Skip to main content
McMaster University Menu Search

Past Colloquium Speakers


Dr. Lucia Dolce (School of Oriental and African Studies) Numata Studies, Reading Group: "Taimitsu Rituals in Medieval Japan: Sectarian Competition and the Dynamics of Tantric Performance"

Dr. Eileen Schuller (McMaster University) "Reflections of a Dead Sea Scrolls Scholar"

Dr. Joshua Dubler (University of Rochester) "Prisoners, Religion, and the Cultural Logic of Mass Incarceration"

Dr. Shaul Kelner (Vanderbilt University) Lillian and Marvin Goldblatt Lecture in Jewish Studies: "Shaping Jewish Identity Through Mass Tourism: How Do (or Don't) "Birthright Israel" Trips Actually Work?"

Dr. Annabella Pitkin (Barnard College, Columbia University) Numata Series: "Miracles, Magic and Modernity: Modes of Tibetan Buddhist Power and their Interpretations"

Dr. Mika Pajunen (Centre of Excellence, Helsinki) Department Colloquium: "The Influence of Societal Changes in the Late Second Temple Period on the Functions and Composition of Psalms"

Dr. Mohammad Fadel (University of Toronto Faculty of Law) Sharjah Chair in Global Islam Lecture: “The Representational Ideal and Sunni Public Law”

Khenpo Kunga Sherab (University of Toronto) "The Interpretation of Scientific "Proofs" for Past and Future Lives amongst Contemporary Tibetan Buddhist Scholars in the PRC"

Dr. Carl Yamamoto (Towson University) Numata Series: “Orphan Texts: Making Sense of Genre Anomalies in Lama Zhang”

Dr. Shi Huifeng (Fo Guang Shan University) Numata Series: “Chiasmus in Buddhist Literature: Theory and Case Studies”

Dr. Thomas Wilson (Hamilton College) Departmental Colloquium: "Conceptions of Heaven and God in the Imperial Cults of China"

Dr. Vincent Tournier (School of Oriental and African Studies) Numata Series, Reading Group: “The Mahāvastu and the Vinayapiṭaka of the Mahāsāṃghika-Lokottaravādin”

Dr. Carol Newsom (Emory University) Distinguished Hooker Visiting Professor Public Lecture

Dr. Simon Coleman (University of Toronto) Departmental Colloquium: “The Anthropologist as Agnoiologist: From Darwinism to Dawkinism”

Dr. Dominic Steavu (University of California Santa Barbara) Numata Series, Reading Group: “Buddhist Medicine and the Affairs of the Heart”

Dr. Karl Shuve (University of Virginia) Departmental Colloquium: “Brides of Christ: Nuptial Imagery and Initiation Rituals in Early Christianity”


Dr. Molly Zahn (University of Kansas) “Genres of Scriptural Rewriting in Second Temple Judaism”

Dr. Justin McDaniel (University of Pennsylvania) Numata Series: “Architects of Buddhist Leisure”

Dr. Rebecca Stein (Duke University) Lillian and Marvin Goldblatt Lecture in Jewish Studies: “Digital Politics: How Social Media is Controlling the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”

Dr. Raoul Birnbaum (University of California Santa Cruz) Distinguished Hooker Visiting Professor Public Lecture: What is a “Buddhist Painting”?  Some Registers of Meaning in Chinese Buddhist Art; Department Colloquium: Notes on the Inner Life of a Chinese Buddhist Monk: Master Hongyi and his 20th Century Worlds of Practice

Dr. Rupert Gethin (University of Bristol) Numata Series, Reading Group: The Good, the Bad and the Undertermined: Reflections on the Theravada, Sarvastivada, and Yogacara Listing of Dharmas.

Dr. Alexander von Rospatt (University of California, Berkeley) Numata Series: “Reflections on the Coexistence of Buddhist and Hindu Traditions in the Historical Nepal. The Case of Old Age Rituals among the Newars”

Dr. Stefan Reif (Emeritus Professor, Fellow of St. John's College, University of Cambridge) Meyer-Schreiber Lecture: “Lessons from the past: what ancient Jewish manuscripts teach us about inter-faith relations”

Dr. Arshad Ahmad (Director, McMaster Institute for Innovation & Excellence in Teaching & Learning) Teaching and Learning Colloquium

Dr. Nadav Sharon (post-doctoral fellow, University of Haifa, Israel) “The Significance of the Roman Conquest of Judea in 63 BCE in the Qumran Scrolls”

Dr. Mark Nathan (University at Buffalo) “Transnational Missions and Local Dharma Transmissions: ‘Religion’ and Propagation in the Making of Modern Korean Buddhism”

Dr. Ellen Badone (McMaster University) “New Pilgrims on a Medieval Route: Mobility and Community on the Tro Breiz”

Dr. Nicholas Morrissey (University of Georgia) Numata Series “On the Cult of the Lotus Sutra in India: A New Interpretation of a 5th Century Painting from Ajanta”

Dr. Benjamin E. Reynolds “The Johannine Jesus and Angelic Mediators in Jewish Apocalypses”

Mr. Adel Hashemi (McMaster University) Islamic Studies Symposium:  “A Blessed and Promised Ending: an Introduction to the Concept of Martyrdom in Twelver Shi’ism”

Dr. Mark Cohen (Princeton University) Meyer-Schreiber Lecture: “Modern Myths of Muslim Antisemitism”

Dr. Joshua Dubler  (University of Rochester) “Bad Men, Poor Men, and the Ethnography of Religion and Prison”

Dr. Sabine Sander (Max Weber Collegium, University of Erfurt, Germany) “Between diasporic community, acculturation, and religious individualization: German-Jewish contributions to linguistic and cultural theories in the 19th and 20th centuries”

Dr. Fumi Yao (JSPS Post-doctoral Fellow, McMaster University) “Newly Found Sanskrit Manuscript Fragments of an Indian Buddhist Monastic Law Code.”


Dr. Michael Zank (Boston University) Distinguished Hooker Visiting Professor Public Lecture:  "Jerusalem, or: How an Ordinary Royal City of the Ancient Southern Levant Acquired Extraordinary Holiness"  Department Colloquium:  "Philosophy of Religion or Philosophies of Religions: Ruminations About a Discipline in Transition"

Dr. Ian Reader (Lancaster University) Promotions, Inventions and Exhibitions:  The Secularisation of Pilgrimage and the Decline of Religion in Contemporary Japan?

Dr. Markus Öhler (University of Vienna) Domestic Religiosity and Polis Cults. Insights from Ephesus and its Implications for our Understanding of Early Christianity.

Dr. Shaman Hatley (Concordia University) Numata Reading Group: Converting the Dakini: Goddess Cults and Tantras of the Yoginis between Buddhism and Shaivism

Dr. Samuel Heilman (Queen’s College, City University of New York) Lillian and Marvin Goldblatt Lecture in Jewish Studies: “Lubavitch, Messianism and the Denial of Death ”

Dr. Matthew Kapstein (University of Chicago / Université La Sorbonne) Numata Reading Group: 'Spiritual Exercise' and Buddhist Epistemologists in India and Tibet

Dr. Jason Peters (Augustana College) “The Limits of Flesh and Spirit and Our Debt to Wendell Berry”

Dr. Robert Campany (Vanderbilt University) Numata Reading Group: Religious Repertoires and Contestation: A Case Study Based on Buddhist Miracle Tales

Dr. Robert A. Ventresca (King's University College, Western University) Meyer-Schreiber Lecture: “Pius XII and the Jews: Between History and Myth”

Dr. Christina Scherrer-Schaub (Université de Lausanne) Numata Series: “Texts and Masters on the Road: from Magadha to Termez, back and forth, and beyond”

Dr. Geoffrey Samuels (Cardiff University) Numata Series “The Multiple Meanings and Uses of Tibetan Sacred Dance: ‘Cham in Context”

"Buddhism after the Tsunami" -- Film Showing and Discussion with filmmaker Tim Graf

Professor Abdulaziz Sachedina (George Mason University) Sharjah Chair in Global Islam Lecture: "Islam and Human Rights: Conversation between Religion and Secularism"

Dr. Terence L. Donaldson (Wycliffe College) “Omnes gentes: “The Nations” in Jewish and Roman Context and the Formation of Gentile Christian Identity.”

Dr. Jens-Uwe Hartmann, (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) Numata Series “A Hub and a Cradle: Gandhara and the Spread of Buddhism”