For 2008-09, the RPS focus was on religion and education, considering the notion of civic identity/identities, and asking, “Who is a global citizen?”

Universities, high schools, and even non-profit organizations often claim the cultivation of “global citizens” as one of their primary educational goals, reflecting an awareness of the local and global significance of transnational flows.

In what ways is the cultivation of global citizens a utopian or hegemonic project?

How are religion and education used to shape, or preserve, civic identities?

St. Stanislaus School
“Saint Stanislaus School and Church” by Marcus Balcher CC by-sa 2.0 [Edited, cropped border]

Featured Events

Public Forum, April 1, 2009, 3:00-5:00 pm, Munk Centre, University of Toronto

A panel of distinguished speakers tackled these questions, approaching them from their very different personal perspectives.The discussion was moderated by Professor Janice Gross Stein (University of Toronto, Political Science; Belzberg Professor of Conflict Management; Director of the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto).

The speakers

Lhadon Tethong (Executive Director, Students for a Free Tibet). Activist for Tibetan independence and a member of the Tibetan Diaspora.
Professor Denise Spellberg (History, University of Texas at Austin). Teaches a university course titled ‘Difficult Dialogues: Islam in America’.
Professor Heidi Bohaker (History, University of Toronto). Researching the representations of Aboriginal history and their implications within the context of teaching Canadian history to elementary and secondary school students.

Watch the webcast

RPS Graduate Fellows’ Workshops, April 2 & 3, 2009

The 2008-9 Graduate Fellows met and presented their research on the theme of religion, education and civic identities during a two-day workshop. Each Fellow’s dissertation chapter was responded to by a scholar in a related field or by a public policy expert. The workshop was open to other U of T faculty and students by registration.

April 2

  1. James Carter, Philosophy and Theology, Oxford University
    Modifying Modern Character: Identity in a Multidimensional Public Sphere
    Respondent: Professor Tom Reynolds, 2008 RPS Faculty Fellow, University of Toronto, Theology, Victoria College
  2. Daniel Mullin, Philosophy, Institute for Christian Studies
    Topic: Is a Global Citizen a Secular Citizen? Habermas on the Public Accessibility of Religious Language in a Postsecular World
    Respondent: Professor Ruth Marshall, University of Toronto, Religion and Political Science
  3. Nadia Delicata, Christian Ethics, Regis College
    Topic: Media Ecology as a Hermeneutic of Culture
    Respondent: Professor Ronald Mercier, Regis College
  4. Arlene Macdonald, Centre for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto
    Topic: Transplant Miracles: Citizens, Subjects & Media
    Respondent: Professor Rhys Williams, University of Cincinnati, Sociology

April 3

  1. Deba Mitra Bhikkhu, Religion and Culture Department, Wilfrid Laurier
    Topic: Dhamma Education and the Construction of Buddhist Moral Agents
    Respondent: Professor Christoph Emmrich, University of Toronto, Centre for the Study of Religion
  2. Melissa Anne-Marie Curley, Religious Studies, McGill University
    Topic: ‘Know that we are not good persons’: Pure Land Buddhism and the Ethics of Exile
    Respondent: Professor Ken Kawashima, University of Toronto, East Asian Studies
  3. Raji Singh Soni, Department of English, Queen’s University
    Topic: “‘Our secular blur’: Modernity within the Limits of Discipline Alone”
    Respondent: Professor Victor Li, University of Toronto, English