Around TST: Thoughts from the Director

  Theological Studies and Religious Studies

Theological Studies and Religious Studies

The widely recognized QS survey of world universities ranks schools as a whole, but it also ranks them in forty-six subject areas. One of these subject areas is called “theology, divinity, and religious studies.”

But, wait! Aren’t theology and religious studies two different subject areas? They certainly are at the University of Toronto. But the universities that QS ranks highest in this area — Harvard, Oxford, Durham, Cambridge, Boston, Yale — join theology and religious studies in... Read More



  Van Gogh’s “Starry Night over the Rhône at Arles” at the Art Gallery of Ontario last year, as Alan Hayes talks to a group about

Theology and the Arts at TST

Throughout the history of humanity, it seems, people’s sense of God has flowed into their works of arts, and their works of arts have led them to a sense of God.

-- Some of the oldest cave paintings, at places like Altamira and Chauvet, which our ancestors drew from 15,000 to 30,000 years ago, appear to express religious commitments connected to animism, shamanism, ancestor veneration, and ritual observance.
-- “Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him with the ten-stringed lyre,” says the Psalmist.
-- Ancient Greek theatre evolved from religious ritual drama,... Read More



  

Some Trends at the Toronto School of Theology

What trends can we expect at the Toronto School of Theology in the next few years? We can take a stab at that question by looking at some recent patterns. True, we can’t really know whether recent trends will continue. Maybe some very unexpected things are in store for us. But over the past few years many trends actually have held pretty steady, so some continuing incremental changes is probably a good guess.

First, it looks as if our student enrolments will remain roughly the same. This year, across our seven TST... Read More



  Robert Baldwin, Sponsor of the first University of Toronto Act

TST’s Roots in the Religious Feuding of Colonial Canada

Much of what’s peculiar about the Toronto School of Theology has evolved from Canada’s colonial history. Let me give two examples: the University of Toronto leaves theology to TST, instead of running its own programs, for reasons rooted in colonial religious feuding; and it was a scandalous religious conversion in the colonial period that made it possible much later for Roman Catholics and Protestants to work side-by-side at Queen’s Park.

First, TST teaches theology because U of T doesn’t. U of T steered clear of theology from its very beginnings. In this respect it was an outlier... Read More



  Alan Hayes, Director of TST

How Our Doctoral Students Have Inspired Me

This past fall I had the immense privilege of co-leading a course for TST’s entering cohort of twenty-four PhD students. It was one of the most uplifting experiences of my professional career. I’d like to tell you why.

In theory, the students were there to learn from an ecumenical, multidisciplinary pair of TST professors. One was Gordon Rixon of Regis College, a Jesuit theologian. I was the other, a Protestant historian from... Read More