Member of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and thereby authorized to supervise theses and Full Professor, Department of Classics and Religious Studies

1981 - PhD, University of Toronto
1978 - MA, University of Toronto
1975 - BA, University of Toronto

ARTS 121

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Peter Beyer


Member of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and thereby authorized to supervise theses.

In the earlier parts of his career, Peter Beyer focused his research primarily on sociological theory of religion and on themes in Canadian religious history, doing his doctoral dissertation on the Louis Riel and postdoctoral studies on 19th and 20th century French Canadian Roman Catholicism. Since the mid-1980s, however, his main interests have centred on the sociological understanding of the relations between religion and globalization and on religion in contemporary Canada. His current research focuses on religious diversity and multiculturalism in Canada, especially as concerns recent immigrants and the second generation of these immigrants. He was chair of the department from 1996-2004.

Courses taught

  • SRS2191/2591 Sociology of Religion / Sociologie de la religion.
  • SRS2195/2595 Religion and Politics in Global Society / Religion et politique dans la société mondiale.
  • SRS3191/3591 Sociology of Religious and Cultural Pluralism / Sociologie du pluralisme religieux et culturel.
  • SRS4107 Selected Topics in Religion and Culture

Selected publications

Globalization, Religion and Culture, edited with Lori Beaman. Leiden: Brill, 2007.

"Can the Tail Wag the Dog? Diaspora Reconstructions of Religion in a Globalized Society," Norwegian Journal of Religion and Society 1 (2007): 39-61.

Religions in Global Society. London: Routledge, 2006.

"Die Lokalisierung des religiösen Pluralismus: Bildet Kanada den Moedllfall?" in M. Baumann and S.M. Behloul, eds., Religiöser Pluralismus : Empirische Studien und analytische Perspektiven. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2005. Pp. 19-43.

"Religious Identity and Educational Attainment among Recent Immigrants to Canada: Gender, Age, and 2nd Generation," Journal of International Migration and Integration 6 (2005): 177-199.

"The Future of Non-Christian Religions in Canada : Patterns of Religious Identification among Recent Immigrants and Their Second Generation, 1981-2001," Studies in Religion/Sciences religieuses 34 (2005): 165-196.

"Au croisement de l'identité et de la différence : les syncrétismes culturo-religieux dans le contexte de la mondialisation," Social Compass 54 (2005) : 417-429.

"Conceptions of Religion: On Distinguishing Scientific, Theological, and 'Official' Meanings," Social Compass 50, 2 (2003): 141-160.

"De-Centring Religious Singularity: The Globalization of Christianity as a Case in Point," Numen 50 (2003): 357-386.

“Religions in Global Society: Transnational Resource and Globalized Category,” in R. Breton and J. Reitz, eds., Globalization and Society; Processes of Differentiation Examined. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003. Pp.153-162.

“Social Forms of Religion and Religions in Contemporary Global Society,” in M. Dillon, ed., Handbook of the Sociology of Religion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Pp. 45-60.

“Conceptions of Religion: On Distinguishing Scientific, Theological, and 'Official' Meanings,” Social Compass 50, 2 (2003): 141-160.

“Constitutional Privilege and Constituting Pluralism: Religious Freedom in National, Global, and Legal Context,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 42 (2003): 333-339.

“De-Centring Religious Singularity; The Globalization of Christianity as a Case in Point,” Numen 50 (2003): 357-386.

“Defining Religion in Cross-National Perspective: Identity and Difference in Official Conceptions," in A.L. Greil and D. Bromley, eds.,Defining Religion: Investigating the Boundaries between Sacred and Secular. Religion and the Social Order, Vol. 10. London: Elsevier Scientific, 2003. Pp. 163-188.

“Social Forms of Religion and Religions in Contemporary Global Society,” in M. Dillon, ed., Handbook of the Sociology of Religion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Pp. 45-60.

“Religions and Religiosity in Global Society: Secularization, De-Institutionalisation and Exceptionalism?” Soumen Antropologi (Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society) 27, 3 (October 2002): 2-18.

Ed. Religion im Prozeß der Globalisierung / Religion in the Process of Globalization. Würzburg: Ergon Verlag, 2001.

“Religion as Communication in Niklas Luhmann’s Die Religion der Gesellschaft”, Soziale Systeme 7 (2001): 46-55.

“Modern Forms of the Religious Life: Denomination, Church, and Invisible Religion in Canada, the United States, and Europe,” in D. Lyon, ed. Rethinking Church, State, and Modernity. Toronto: University of Toronto, 2000. Pp. 189-210.

Awards and achievements

Professor of the Year Award at the Faculty of Arts (2008)

Fields of Interest

  • Sociology of Religion
  • Religion and Globalization
  • Religion in Contemporary Canada
  • Religion and Immigration
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