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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!

Research interests
My research interests include critical social theory, theories of secularism and religion, as well as representations of Christianity, Islam, atheists, and Native traditions in popular and political culture. I am currently completing a book that offers a critical look at Jürgen Habermas’s theory of religion in the public sphere.

Current research projects

My current research focuses on representations of Indigenous traditions in Canada, with a case study focusing on the depictions of Native history and culture at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. I am also working on a project that offers a discourse analysis of popular atheism in the Euro-West, with particular attention to how it has responded to charges of Islamophobia. The rhetoric on Islamophobia within North America is also part of an on-going and long term project, which will eventually be turned into a book.


BA: University of Toronto, Religion and English

MA: Memorial University of Newfoundland, Religion

PhD: University of Manitoba, Religion


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

Book chapters:

(Forthcoming) “Robert Bellah” and “Emile Durkheim” (encyclopedia entries). Cambridge Habermas Lexicon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2017 “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 “Pulling No Punches: Taking Aim at the Eliadean Paradigm.” Method and Theory in the Study of Religion: Twenty-Five Years On. Ed. Aaron W. Hughes. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers.

Journal Articles:

(In Progress) Special Issue on the Frankfurt School and Religion. Critical Research on Religion. Eds. Matt Sheedy and Craig Christopher Brittain. Sage Journals.

(In Progress) “Habermas, Islam, and the Inclusion of the Other.” Critical Research on Religion. Eds. Matt Sheedy and Craig Christopher Brittain. Sage Journals

(Forthcoming) “Changing the Subject: A Reply to K. Merinda Simmons.” Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts and Contemporary Worlds. Sheffield: Equinox Publishing.

2016 “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 7.2: 151-174.

2014 “Rethinking Contested Ground: The Study of Islam in/and the Study of Religions.” Bulletin for the Study of Religion 43.4: 3-6.


Professional associations

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