Michel Desjardins

Michel Desjardins (mdesjardins@wlu.ca) is Professor of Religion and Culture at Wilfrid Laurier University, in Waterloo, Canada. He is also currently serving as Associate Dean, Research and Curriculum, in the Faculty of Arts. He has taught and published in the areas of comparative religions, early Christianity, the academic study of religion, and the scholarship on teaching and learning. He has served on boards and executive committees of several academic societies, including the Canadian Society for the Study of Religion (President), the American Academy of Religion (Secretary), the Canadian Corporation for Studies in Religion (Secretary), and the Canadian Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences (Board member).

His current research focuses on the role that food plays in people’s spiritual lives, and on university programs that foster learning by sending students abroad. For the last three years he has also worked closely with Dr. Joanne Benham Rennick, exploring the values that are embedded in academic programs that encourage student learning outside the country. Together they facilitated conversations on this topic with faculty and staff from across Canada, and that research is about to appear in a co-edited book they prepared.

 Selected recent publications:

  • The World is my Classroom: Priorities for Globalizing Canadian Higher Education (co-edited with Joanne Benham Rennick; forthcoming November 2013 from University of Toronto Press)
  • “Practicalities and Pedagogies: Implementing International Learning Opportunities for Students,” in The World is my Classroom: Priorities for Globalizing Canadian Higher Education, eds. Joanne Benham Rennick and Michel Desjardins (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, forthcoming)
  • “Towards a Pedagogy of Good Global Citizenship,” in The World is my Classroom: Priorities for Globalizing Canadian Higher Education (with J. Benham Rennick; forthcoming)
  • “Religious Studies that Really Schmecks: Introducing Food to the Academic Study of Religion,” in Failure and Nerve in the Study of Religion, eds. William Arnal, Willi Braun and Russell McCutcheon, (London: Equinox, 2012)
  • “Studies in Religion/Sciences religieuses: A Forty-year Retrospective,” in Studies in Religion/Sciences religieuses 40/1 (2011): 7-19


Contributions by Michel Desjardins


Religion and Food

This week we bring you an interview with Chris Silver speaking to Professor Michel Desjardins of Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada, on the topic of Religion and Food. Connections are made with recent turns in the academic study of religion (gender, materiality etc.), and other areas of study such as religion and nutrition/health.