Department of Religious Studies and Arabic

Dr GJ Mason

College of Human Sciences
School of Humanities
Department: Religious Studies and Arabic
Senior Lecturer
Tel: 012 429 8983


  • Doctor of Literature and Philosophy in Religious Studies (UNISA)
  • MA - Wits
  • BA (hons) - Wits

Fields of academic interests

  • Formation of the religious self
  • Private and public religious identities
  • Religious subjectivity, self-writing and poetry
  • Madhyamaka and Zen philosophy

Field of Specialisation

  • Religious values of respect, tolerance and kindness
  • Religion and education
  • Religious experience
  • Ecology, nature and sacredness
  • Representations of religion in poetry, autobiography and biography
  • Buddhism (Madhyamaka and Zen philosophy)


  • 2002: The road to Avalon: autobiographies of addiction and recovery, Dream Publications.

Book chapters:

  • 1994 Ecological awareness through self-awareness: A dialogue between Albert Schweitzer’s mystical concept of “will-to-live” and General Systems theory, in The relevance of theology for the 1990s, ed. J. Mouton and J.C Lategan, Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria.
  • 2010 Hinduism and Buddhism,  in Biblical Studies, Theology and Philosophy: An introduction for African universities, ed. J.N. Amanzi. 2010. Kijabe Printing Press. Kijabe.
  • 2016: Mysticism of the heart and life: Schweitzer’s reverence for life as autobiographical philosophy in The legacy of Albert Schweitzer reconsidered, Studia Historiae Eccelsiasticae series, ed. J.J. Spanenberg, Aosis.

Journal articles

  • 2014: Is Samsāra actually the same as Nirvāņa? A critical examination of Nāgārjuna’s provocative understanding of emptiness, Journal for the Study of Religion, Vol 27, no. 2.
  • 2015: The moral rearmament activist: P.Q. Vundla’s community bridge-building during the boycotts on the Witwatersrand in the mid-1950s, Journal for the Study of Religion, Vol 28 no. 2.
  • 2017: Writing against the grain: The challenge of modernism in the autobiographical writings of Francis Banks – Religious educator, Religion & Education, vol 44 Issue 1.
  • 2017: A gift of grapes: What biography reveals of the uniquely religious-based frienship between P.Q. Vundla and Nico Ferreira, Journal for the Study of Religion vol 30. No 2. Pp 228-256.
  • 2018: The difficulty of reconciliation after the St James Church attack, Religion and Theology 25(1-2), 1-30.

Professional positions, fellowships & awards

  • Chair of Indological Society of Southern Africa 1996-1998


  • Religious values: On-line media project
  • Religion education teacher development project