (SADRs):

  • Canada and the World
  • Health
  • e-Society
  • Molecular and Environmental Sciences

With cutting-edge research, our graduate students, researchers and educators strongly influence national and international priorities.

Research at the Faculty of Arts

The Faculty of Arts is proud of the state of the art research conducted by its professors. In the spirit of showcasing its research to the university community as well as to the general public, the Faculty has created three activities: Dean's Lecture Series, Treasures of the Library, and Excellence Lectures.

Facilities, Research Centres and Institutes at the Faculty of Arts

Centre de recherche en civilisation canadienne-française, Institute of Canadian and Aboriginal Studies, Institute for Science, Society and Policy, Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI) and Morisset Library.

For more information, refer to the list of faculty members and their research fields on Uniweb

IMPORTANT: Candidates and students looking for professors to supervise their thesis or research project can also consult the website of the faculty or department of their program of choice. Uniweb does not list all professors authorized to supervise research projects at the University of Ottawa.

SRS 5101 Second Temple Judaism (3 units)

Central questions and recent developments in the study of Judaism in the period of the Second Temple.

Course Component: Seminar

SRS 5102 Psychoanalysis and Religion (3 units)

Psychoanalytic thought relating to religion since the work of Sigmund Freud; therapeutic traditions and theories derived from the writings of Melanie Klein, D.W. Winnicott, W.R.D. Fairbairn and Jacques Lacan.

Course Component: Seminar

SRS 5103 Freud, Jung and Religion (3 units)

An examination of Sigmund Freud's and Carl Jung's writings pertaining to religion and mythology.

Course Component: Seminar

SRS 5107 Origins of Christianity (3 units)

Current questions and recent developments in the study of the origins of Christianity.

Course Component: Seminar

SRS 5115 Seminar in Religious Studies (3 units)

An orientation to the study of religion at an advanced level.

Course Component: Seminar

SRS 5116 Current Approaches to the Study of Religion (3 units)

The methodological terrain of the current study of religion: the history, theoretical and methodological contributions, and influence of various approaches.

Course Component: Seminar

SRS 5305 Religion and Society in Cross-Cultural Analysis (3 units)

Comparative sociological analysis of the relations between religion and society in different cultures and regions.

Course Component: Seminar

SRS 5320 Religion and Anthropology: Selected Topics (3 units)

Major theories and debates in anthropological analyses of religion and the associated methodology of ethnography.

Course Component: Seminar

SRS 5502 Religions africaines (3 crédits)

Étude des religions et cultures africaines dans leurs dimensions politiques, économiques, conflictuelles et identitaires, depuis les réalités ancestrales et les cultes traditionnels jusqu'au foisonnement des spiritualités contemporaines.

Volet : Séminaire

SRS 5520 Religion et anthropologie : Thèmes choisis (3 crédits)

Théories et débats à la base des analyses anthropologiques du religieux, et de la méthodologie ethnographique dont elles sont inséparables.

Volet : Séminaire

SRS 5901 Histoire des sciences des religions / History of Religious Studies (3 crédits / 3 units)

Analyse historique des théories et des approches méthodologiques de l'étude de la religion; développement institutionnel des sciences des religions. / Analysis of theories and methodological approaches in the historical study of religion; the institutional development of religious studies.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

SRS 5902 Religious text and Narratives / Religious text and Narratives (3 crédits / 3 units)

Approches actuelles dans l'étude des textes et récits religieux. Études d'aspects tels que l'oralité, l'intertextualité, l'expression, la réception et l'idéologie. / Current approaches to the study of religious texts and narratives, exploring such aspects as orality, intertextuality, performance, reception, and ideology.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

SRS 5903 Religious Rites and Symbols / Religious Rites and Symbols (3 crédits / 3 units)

Approches actuelles dans l'étude des rites et symboles religieux. Étude de la dynamique du symbolisme, de la corporalité, de la communauté, de l'expression et de l'identité. / Current approaches to the study of religious rites and symbols, exploring the dynamics of symbolism, embodiment, performance, community, and identity.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

SRS 5915 Séminaire en sciences des religions / Seminar in Religious Studies (3 crédits / 3 units)

Introduction approfondie à l'étude savante du religieux. / An orientation to the study of religion at an advanced level.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

SRS 5918 Religion, art et culture / Religion, Art and Culture (3 crédits / 3 units)

Étude de la représentation du religieux dans les arts (arts visuels, musique, théâtre, littérature, cinéma) ou de la contribution des arts à la religion. / An examination of the representation of religion in the arts (visual art, music, drama, literature, and film) or of the contribution of the arts to religion.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

SRS 5920 Approches actuelles dans l'étude de la religion / Current Approaches to the Study of Religion (3 crédits / 3 units)

Le domaine méthodologique de l'étude contemporaine de la religion, y compris l'historicité, les contributions théoriques ou méthodologiques et l'influence de diverses approches. / The methodological terrain of the current study of religion: the history, theoretical and methodological contributions, and influence of various approaches.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

SRS 5923 Les déesses et les femmes dans le mythe et le symbole / Goddesses and Women in Myth and Symbol (3 crédits / 3 units)

Étude des théoriciens actuels qui fondent leur analyse critique de l'idéologie et de la culture sur les représentations féminines dans l'imagerie religieuse. / An examination of the work of current theorists who make use of female representations in religious imagery for the purpose of critical analysis of ideology and culture.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

SRS 5924 Le judaïsme du second temple / Second Temple Judaism (3 crédits / 3 units)

Questions essentielles et développements récents dans l'étude du judaïsme du Second Temple. / Central questions and recent developments in the study of Judaism in the period of the Second Temple.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

SRS 5925 Origines du christianisme / Origins of Christianity (3 crédits / 3 units)

Questions actuelles et développements récents dans l'étude des origines du Christianisme. / Current questions and recent developments in the study of the origins of Christianity.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

SRS 5926 Religion dans l'antiquité tardive / Religion in Late Antiquity (3 crédits / 3 units)

Étude de la religion dans le monde méditerranéen de l'Antiquité tardive, en particulier des questions de transformation religieuse, de discours, de conflit, de pluralisme et d'identité. / An examination of religion in the Mediterranean world in Late Antiquity, with particular attention to religious transformation, discourse, conflict, pluralism, and identity.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

SRS 5927 Traditions chamaniques / Shamanic Traditions (3 crédits / 3 units)

Étude anthropologique des visions du monde chamanique et des religions utilisant la transe, ainsi que des pratiques rituelles, thérapeutiques ou artistiques qui y sont associées. / Anthropological study of shamanic worldviews and trance-based religions, and the associated ritual, therapeutic and artistic practices they inform.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

SRS 5928 Projet de thèse / Thesis Proposal (3 crédits / 3 units)

La planification et réalisation d'une thèse : définition d'un cadre théorique, formulation de la problématique, mise au point de la méthodologie, détermination des hypothèses et de l'argumentation, préparation d'une description détaillée du projet de thèse, présentation du projet dans un colloque, évaluation et approbation déontologiques, planification et exécution de la recherche et de la rédaction. / The planning and implementation of a thesis: establishing a theoretical framework, formulating the question, refining the methodology, defining the hypotheses and lines of argumentation, preparing a detailed description of the thesis project, presenting the project in a colloquium, obtaining ethics approval, planning and carrying out the research and writing.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

Préalables : SRS 5115/SRS 5915 or SRS 8115/SRS 8915. Réservé aux étudiants inscrits à un programme avec thèse. / Prerequisites: SRS 5115/SRS 5915 or SRS 8115/SRS 8915. Restricted to students registered in a program with thesis.

SRS 5999 Mémoire / Research Paper (6 crédits / 6 units)

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

SRS 6100 Religion and Law (3 units)

An examination of the ways in which law defines and regulates religion, focusing especially on the treatment of minority religious groups and the concept of religious diversity.

Course Component: Seminar

SRS 6101 Religion and Human Rights (3 units)

An examination of the intersection of human rights regimes and the ways in which they define and delimit religion in the context of current issues.

Course Component: Seminar

SRS 6900 Étude comparative du religieux / Comparative Study of Religion (3 crédits / 3 units)

Étude comparative d'un thème ou d'un aspect du religieux tel qu'il se manifeste dans diverses cultures. / A comparative study of a theme or aspect of religion as manifested in diverse cultures.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

SRS 6905 Religion et société / Religion (3 crédits / 3 units)

Étude de diverses perspectives méthodologiques et théoriques s'appliquant à la dynamique entre religion et société. / An examination of the dynamic between religion and society through a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

SRS 6906 Religion et psychologie / Religion and Psychology (3 crédits / 3 units)

Étude de théories psychologiques actuelles telles que la psychologie critique, la psychologie des profondeurs et la psychologie de l'ego, et de leur rapport aux sciences des religions. / An examination of current psychological theories, such as critical psychology, depth psychology, and ego psychology, as they relate to topics in religious studies.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

SRS 6907 Thèmes choisis en christianisme / Selected Topic in Christianity (3 crédits / 3 units)

Étude d'un sujet particulier concernant le christianisme, circonscrit dans un cadre temporel, géographique ou thématique. / Examination of a specific topic in Christianity, defined temporally, geographically or thematically.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

SRS 6913 Thèmes choisis en histoire des religions au Canada / Selected Topics in the History of Religions in Canada (3 crédits / 3 units)

Étude approfondie des aspects particuliers de l'histoire des religions dans un contexte canadien. / An in-depth examination of particular aspects of the history of religions in a Canadian context.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

SRS 6915 Systèmes religieux des Amérindiens et des Inuit / Amerindian and Inuit Religions (3 crédits / 3 units)

Étude de l'expression et de la conceptualisation de la religion chez les Amérindiens et les Inuits. / An examination of the expression and conceptualization of religion in Amerindian and Inuit cultures.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

SRS 6920 Les religions dans le contexte mondial / Religions in a Global Context (3 crédits / 3 units)

Analyse critique des formes, des concepts et du contenu des religions dans le contexte mondial; théories et débats actuels en sciences des religions. / Critical examination of the forms, concepts, and content of religions in a global context; current theories and discussions in religious studies.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

SRS 6921 La religion dans le Canada d'aujourd'hui / Religion in Contemporary Canada (3 crédits / 3 units)

La religion au Canada depuis la Deuxième Guerre mondiale; analyses sociologiques, anthropologiques ou historiques. / Religion in Canada since the Second World War; sociological, anthropological or historical analyses.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

SRS 6922 Thèmes choisis en judaïsme / Topic Judaism (3 crédits / 3 units)

Étude approfondie d'un sujet particulier relevant du judaïsme, depuis les traditions rabbiniques jusqu'à la vie des juifs d'aujourd'hui. / A close examination of a specific topic in Judaism from Rabbinic traditions to contemporary Jewish life.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

SRS 6923 Religions de l'Asie / Religions Asia (3 crédits / 3 units)

Étude d'un ou plusieurs systèmes religieux de l'Asie, à partir de théories et méthodes actuelles en sciences des religions, telles que les approches interprétivistes, matérialistes, phénoménologiques, historiques, philosophiques, ethnographiques, poststructurales, postcoloniales, etc. / An exploration of one or more religious systems of Asia, using current theoretical and methodological approaches in religious studies (e.g., interpretivist, materialist, phenomenological, historical, philosophical, ethnographic, poststructural, postcolonial, etc.).

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

SRS 6924 La religion dans la pensée féministe actuelle / Religion and Current Feminist Thought (3 crédits / 3 units)

Étude de l'influence des théories féministes actuelles sur les méthodes et théories en sciences des religions. / An examination of the influence of current feminist theory on methods and theories in religious studies.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

SRS 6925 Genre et religion / Gender and Religion (3 crédits / 3 units)

Étude des débats entourant la notion de genre comme catégorie d'analyse dans les sciences des religions. / An examination of developments within religious studies pertaining to the use of gender as a category of analysis.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

SRS 6980 Étude dirigée I / Directed Studies I (3 crédits / 3 units)

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

SRS 7080 Étude dirigée / Directed Study II (6 crédits / 6 units)

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

SRS 7988 Recension des écrits - M.A. / Literature Review (3 crédits / 3 units)

Vue d'ensemble de la littérature savante du champ d'études dans lequel se situe le mémoire ou la thèse de maîtrise. Rapport écrit à évaluer par le professeur qui l'a dirigé plus un autre professeur. Évalué S (satisfaisant) ou NS (non satisfaisant). / Review of the scholarly literature in the field of study in which the master's research paper or thesis is situated. Paper to be evaluated by the professor who supervised it and another professor. Evaluated S (Satisfactory) / NS (Not satisfactory).

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

Préalable : SRS 5115 ou SRS 5915. / Prerequisite: SRS 5115 or SRS 5915.

SRS 7989 Thèse de maîtrise / MA Thesis

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

SRS 8015 Séminaire en sciences religieuses (PhD) / Seminar in Religious Studies (PhD) (6 crédits / 6 units)

Volet / Course Component: Cours magistral / Lecture

SRS 8016 Travaux dirigés II / Supervised Research II (6 crédits / 6 units)

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

SRS 8115 Seminar in Religious Studies (3 units)

An orientation to the study of religion at an advanced level.

Course Component: Seminar

SRS 8915 Séminaire en sciences des religions / Seminar in Religious Studies (3 crédits / 3 units)

Introduction approfondie à l'étude savante du religieux. / An orientation to the study of religion at an advanced level.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar

SRS 8916 Travaux diriges I / Supervised Research (3 crédits / 3 units)

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

SRS 9989 Thèse de doctorat / PhD Thesis

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

SRS 9998 Examen de synthèse (Ph.D.) / Comprehensive Examination (PhD)

Volet / Course Component: Recherche / Research

CDN 6520 Séminaire sur la francophonie canadienne (3 crédits)

Séminaire sur des thèmes se rapportant à la francophonie canadienne, particulièrement les francophones vivant en situation minoritaire.

Volet : Séminaire

CDN 6910 Séminaire en études canadiennes / Seminar in Canadian Studies (3 crédits / 3 units)

Séminaire interdisciplinaire bilingue sur des sujets se rapportant au Canada. Les thèmes seront choisis en consultation avec les unités participantes, en tenant compte du nombre d'étudiants, de l'orientation de leur recherches et celles des unités participantes. / Bilingual interdisciplinary seminar on issues related to the study of Canada. Tipics to be selected in consultation with participating units, taking into consideration the number of students, their research interests and those of the participating units.

Volet / Course Component: Séminaire / Seminar