Kenneth MacKendrick

Dr. Kenneth MacKendrickAssociate Professor of Religion

Kenneth G. MacKendrick completed his dissertation on the early writings of Jürgen Habermas at the Centre for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto and has been published as Discourse, Desire, and Fantasy in Jurgen Habermas' Critical Theory (Routledge, 2008). He is working on Evil: A Critical Primer for Equinox Press and has recently written essays on mythmaking and superheroes, imaginary companions, and the writings of Chuck Palahniuk. In addition to his interests in critical theory and religion, he also teaches on the topics of evil and world religions, death and concepts of the future, cognitive theories of religion, religion and the imagination, religion and democracy, and the supernatural in popular culture.


Ph.D. University of Toronto (2005)
M.A. University of Toronto (1996)
B.A. University of Windsor (1994)


Cognition and Imagination, Religion in Popular Culture, Comparative Studies of Religion and Culture


RLGN 1410 Death and Concepts of the Future
RLGN 1440 Evil in World Religions

RLGN 2030 Psychology and Religion
RLGN 2050 Modern and Contemporary Christianity
RLGN 2222 The Supernatural in Popular Culture

RLGN 3110 Rituals of Death and Mourning
RLGN 3110 Issues in the Study of Evil and Religion

RLGN 4--- Religion and Democracy
RLGN 4080 Critical Theory and Religion
RLGN 4260 Theoretical Approaches: Western Religions

Recent Publications

Refereed Books
Discourse, Desire, and Fantasy in Jürgen Habermas’ Critical Theory. New York: Routledge, 2008.
Refereed Chapters
“Chuck Palahniuk and the New Journalism Revolution.” In Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk, 1-21. Edited by Jeffrey Sartain. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009.
with Nicole Goulet. “Selected Bibliography.” In Reading Chuck Palahniuk: American Monsters and Literary Mayhem, 225-236. Edited by Cynthia Kuhn and Lance Rubin. New York: Routledge, 2009.
with Christopher C. Brittain. “Max Horkheimer.” In Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 296: Twentieth-Century European Cultural Theorists, Second Series, 209-220. Edited by Paul Hansom. New York: Gale, 2004.

 “The Theatre of Western Capitalism: Competing for Reality.” In Image-Makers and Image- Breakers, 221-232. Edited by Jennifer A. Harris. Toronto: Legas, 2003.
Refereed Articles in Academic or Professional Journals
“What is a Superhero? How Myth can be a Metacode.”  Bulletin for the Study of Religion 44, no. 1 (2015): 19-26.

 with Matt Sheedy. “The Future of Religious History in Habermas’s Critical Theory of Religion.”Method and Theory in the Study of Religion. 27, no. 2 (2015): 151-174.
“We Have an Imaginary Friend in Jesus: What Imaginary Companions and Tell Us about Religion.”Implicit Religion 15, no. 1 (2012): 61-79.
“The Challenge of Postmetaphysical Thinking and the Nature of Religious Thought.” Islamic Perspective 3 (2010): 28-49.
“Evil in World Religions at the University of Manitoba (2002-2008): An Introduction and Provocation.” Golem Journal of Religion and Monsters 3, no. 1 (2009): 38-55.   <>.
“Intersubjectivity and the ‘Revival of Death’: Toward a Critique of Sovereign Individualism.”  Critical Sociology 31, no. 1-2 (2005): 169-185. Reprint: “Intersubjectivity and Religious Language: Toward a Critique of Regressive Trends in Thanatology.” In Marx, Critical Theory, and Religion, 179-201. Edited by Warren S. Goldstein. Boston: Brill, 2006.
 “The Moral Imaginary of Discourse Ethics.” Critical Horizons 1, no. 2 (2000): 247-269.
Reprint: “The Moral Imaginary of Discourse Ethics.” In Critical Theory After Habermas: Encounters and  Departures, 280-306. Edited by Wayne Hudson, Dieter Freundlieb, and John Rundell.  Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2004.
“The Aporetics of a Tennis Playing Brontosaurus, or, A Critical Theory of Religion: A Rejoinder to Russell McCutcheon and William Arnal.” Studies in Religion /  Sciences Religieuses 28, no. 1 (1999): 77-83.
Book Reviews, Roundtable Reviews, Encyclopedia Articles
"Postmetaphysical Thinking and the Philosophy of Religion." Critical Review of Kevin Schilbrack'sPhilosophy and the Study of Religion. Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 28, no. 1 (2016): 84-97.
"The Public Nature of Critical Discourses on 'Religion.'" Critical Review of William Arnal and     Russell McCutcheon's The Sacred is the Profane. Method and Theory in the Study of      Religion 27, no. 2 (2015): 122-130.
Christianity and Ethnicity in Canada, edited by Paul Bramadat and David Seljak. Canadian Ethnic Studies 40, no. 3 (2008): 215-216. [published 2011].
Living in the End Times, by Slavoj Zizek. Winnipeg Free Press. 3 July 2010.
Dracula: The Un-Dead, by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt. Winnipeg Free Press. 18 October 2009.
God Needs No Passport: Immigrants and the Changing American Religious Landscape, by Peggy Levitt. International Sociology 25, no. 2 (2010): 5-8.
Snuff, by Chuck Palahniuk. Winnipeg Free Press. 1 June 2008.

“Targeted Learning Session.” Path to Pedagogy 23, no. 1 (2014): 24.
with Jason Redden and Kathy Block. “Facilitated Writing Groups in a High-Enrolment Undergraduate Course.” Path to Pedagogy 23, no. 1 (2014): 25-28.