About Religion

Religion is an open and fascinating subject of study introducing students to thousands of years of human history and providing background to much that is going on in the world today. The study of religion at the University of Manitoba is religiously non-aligned and encourages scholarly diversity.  To study Religion is to learn about the significance of the ancient Egyptian pyramids and the life of such figures as Zarathustra and Buddha. It is to study the Bible side by side with the Vedas and the Pali Canon. It is to begin to understand the reasons for the religiously fuelled conflicts in the Middle East, in India and North Ireland and elsewhere. It is to engage great writings from all ages on perennial questions of human life. It is to examine historical and contemporary approaches to the interpretation of texts. And it is to study historical and contemporary systems of ethics and to analyse how religious traditions respond to such issues as oppression and liberation, abortion and euthanasia, social justice and individual freedom.

The Department of Religion at the University of Manitoba was established as an undergraduate department in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Manitoba in 1968. It began offering M.A. courses in 1976, and was authorized in 1992 to offer a Ph.D. Program. The programs of the Department of Religion at present are comprised of a three-year general B.A., a four-year Advanced B.A., a four-year Honours B.A., an M.A. (either by thesis or by comprehensive exam) and the Ph.D. 

Our faculty members have a rich variety of backgrounds and a great wealth of scholarship. Some are internationally recognized leaders in their field. They have written texts that make an important contribution to their discipline. You can either take a course or two in an area that interests you and that you may need in order to better understand aspects of your major area of study such as History, Politics, Psychology, Visual Arts, and Music, or you can take a major in Religion with a spread of courses that expose you to a variety of areas. You can also do graduate studies in Religion. An M.A. in Religion can either be done by way of thesis or by way of courses and comprehensive examinations. Many students have completed their M.A. in Religion in the past several years and many of these have continued their studies in Ph.D. programs, some teaching now in departments of Religion here and elsewhere. The Department has a Ph.D. program which accepts highly qualified candidates for doctoral studies.