Obviously I’m going to be making comparisons between SAIACS and McGill all year round. So this is perhaps a light hearted comparison for the light hearted (no serious academic objective comparisons here!)

The three photographs immediately below need a footnote, or in this case a prologue. Each department at McGill has a building. The Faculty of Religious Studies – FRS – (the place where they study Religion) is called the Birks Building. The members of the FRS are really proud of their building, not unlike the SAIACS pride in their buildings. The Birks building has a chapel, a library (with specialist religious studies material) and classrooms for FRS classes (and other related rooms like a lounge for students, faculty etc etc).

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This is the Birks Chapel, from the inside… that’s the stain-glass windows showing the sun… not some epiphany captured on film. The chapel is a little smaller than SAIACS’ chapel, but certainly more ornate

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And this photo is of the Birks Library door… from the outside. It is right opposite (literally right opposite) the Birks Chapel. And especially for those who know SAIACS chapel protocol of not wearing footwear in ‘holy ground’ of Chapel, the Birks chapel allows shoes while the library doesn’t!!!

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Finally, another poster that shows the cultural difference… and perhaps even more clearly the separation of academics from faith at McGill. Of course this remove shoes-sign is on the main hallway, near the entrance, and only comes up during Winter, ie. now… to literally prevent snow-laden boots from causing people to slip. Still, isn’t it ironic???

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