Many of our graduates from the joint Laurier-Waterloo PhD program in Religious Studies have their dissertation research published as books. Browse the collection of publications below, discover what our graduates are up to now.
Amarnath Amarasingam is an assistant professor in the School of Religion at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. He is also a senior research fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, and an associate fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation. His research interests are in radicalization, terrorism, diaspora politics, post-war reconstruction and the sociology of religion. He authored Pain, Pride, and Politics: Sri Lankan Tamil Activism in Canada (2015), and the co-editor of Sri Lanka: The Struggle for Peace in the Aftermath of War (2016). He has also written several peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, has presented papers at over 100 national and international conferences, and has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Politico, The Atlantic, and Foreign Affairs.
D. Mitra Barua is an Annette and Hugh Gragg postdoctoral fellow in Transnational Asian Studies at Rice University's Chao Center for Asian Studies. His areas of research include religion and nationalism, identity politics, and the social scientific study of Buddhists in Bengal, Sri Lanka and Canada. He is the author of Seeding Buddhism with Multiculturalism: The Transmission of Sri Lankan Buddhism in Toronto (2019) and has contributed chapters to Flowers on the Rock: Global and Local Buddhisms in Canada, Religious Education in a World of Religious Diversity, Buddhism: Contemporary Studies, and The Buddhist World (ed. John Powers). He has taught Asian Religions at the University of Saskatchewan and Cornell University, where he held a Robert H.N. Ho Buddhist Studies postdoctoral fellowship.
Joanne Benham Rennick is an associate professor of Global Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. She has held academic appointments at St. Jerome's University within the University of Waterloo (director of Beyond Borders 2008–2011), Laurier's Brantford campus (assistant professor, Contemporary Studies 2011–2014), and Laurier's Waterloo campus (Faculty of Arts, Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, and the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, 2014–present). She authored Religion in the Ranks: Belief and Religious Experience in the Canadian Forces (2011). Publications, research and teaching interests include globalization, leadership, social entrepreneurship and international development.
Denis J. Bekkering received his PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Waterloo. He has previously published work in Culture and Religion, Studies in Religion, and the Journal of Religion and Popular Culture. He is the author of American Televangelism and Participatory Cultures: Fans, Brands, and Play with Religious "Fakes" (2018).
William Rory Dickson is an associate professor of Islamic Studies and graduate chair for the Religion and Culture department at the University of Winnipeg. His research focuses on contemporary Islam and Sufism. Dickson’s first book, Living Sufism in North America: Between Tradition and Transformation (2015), explores the ways in which Sufi leaders in North America relate to Islamic orthodoxy, authority, and gender. He has further coauthored an introduction to Sufism with Meena Sharify-Funk, Unveiling Sufism: From Manhattan to Mecca (2017) and most recently, published Contemporary Sufism: Piety, Politics, and Popular Culture (2018) with Meena Sharify-Funk and Merin Shobhana Xavier.
Patricia Q. Campbell is the author of Knowing Body, Moving Mind: Ritualizing and Learning at Two Buddhist Centers (2011). Inspired by theories that suggest rituals impart new knowledge or understanding, the book examines how introductory meditation students from non-Buddhist backgrounds learn through formal Buddhist practice. The study demonstrates that through meditation practice, the mind is experienced as both embodied and gestural, and that it develops new skills in much the same way that physical postures and gestures train the body. Patricia has taught in the areas of eastern religions and ritual studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, Mt. Allison University and the University of Waterloo.
David Feltmate is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at Auburn University at Montgomery. He is a co-editor of the Journal of Religion and Popular Culture and works on a variety of topics including religion and popular culture, the sociology of religion, religion and humor, new religious movements, and religion and family. He is the author of Drawn to the Gods: Religion and Humor in The Simpsons, South Park, and Family Guy (2017).
Nick Shrubsole is a lecturer in Humanities, Religion, and Cultural Studies in the department of Philosophy at the University of Central Florida. He has been a teaching-faculty member at UCF since 2015 and been responsible for courses such as Introduction to Religion and Cultural Studies, World Religions, Encountering the Humanities, Native American Philosophy, and Senior Research Seminar, to name a few. He is the author of What Has No Place, Remains:The Challenges for Indigenous Religious Freedom in Canada Today (2019). His research interests include Indigenous religions, religious freedom, Indigenous rights, secularization theory, religion and the law, religion in Canada, religious studies method and theory.
Adam Stewart is assistant professor of Sociology at Crandall University, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. His primary area of expertise is the study of Canadian Pentecostalism. Adam is the author of The New Canadian Pentecostals (2015) as well as a number of articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings for academic and professional audiences in Canada, Europe and the United States.
Merin Shobhana Xavier is an assistant professor at Queen's University's School of Religion. Her areas of research include, contemporary Sufism, with regional interests in North American and South Asian Sufism. She is the author of Sacred Spaces and Transnational Networks in American Sufism: Bawa Muhaiyaddeen and Contemporary Sufism (2018), and the co-author of Contemporary Sufism: Piety, Politics and Popular Culture (2017). She is currently working on two projects, one on Canadian Sufism and the other on Sufi shrines in Sri Lanka.
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