25 January 2021, Thuringia, Erfurt: A mouth-nose mask lies on the cathedral square below St. Mary's Cathedral and St. Severus Church. In Thuringia, the number of infections with the coronavirus increased only slightly over the weekend, the Ministry of Health announced. Photo: Martin Schutt/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa (Photo by Martin Schutt/picture alliance via Getty Images)


Plagues and Peoples: From Divine Intervention to Public Health,” taught jointly by Pamela Klassen, a professor in the department for the study of religion, and Janelle Taylor, a professor of anthropology, weaves together a curriculum that offers a historical, anthropological and religious perspective that compares pandemics from the bubonic plague and cholera to the 1918 flu epidemic, looking at how diseases impact society and how they change culture and politics.

“What does it mean to live through a world historic pandemic?” Klassen asks. “We are thinking about how stories matter for the course of a pandemic. We are asking students to observe what they see around them and consider how religion and culture shape the ways that epidemics reveal inequity as well as bring about solidarity.”

Read more here.

Elected to the Royal Society of Canada


Founded in the 1880s, the Royal Society of Canada recognizes scholars and their work in order to help them build a better future in Canada and around the world.

“My work has always been animated by – this is more grandiose than I want to make it sound – questions of injustice that I see around me and how religion plays into various kinds of inequality, or how religion shapes the political world in which we live,” Klassen says.

Read more here.

Fellows have made remarkable contributions in the arts, humanities and sciences and will be mobilized to contribute knowledge, understanding, and insight through engagement with the Canadian public.

Podcasts about The Story of Radio Mind

I discussed The Story of Radio Mind on two podcasts: New Books Network, where Hillary Kaell and I had a conversation about the book, and Radio Survivor, where Eric Klein and I talked about the intersection of religion and radio.

Review for The Story of Radio Mind


Amanda Porterfield writes for Reading Religion: “Klassen understands Du Vernet and his situation better than he did. Working a century later, she has heard more indigenous voices and been able to draw upon postcolonial scholarship and activism. Invoking the spirit of the 2015 report by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, she overlooks no opportunity to expose the role that Christianity played in justifying colonization and rationalizing the seizure of indigenous lands. But she also pays close attention to the ways indigenous people worked with the material culture and ideas associated with Christianity to assert their own sovereign rights, preserve their societies, and contribute to the meaning of religion and spirituality in Canada, and indeed to the meaning of Canada itself.”

Read her review here.


Left to right: my host Prof. Dr. Monique Scheer, Cornelia Quennet-Thielen, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, me, and Helmut Schwarz, President of the Humboldt Foundation.

Anneliese Maier Research Award Prize Ceremony


On the fifteenth of September 2015, I received the Anneliese Maier Research Award in Leipzig, Germany. For more information on the prize and the other prizewinners, see the Humboldt Foundation’s press release. More details about the first workshop Professor Monique Scheer and I organized can be found here.


Northrop Frye Award


The Northrop Frye Award of Excellence for the integration of Research and Teaching recognizes those individuals or team of individuals who have enhanced the student experience through innovative curriculum, co-curricular learning, and pedagogical contributions inside and outside the classroom with a special focus on the integration of research and teaching. I received the award in 2015; read more here.

AAR Award for Excellence


My 2011 book Spirits of Protestantism: Medicine, Healing, and Liberal Christianity won the American Academy of Religion Award of Excellence in Analytical-Descriptive Studies in 2012.

For more information about the book, see here. For more information about the award, see here.