Lecture series

Islamic Encounters Series


Repoliticizing the Silk Road: China in Islamic Political Thought Geographical Imagination, by Dr. Kaveh Hemmat, Benedictine University.

Women of the Empire from Zoroastrianism to Islam, by Dr. Fatemeh Sadeghi, McGill University.

The Problem of 'Human Natue' in Greek and Islamic Thought, by Dr. Michael Nafi, John Abbott College.

In the Aftermath of the Revolution: Islam, Translation, and the 'Outside', by Dr. Milad Odabaei, McGill University.

Dreaming at the Threshold of the Law: An Islamic Liturgy of of Healing, by Dr. Stefania Pandolfo, University of California, Berkeley.

Magic of Warlords: Imperial Occult Science in the Early Modern Persian Cosmopolis, by Dr. Matthew Melvin-Koushki, University of South Carolina.

Muslim Initiatives in International Interreligious Dialogue, Dr. Patrice Brodeur, Université de Montréal.


Islam, Science and the Gender of Reason, by Dr. Alireza Doostdar, University of Chicago.

Rethinking the Jewish-Muslim Past in the Twentieth Century Maghrib through music, by Dr. Christopher Silver, McGill University.

For Love of the Prophet: The Art of Islamic State-Making in Sudan, by Dr. Noah Salomon, Carleton College.

New perspectives on Christian philosophers in medieval Islamic Baghdad, by Dr. Damien Janos, Université de Montréal and Dr. Robert Wisnovsky, McGill University.

Mawlana Rumi's Spiritual Legacy within World Civilizations, by Dr. Bilal Kuspinar, Necmettin Ebakan University, Turkey.

Religion, Politics, and Society Lecture Series

Public lecture by Professor Ateş Altinordu, Sabanci University, Istanbul.
The Political Incorporation of Anti-System Religious Parties: The Case of Turkish Political Islam. Wednesday, November 16, 2016 from 11:30–13:00.

Birks Annual Lecture Series

An annual series was established in 1950 through the generosity of the late William M. Birks. The lectures are given by distinguished visitors, usually in late September or early October. The first lecturer was the Right Reverend Leslie Hunter. More recent lecturers have included Huston Smith, Northrop Frye, Wilfred Cantwell Smith, Gregory Baum, Jurgen Moltmann, Robert McFee Brown, Krister Stendahl, James Barr, Charles J. Adams, John H. Hick, Jon Levenson, David Little, Azim Nanji, Paul Griffiths, Bernadette J. Brooten, Harvey G. Cox, John S. Hawley, Gabriel Vahanian, Oliver O'Donovan, Jan Assmann, Donald Lopez, Rémi Brague, David Fergusson, John J. Collins, David Shulman, Talal Asad, Robert L. Wilken and Jens Schroter.


Public lecture, The Formation of the Christian Bible: Current Trends and New Perspectives, by Professor Jens Schoter, Chair of Exegesis and Theology of the New Testament and New Testament Apocrypha at the Humboldt-Universitat of Berlin
The Emergence of the New Testament Canon: "Canonical" and "Apocryphal" Writings in Early Christianity, Wednesday, September 26 at 5:30 p.m.
The Septuagint, Jewish Writings, and the 'Old Testament': Authoritative Writings in Second Temple Judaism and the Formation of the Christian Bible, Thursday, September 27 at 5:30 p.m.


Public lecture, Christian Origins of Religious Freedom, by Professor Robert Louis Wilken, Professor Emeritus of the History of Christianity, University of Virginia
Endowed with Freedom, Tuesday, October 3 at 5:30 p.m.
Liberty in the Things of God, Wednesday, October 4 at 5:30 p.m.


Public lecture by Professor Talal Asad, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center
Reflections on Secularization and Christianity, Tuesday, November 1 at 5:30 p.m.
Thinking about Translation, Paideia and Secularization, Wednesday, November 2 at 3:30 p.m.


Public lecture by Professor David Shulman, Renee Lang Professor of Humanistic Studies, Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Kudiyattam: The Last Living Sanskrit Theater in the World, Tuesday, October 13
The Making of a Grisly Goddess, Wednesday, October 14
Poster; link to youtube video of October 13 lecture; link to youtube video of October 14 lecture.


Public lecture by Professor John J. Collins,Holmes Professor of Old Testament Criticism and Interpretation, Yale Divinity School
Torah and Jewish Identity in Second Temple Judaism, Tuesday, October 21
Non-Mosaid forms of Judaism in the Second Temple Period, Wednesday, October 22
Poster; link to youtube video of October 21 lecture; link to youtube video of October 22 lecture


Public lecture by Professor David Fergusson, October 15 and 16
The Theology of Providence: Perspectives and Problems
View video recording of the two lectures: Providence in Christian Tradition: theoretical and practical challenges; Re-envisioning Providence Today



Public lecture series given by Professor Donald Lopez, September 26 and 27
Buddhism among the Religions


Public lectures by Professor Jan Assmann, October 12 and 13
Lecture audio podcast: October 12; October 13


Public Lecture by Dr. Olivier O'Donovan, October 14 and 15
Faith and Society


McGill’s Centre for Research on Religion/Centre de Recherche sur la Religion (CREOR) coordinates and supports research on the main religions of the world, their differences and their commonalities, and how they contribute to a better understanding of past and present-day culture, ethics and politics.

In addition, CREOR sponsors a lecture series open to the general public.

G. Campbell Wadsworth lectures

The G. Campbell Wadsworth memorial Lecture series was established in 1997 by the Estate of Dr. G. Campbell Wadsworth. A series of lectures on the life and works of John Calvin is organized on a bi-annual basis. The first G. Campbell Wadsworth memorial Lecture was presented by Profe ssor Alan J. Torrance; the second, by Professor Colin Gunton; the third by Professor John Webster; the fourth by Professor Joan Lockwood O'Donovan.

Reverend Wadsworth was Minister of the Montreal West United Church for many years, a keen student of the history and doctrine of the Reformation, and an active member of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.


Wadsworth Memorial Calvin Lecture by Dr. Elsie McKee, March 21
Calvin the Biblical Theologian


Wadsworth Memorial Calvin Lecture by Professor Bruce Gordon, February 15
Scripture and Church: Calvin, Servetus and Castellio


Public Lecture by Dr. Joan Lockwood O'Donovan, October 13
Faith and Society: Human Dignity and Human Justice

South Asian Religious Distinguished Lecureship

South Asian Religions Distinguished Lectureship

The South Asian Religions Distinguished Lectureship was established in 2009 to complement the strong undergraduate and graduate programs on South Asia in the School of Religious Studies at McGill, and to encourage public understanding of South Asian religions. It has been made possible through the generosity of Professor Robert Stevenson, Professor of Comparative Religion at McGill from 1966 to 1991.


Emilia Bachrach, Assistant Professor of Religion, Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies, Oberlin Colgate and Conservatory, Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. Birks Heritage Chapel, 3520 University Street, 2nd Floor.
Religious Reading and Women's Leadership in Contemporary Western India


Padma Kaimal, Professor of Art and Art History, Colgate University, Friday, March 20, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. Birks Heritage Chapel, 3520 University Street, 2nd Floor.
Scattered Goddesses: Travels with the Yoginis


Rachel Dwyer, Professor of Indian Cultures and Cinema, SOAS, University of London, Friday, March 28
Remover of Obstacles: The Persistence of the Mythological Genre in Hindi Cinema


Joanne Punzo Waghorne, Professor of Religion, Syracuse University, Friday, March 9
Gods in the High-Rise: Hindu Gurus About it All


Sumathi Ramaswamy, Professor of History, Duke University, Friday, March 11
A Historian Among the Goddesses of Modern India; Brochure


Philip Lutgendorf Professor of Hindi and Modern Indian Studies, University of Iowa, Friday, March 5
Mira: Cinematic Citations of a Radical Woman Saint


Indira Viswanathan Peterson, David B. Truman Professor of Asian Studies, Mount Holyoke College, Friday, March 6
Religions and Cultures in Conversation: The Tamil Protestant Poetry of Vedanayaka Sastri