Gavin Keachie (King's)

A day in the life

Gavin Keachie (King's)

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Dal's Religious Studies program has an incredible concentration of classes on just the subject in which I was interested.

A passion for the Middle Ages

Gavin Keachie was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. But he has affection for his adopted city: “Halifax is a truly beautiful city with water on three sides and quaint timber houses,” he describes.

Technically, Gavin is a student at the University of King’s College, as he started out in the Foundation Year Program (FYP). He wasn’t sure if he wanted to stay after completing the FYP. But now, “I take most of my courses at Dal,” he says, “and the fact that this is both possible and easy was an important factor in my decision to stay.”

He did know he wanted to study the Middle Ages, particularly Medieval philosophy and theology. “I’ve been interested in Religious Studies ever since the younger of my two sisters studied it.”

Fortunately, Gavin received some advice. “My FYP tutor suggested I could stay at King’s while studying in Dal’s Religious Studies program,” he explains.

Dante has been one of Gavin’s favourite thinkers and writers since Grade 12. But when forced to choose his favourite Religious Studies course, he says Dante has some competition: “It’s a tie between the fourth-year course on Dante and the second-year course on the Orthodox and Oriental Churches,” Gavin says. “Both treated topics that interest me and relied mostly on primary sources.”

Participating in Dal’s study abroad program through the French Department, Gavin spent his second year in Dijon, France. Although he notes that courses he took there “didn’t directly impact my understanding of Religious Studies material,” the French debate about banning the niqab, for example, was “discussed in class.”

He also visited other parts of Europe, “including many places that relate in some way to Religious Studies, such as the Latin Quarter of Paris, where the medieval scholastics lived and studied, and San Vitale church in Ravenna, Italy.”

And speaking of churches: Gavin’s course of study may benefit his future plans. “I am discerning whether I have a vocation to the Anglican Priesthood,” he states, adding, “I will undoubtedly go on to do further studies.”