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Dr. Matt Sheedy

Visiting Assistant Professor in Canadian Studies









Institutional mailing address

Institut für Anglistik, Amerikanistik und Keltologie
Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Regina-Pacis-Weg 5
53113 Bonn


Office hours

Wednesdays, 11:00-13:00, or by appointment
Genscherallee 3, Room 3.063

During the semester break: by appointment only!

Just published:

Owning the Secular: Religious Symbols, Culture Wars, Western Fragility. Routledge, 2021.

Research interests
Critical social theory, theories of secularism and religion, contemporary discourses on Islam, atheism, Christianity, and Indigenous North American traditions in popular and political culture.

Current projects
A book dealing with current representations of Islam in English language news media.

BA: University of Toronto, Religion and English
MA: Memorial University of Newfoundland, Religion
PhD: University of Manitoba, Religion



Owning the Secular: Religious Symbols, Culture Wars, Western Fragility. New York: Routledge, 2021.

Identity, Politics, and the Study of Islam: Current Dilemmas in the Study of Religions. Ed. Matt Sheedy. Sheffield: Equinox Publishing, 2018.

Select Book Chapters:

"Reimaging Indigenous-Settler Relations in The Revenant." Representing Religion in Film. Eds. Tenzan Eaghll and Rebekka King. London, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2022.

"What’s Religious Freedom Got to Do With it? On the Niqab Affair in Canadian Politics." Hijacked! A Critical Treatment of the Public Rhetoric of ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Religion, 61-68. Eds. Leslie Dorrough Smith, Steffen Führfing, and Adrain Hermann. Sheffield, UK: Equinox Publishing, 2020.

"The Politics of Islam in Contemporary Canada." Das Spannungsfeld von Religion und Politik: Deutung und Gestaltung im kulturellen Kontext, 355-384. Eds. Kai-Ole Eberhardt and Ingo Bultmann. Baden-Baden, DE: Nomos Verlag, 2019.

“I’m ‘Irish,’ Torontonian …French?” Fabricating Identities, 132-138. Ed. Vaia Touna. Sheffield: Equinox Publishing, 2017.

“Why Are There So Many Radical Muslims in the World Today?” Religion in 5 Minutes. Ed. Aaron W. Hughes. Sheffield: Equinox Publishing, 2017.

“Religions are Intrinsically Violent.” Stereotypes About Religion: Critiquing Clichés. Eds. Craig Martin and Brad Stoddard. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016.

“Of Elephants and Riders: Cognition, Reason, and Will in the Study of Religion.” Theory in a Time of Excess: Beyond Reflection and Explanation in Religious Studies Scholarship, 121-128. Ed. Aaron W. Hughes. Sheffield: Equinox Publishing, 2014.

Select Journal Articles:

"Six or Eight Theses on 'Christian' and 'Muslim' Terrorism in America." Implicit Religion Journal, forthcoming.

"Making the Familiar Strange: On the Influence of J.Z Smith." Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 87(1): 2019, 41-46. Oxford University Press.

"Introduction to the Special Issue of Religion and the Frankfurt School." Critical Research on Religion. Eds. Matt Sheedy and Craig Christopher Brittain, Vol. 6(3): 2018, 221-225.

“Habermas, Islam, and the Inclusion of the 'Other.'” Critical Research on Religion, Vol. 6(3): 2018, 331-350.

“Habermas and Religion.” Religion Compass. Wiley Online Library, 2014.

With Kenneth G. MacKendrick. “The Future of Religious History in Habermas’ Critical Theory of Religion.” Method and Theory in the Study of Religion, Vol. 7(2): 2014, 151-174.

“Rethinking Contested Ground: The Study of Islam in/and the Study of Religions.” Bulletin for the Study of Religion, Vol. 43(4): 2014, 3-6.

Professional associations

  • American Academy of Religion
  • North American Association for the Study of Religion
  • Canadian Society for the Study of Religion