Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

History Post-confederation (1867-)

From Seminary to University

An Institutional History of the Study of Religion in Canada

by (author) Aaron Hughes

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
May 2020
Post-Confederation (1867-), General, General
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2020
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2020
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


This book provides the first historical examination of the study of religion in Canada. While secular departments of religious studies would not emerge in Canada until the late 1960s, the teaching of religion under the guise of divinity, theology, the Bible, and moral philosophy has been omnipresent for much of the country’s history. The gradual transformation from the teaching of religious truths at denominational theological colleges to the non-denominational and secular study of religion at universities was a lengthy and complicated one.


From Seminary to University examines this transformation against a much broader backdrop. It is not simply the history of individual departments scattered across the nation. Instead, the story reveals the many non-academic forces that made those departments possible, such as the creation of the United Church of Canada, the adoption of multiculturalism, and the introduction of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In recounting this transformation, From Seminary to University illuminates an important part of Canadian history.

About the author

Edmonton-born Aaron W. Hughes is the Philip S. Bernstein Professor of Religious Studies and International Relations at the University of Rochester, New York. He is the author of 21 books, editor of 12 volumes, and writer of over 100 book chapters and articles. Hughes frequently appears in the media, including The New York Times, NPR, CBC, The Globe and Mail, National Post, Calgary Herald, and Edmonton Journal.

Aaron Hughes' profile page

Editorial Reviews

"The author clearly depicts the teaching of religion at Canada’s universities, far into the twentieth century, as centred on Christian theology."

<em>Canadian Jewish Studies</em>

Other titles by Aaron Hughes