What is Religious Studies and what is its future in Atlantic Canada? How have universities founded by Roman Catholic and Protestant deminations, and public universities, differed as they approached the study of religious life and traditions? Religious Studies in Atlantic Canada surveys the history and place of the study of religion within Canadian universities. Following a historical introduction to the public and deminationally founded universities in the Atlantic region, the book situates the departments of religious studies in relation to the distinctive characteristics of the various universities in the region, focusing on curriculum, research and teaching. Bowlby examines the current strengths of the religious studies departments in Atlantic Canada, and where those departments are fragile, i.e., where departments have thrived because of careful long-term planning, as well as where crises of retirements have radically affected the size and strength of departments. In conclusion Bowlby suggests strategies for future survival and growth in the field of religious studies. Religious Studies in Atlantic Canada is the last of a six-part series on the state of the art of religious studies in Canada, a unique account of the regional differences in the development of religious studies in Canada. Written for anyone interested in the teaching of religion as well as the specialist, the book provides an introduction and an overview of religious studies curricula, faculty research, and teaching areas at the region's universities.
Dr. Paul Bowlby is chair of the Religious Studies Department at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, NS, a post he has held for nearly twenty years.