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Research opportunities

Professors in Dal's Religious Studies program are actively engaged in ongoing research projects. Their discoveries are often published in journals and books, contributing to the body of research available on religions around the world. And our profs bring their insights to class, sharing texts and their readings of them with you to enhance your studies.

Christopher Austin

Dr. Austin’s main focus is on the Hindu god Vishnu, particularly in his manifestation as Vasudeva Krishna. Four Sanskrit texts—the Mahabharata, Harivamsha, Vishnu Purana and Bhagavata Purana—constitute the key works for this research. Currently, Dr. Austin is investigating the extended family of Krishna as treated in these poems, and the changing understanding in Hindu religious culture of the mythic and human identity of Krishna and his descendants. Dr. Austin was recently the recipient of a three-year Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Alexander Treiger

Dr. Treiger’s research explores early and classical Sufism, medieval Arabic philosophy, Christian asceticism and mysticism in the Syriac churches, and Christian literature in Arabic. He looks at the history of transmission of philosophical, theological, ascetic, and mystical ideas from Late Antiquity to early Islam. Dr. Trieger has recently published a book, Inspired Knowledge in Islamic Thought: Al-Ghazali’s Theory of Mystical Cognition and Its Avicennian Foundation. The book, published by Routledge, offers new insights about the Islamic thinker, Al-Ghazali, who died in 1111.

Wayne Hankey

Dr. Hankey’s interests lie in a number of areas from classical antiquity to the present day, many of which have a bearing on Religious Studies: Neoplatonism and its history in the Latin West; mediaeval philosophy; contemporary French philosophy; the treatment of philosophy in current Christian theology; the theological and philosophical origins of our relation to nature; mysticism; Islamic and Jewish philosophy in Middle Ages; and the relations between Hellenism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.