Photo of Sarah Richardson

Sarah Richardson

Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream Historical Studies - History of Religions
Office Location:
MN 4208
Office Hours:
Please refer to syllabus and/or contact via email.
3359 Mississauga Road, Maanjiwe nendamowinan, 4th floor
Mississauga , ON
L5L 1C6

Sarah Aoife Richardson is a historian of the arts and religions of South Asia with a specialization in Buddhist visual and material practice, especially Himalayan painting. Sarah holds a PhD from the University of Toronto (2016), and is currently teaching in the History of Religions for the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga. In 2018-19 she served as the Acting Director of the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Centre for Buddhist Studies at the University of Toronto, and now continues to work for this centre as the Director of Partnerships and Engagement. She especially enjoys teaching and learning about the ways that the arts are used in religious contexts, and how the arts move people and build communities. She loves teaching, and is also passionate about finding ways to help students experience the arts more richly in her courses.

Sarah is working on a book about Visual Words in Tibetan Architecture, which is an in-depth study of a rich program of inscribed murals at an important fourteenth-century Tibetan Buddhist monastery called Shalu. Mural paintings, Sarah argues, were then (and are still) useful in larger cultural projects of Tibetan Buddhist knowledge production.

Sarah also extends her scholarly practice to the museum, and has researched for years the largely unpublished Tibetan painting collection at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), where she is also working to curate the first exhibition of this Buddhist material in the ROM’s 100-year history, in an upcoming exhibit that will focus on how Buddhist religious art constructs and represents vision.

Current Courses:  


  • RLG201H5: Introduction to Religion in the Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts
  • RLG378H5: Museums and Material Religion