History of Religions

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History of Religions

Degree: Honours Bachelor of Arts
Program Options: Specialist, Major, Minor

The History of Religions explores the importance of religion in the historical processes that make up world history. It situates religion in its historical and socio-political contexts as part of the interplay of forces that constitute the story of humankind, and acknowledges the role of religion in shaping and being shaped by that story. Its approach often involves (but is not limited to) the study of particular religious traditions, the comparative study of religion, and the study of the religious dimension of human experience and of common historical phenomena. Its subject includes all religions throughout the world, from ancient times to the present day. The History of Religions is therefore an excellent preparation for living and working in a cosmopolitan and multiconfessional world. As an academic subject, it is intrinsically rewarding and can lead to graduate work in a variety of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. It also provides the reading, writing, and analytical skills demanded by a wide range of careers in ministry, government, business, library and museum science, law, teaching, journalism and community services, such as counselling and social services. The department encourages students to take advantage of the various study abroad opportunities available at UTM.

Visit our Programs page for more information on Historical Studies undergraduate programs at the University of Toronto Mississauga.


Program Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate religious literacy by identifying key facts, ideas, images, and practices in the history of religious traditions, the processes by which religious traditions emerge, and the various influences of religion in other spheres of cultures and society;
  • Conceptualize religious practices and institutions using religious studies theory and methods;
  • Recognize the historicity of religious traditions (i.e., their variability over time and space);
  • Identify how scholars of religion know what they know and recognize the limits of their knowledge;
  • Demonstrate competency in historical methods by constructing historical questions and arguments using a variety of sources and data (such as primary sources, including images, objects, and media, as well as secondary sources);
  • Demonstrate secondary competency in (or informed awareness of) other disciplinary methods, including ethnography and the interpretive analysis of texts and images;
  • Communicate ideas through in-class discussions, presentations, and formal essays;
  • Conduct small-scale independent research in the history of religions;
  • Analyze how religion relates to other power structures (including race, class, gender);
  • Approach religious difference with the kind of empathetic imagination that is essential to the functioning of a pluralistic cosmopolitan society.


Career Information

The skills and experience you acquire while studying a Historical Studies program at UTM will be benefit in any career you might enter. Graduates of a Historical Studies program bring a unique set of valuable skills to many diverse career areas. Visit the Careers page for more information on career areas for graduates of our History of Religions program.

Skills developed

  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Organizational
  • Research

Career areas

  • Education
  • Government
  • Historical societies
  • Inter-religious dialogue organizations
  • Legal agencies
  • Media
  • Non-profit agencies
  • Preservation boards
  • Social services


  • Archivist
  • Community developer
  • Communications specialist
  • Diplomat
  • Equity officer
  • Historian
  • Human rights advocate


  • International aide worker
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Political consultant
  • Public policy advisor
  • Researcher

Get Involved

Check out the 100+ student organizations on campus. Here are a few:

  • Historical Studies Society (HSS)
  • UTM Student Union (UTMSU)
  • UTM Athletics Council (UTMAC)

For a listing of clubs on campus visit the Student Organization Portal.