M.A., Ph.D. (McGill)
Philosophy of Religion, methodology, relationship of philosophy and theology, Continental thought, Bernard Lonergan
A native of Montreal, Jim Kanaris gained a B.A. in theology and philosophy from Concordia University in 1993. He continued his studies in philosophy of religion at McGill (M.A. 1995, Ph.D. (Hon) 2000). Since 2000, Professor Kanaris teaches classes in the areas of theory and method, and philosophy of religion at McGill.
Methods in theology and religious studies
Philosophical and theological hermeneutics
Research interests and current work in progress
Dr. Kanaris’s area of specialty is the thought of Canadian philosopher-theologian Bernard Lonergan (1904-84). He has published numerous books and articles on the topic, including the co-edited volume entitled In Deference to the Other: Lonergan and Contemporary Continental Thought (2004). He has also edited volumes of philosophy of religion such as Polyphonic Thinking and the Divine (2013) and Reconfigurations of Philosophy of Religion: A Possible Future (2018), both based on symposia held at the School of Religious Studies.
His research interests center on broaching problematic methodological and epistemological issues that intersect with the study of “religion”. In the area of religious studies per se, this translates into the interface of religion and the sciences, social and natural. In philosophy of religion the topic converges on an analysis of different thinking styles, Analytic and Continental.
Dr. Kanaris mitigates these issues through a differentiated appreciation of knowledge acquisition located in self-critical reflexivity, which he calls “enecstasis”. While facilitated by protracted study of Lonergan, this programmatic interest has evolved in conversation with the works of French philosophers Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida. A book-length treatment is on the horizon entitled “Personalizing Philosophy of Religion: An Enecstatic Treatment” (SUNY Press, forthcoming).