Sarah Marie Gallant
I grew-up in Nova Scotia, on the east coast of Canada, surrounded by ghost towns and abandoned gold mines. I have always been drawn to the histories of the peoples who chose to settle in the region and the distinctive cultures they subsequently developed. This fascination with the traces of the past has inspired my studies throughout my career.
I began my undergraduate studies at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, Canada. Although I originally intended to study journalism, the stories of the peoples of the past became my primary focus. It became clear to me that the stories of the past continue to impact our understanding of ourselves in the present. I became particularly interested in the role that religion played in the development of these identity narratives. I took every history and religion course I could at St. Thomas, learning a great deal from some wonderful professors and colleagues about critical theory and practice in the process. During the last year of my program, I wrote and defended an honors thesis on the various depictions of the Cathars of Medieval Southern France, earning me a BA with an honors in Religious Studies and major in History in 2004.
I continued studying religion and history at the University of Calgary, where I had the opportunity to study many religious traditions. After I completed my Master’s degree in 2007, I decided to continue my studies in Calgary and enrolled in the PhD program. Upon completing all of my candidacy requirements, I conducted my own research comparing expressions of gender within New Religious Movements and Medieval Christian communities. I was awarded a Doctorate in 2013 for this research. I have since made my home in the Pacific Northwest, where I continue to research expressions of religion and culture within contemporary North American communities.I have taught multiple courses for Everett Community College since 2015, including Introduction to World Religions, Introduction to Sociology, and Introduction to Philosophy, but I especially enjoy introducing students to the fascinating topics that fall into the categories of “religion.