Joseph O'Connell

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Joseph O'Connell

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June 1st, 1940 - May 15th, 2012


Joseph O'Connell was a professor emeritus of the Department for the Study of Religion at St. Michael's College in the University of Toronto. He held a Bachelor with honors in History from College of the Holy Cross where he graduated in 1962 and obtained his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1970. O'Connell's Ph.D. thesis, "Social Implications of the Gaudiya Vaisnava Movement," studied the social and political aspects of Caitanya, Sri Krishna-Caitanya, and Avatara theology. He continued to study and teach the history of Hinduism throughout his career.

From 2002 to 2012, O'Connell was a co-architect for the Department of World Religions at Dhaka University in Bangladesh. O'Connell helped to design the department's four-year B.A. Honours as well as their one-year M.A. course. In addition to designing the program, O'Connell taught in the department on and off for the ten years that he was involved with the University.

His teaching appointments include visiting professorships at the Oxford Center for Vaisnava and Hindu Studies and Theology faculty at Oxford University from 2000-2002; the Department of World religions at Dhaka University from 2003-2011; and the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Visva-Bharati University from 2007-2008. O'Connell was appointed by St. Michael's College in 1963 and continued to work for the college until his death in 2012.


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