Photo of Richard D. MacPhail

Richard D. MacPhail

Contract Instructor

Degrees:B.A. (Saskatchewan), M.A. (Madras), M.A., Ph.D. (McMaster)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 2103
Office:2A35 Paterson Hall; Office Hours: Mon. 10:00-11:00 and Fri. 3:00-4:00


Richard MacPhail received a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from McMaster University in 1995. He studied Vedanta and Sanskrit at Madras University. He has studied Tamil classics and ethnography at McMaster University.

He is a former Chair of the Department of Religion and Culture at the United Theological College, Bangalore.

Dr. MacPhail’s research and publications have focused on Buddhism and popular Hindu and Christian traditions,with particular emphasis on visionary phenomena, exorcism and healing.

Research Interests

  • Construction of identity and authority of religious specialists
  • Festival, pilgrimage, goddess traditions & apparitional phenomena
  • Religion and power, ritual discourse, inculturation, dialogue, and ways of seeing religious life & conviction through the eyes of others
  • Cultural exchange programs
  • Classical systems of Hindu and Buddhist thought
  • Social scientific study of religion
  • Civil negotiation processes

2016-2017 Courses

  • RELI 1715 B, South Asian Religions (W)
  • RELI 2410 A, Buddhism (W)
  • RELI 2510 A, Hindusim (W)