Behind that joke about the priest, the rabbi and the imam…Thursday, May 9th, 2013
Stereotypes and jokes aside, religion is both a sensitive and inflammatory subject, as are the half-sister topics of secularism and atheism.
With the goal of fortifying teaching, research and scholarship on comparative religion and interfaith dialogue at McGill, alumni Barbara and Patrick Keenan have made a $5 million gift to the Faculty of Religious Studies (the largest gift since the Faculty’s founding).
Among the initiatives the gift will fund, the Barbara and Patrick Keenan Chair in Interfaith Studies – the first such Chair in Canada and one of only a handful worldwide — will bring world-class scholars to the University to lead new research initiatives in interfaith studies, and will result in the development of a new introductory level course, “World Religions and the Cultures They Create,” aimed at enhancing religious literacy among a greater number of undergraduate students at the onset of their university careers.
The Barbara and Patrick Keenan Conference Support Fund will support one or two high-profile symposiums that will bring together prominent international scholars to share their knowledge of world religions and globalization with the wider community.