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The Christianity and Culture Program offers students an opportunity to study Christianity from a variety of perspectives, including its self-understanding, its history, and its interaction with various facets of western and world culture. The program also explores how Christian experience continues to develop in its encounter with contemporary culture and issues.
Individual courses focus on art, literature, science, philosophy, theology, ritual, law, and social and institutional history.
The program addresses the broad range of Christian experience, with a particular emphasis on the Catholic tradition.
Admission to the Christianity and Culture Specialist has been administratively suspended as of 1 April 2015 and is no longer admitting students. Students presently enrolled in the Specialist will be able to complete the program requirements as described here.
Christianity and Culture may be taken as a minor or major program. Christianity and Culture is an undergraduate program only. Students in the Faculty of Arts and Science of the University of Toronto may enrol in the program at the end of their first year. All students in the Faculty of Arts and Science are welcome in the program and its individual courses.
Where Should I Begin?
Either of the following two courses serves as a gateway to the major and minor programs: SMC103Y1 Catholicism or SMC203Y1 Christianity and Society Through the Ages.
The Rabanus Project is a social club for students, faculty, staff and alumni associated with the program which sponsors a range of enjoyable events that encourage members to consider the place of Christianity in cultures past and present: lectures, discussion, films, and cultural outings.
Saeculum is an undergraduate journal for the study of Christianity and Culture edited, produced, and published by the students in the program.
Christianity and the Arts Lecture
An annual public lecture, held in April, by a scholar or practitioner in the field of Christianity and literature, music, poetry. The 2017 lecture on The Church and Contemporary Art was given by Bishop Paul Tighe, Adjunct Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Rome.
Previous lecturers include:
Pier Giorgio di Cicco (poet)
John Bentley Mays (art and architecture critic)
Philip Marchand (literary critic)
the late Richard Bradshaw (conductor and general director of the Canadian Opera Company)
Ted Rettig (sculptor)
James MacMillan (composer)
Sarah Hall (stained glass artist)
Claire Keegan (writer)
Peter Togni (musician and broadcaster)
Thomas Dilworth (University of Windsor)
Katharine Lochnan (curator at the AGO)
Rev. Dan Donovan (St. Michael’s College)
Sr. Rose Pacatte (film critic and Director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies
Marianne McKenna (architect)
University of Toronto students have the opportunity of applying for the third year Study Elsewhere program.
Christianity and Culture is a good preparation for a career in education, journalism, arts and entertainment, or communications. Many of our students proceed to graduate work in theology and religious studies.
For students anticipating teaching careers in Ontario Catholic schools, certain of the Christianity and Culture courses have been judged by the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) as providing equivalent standing in ministry courses required for permanent teachers contracts