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The Authority of the Brahmins
Part I. The Invention of Brahmanical Dharma.
A study of the use of ascetical disciplinary practices to configure Brahmins as religious professionals comparable to Buddhist and Jaina mendicants, equally deserving of veneration and patronage though they “remain in the home”; this model, developed in the centuries spanning the Maurya to Gupta dynasties, provided a framework for promoting ethical and legal norms that became widely influential, and served to confer status and authority.
Part II. The Expanding Orbit of Dharma’s Authority: Appropriations on the Peripheries
A study of the institutional and political mechanisms by which a Brahmin priestly elite succeeded in translating its religious authority into a vehicle for social, legal, and cultural influence between the 1st c. and the 12th c. CE.
External collaborator on the DHARMA Project (“The Domestication of ‘Hindu’ Asceticism in the Religious Making of South and Southeast Asia”) funded by the European Research Council (ERC 809994), working in Task-force C on Southeast Asia, editing and translating Dharma texts in Old Javanese and related epigraphical sources.
Atharvaśiras: Historical Study, Critical Edition, and Translation.
Śivadharmaśāstra 11: Edition, Translation, Study (with Nirajan Kafle and Peter Bisschop). Co-author of the translation and author of a study of the text’s adaptation of orthodox Brahmanical class and status norms (varṇāśrama-dharma).
Critical edition and translation of the Baudhāyanagrhyasūtra.
RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS IN PRINT OR FORTHCOMING:
“The Householder Ascetic and the Uses of Self-Discipline,” in: Asceticism and Power in South and Southeast Asia, edited by Peter Flügel and Gustaaf Houtman (Royal Asiatic Society Book Series) (London: Routledge, forthcoming).
“Personal Status and the Family,” in the Cambridge Comparative History of Ancient Law, edited by Caroline Humfress, David Ibbetson, and Patrick Olivelle (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). Also contributed material on South Asia for the chapters “Writing and Law,” “Property,” and “Social Control, Crime and Private Redress.”
“Retrofitting a Vedic Origin for a Classical Hindu Goddess,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 140.1 (2020): 37–46.
“The Late Appearance of the Gṛhastha in the Vedic Domestic Ritual Codes as a Married Religious Professional,” in Gṛhastha: The Householder in Ancient Indian Religious Culture, edited by Patrick Olivelle (Oxford University Press, 2019), 95–106.
“Brāhmaṇa as Commentary,” in Self, Sacrifice, and Cosmos: Vedic Thought, Ritual and Philosophy. Essays in Honor of Professor Ganesh Umakant Thite’s Contribution to Vedic Studies, edited by Lauren Bausch (Primus Books, 2019), 23–40.
“The Theory and Practice of Property in Premodern South Asia: Disparities and Convergences,” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 61.5/6 (2018): 803–850.
“The Vedic Student: Brahmacārin,” chapter 7 in Hindu Law: A New History of Dharma, edited by Patrick Olivelle and Donald R. Davis, Jr. Oxford History of Hinduism. (Oxford University Press, 2018), 98–112.
“The Vedic Graduate: Snātaka,” chapter 8 in Hindu Law: A New History of Dharma, edited by Patrick Olivelle and Donald R. Davis, Jr. Oxford History of Hinduism. (Oxford University Press, 2018), 113–124.
“Daily Duties: Āhnika,” chapter 13 in Hindu Law: A New History of Dharma, edited by Patrick Olivelle and Donald R. Davis, Jr. Oxford History of Hinduism. (Oxford University Press, 2018), 179–188.
“Towards a South Asian Diplomatics: Cosmopolitan Norms and Regional Idioms in the Use of Documents,” in Studies in Historical Documents from Nepal and India, edited by Simon Cubelic, Axel Michaels, and Astrid Zotter (Heidelberg: Heidelberg University Publishing / Kathmandu: National Archives, Nepal, 2018), 37–84.
“Towards a New Edition of the Baudhāyanagṛhyasūtra,” in: Vedic Investigations, edited by Asko Parpola and Petteri Koskikallio. Papers of the 12th World Sanskrit Conference, 1 (New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 2016), 317–340.
“Baudhāyanīya Contributions to Smārta Hinduism,” in: Vedic Śākhās: Past, Present, Future. Proceedings of the Fifth International Vedic Workshop, Bucharest 2011, edited by Jan E.M. Houben, Julieta Rotaru & Michael Witzel. Harvard Oriental Series, Opera Minora. Cambridge: Harvard University, 2016, 591–606.
“Customary Practice in the Vedic Ritual Codes as an Emergent Legal Principle,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 136.4 (2016), 669–687.
“The Vedic Homa and the Standardization of Hindu Pūjā,” in: Homa Variations: The Study of Ritual Change across the Longue Durée, edited by Richard K. Payne and Michael Witzel (Oxford Ritual Studies Series) (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016), 143–166.
“Hinduism and Law,” in: Hinduism in India: Modern and Contemporary Movements, edited by Will Sweetman and Aditya Malik (New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2016), 41–68.
“Hinduism and Colonial Law” (co-authored with Donald R. Davis, Jr.), in: Hinduism in the Modern World, edited by Brian A. Hatcher (New York: Routledge, 2016), 96–110.
“Writing and the Recognition of Customary Law in Premodern India and Java,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 135.2 (2015): 225–259.
“Aśoka’s Disparagement of Domestic Ritual and Its Validation by the Brahmins,” Journal of Indian Philosophy 41 (2013), 29–41.
“Legal Diglossia: Modeling Discursive Practices in Premodern Indic Law,” in: Bilingual Discourse and Cross-cultural Fertilisation: Sanskrit and Tamil in Mediaeval India, edited by Whitney Cox and Vincenzo Vergiani (École française d’Extrême-Orient, 2013), 411–455.
“The Polity of the Philosopher-Bureaucrat: Brahmanical Virtue as a Qualification for Public Office,” in: World View and Theory in Indian Philosophy, edited by Piotr Balcerowicz (Warsaw Indological Studies) (Manohar, 2012), 299–325.
“The Elusive Snātaka,” in: Religion and Identity in South Asia and Beyond: Essays in Honor of Patrick Olivelle, edited by Steven E. Lindquist (New York, London, Delhi: Anthem Press, 2011), 23–40.
Hinduism and Law: An Introduction, edited by Timothy Lubin, Donald R. Davis Jr., Jayanth K. Krishnan (Cambridge University Press, 2010; reprinted Cambridge University Press India, 2011).
“Introduction” (with Donald R. Davis Jr. and J. K. Krishnan), in: Hinduism and Law: An Introduction, 1–14.
“Indic Conceptions of Authority,” in: Hinduism and Law: an Introduction, 37–53.
“Ritual Self-Discipline as a Response to the Human Condition: Toward a Semiotics of Ritual Indices,” in: Ritual Dynamics and the Science of Ritual: I. Grammars and Morphologies of Ritual Practices in Asia, edited by Axel Michaels, Anand Mishra, Lucia Dolce, Gil Raz, and Katja Triplett (Science of Ritual Series) (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2010), 263–274.
“Punishment and Expiation: Overlapping Domains in Brahmanical Law,” Indologica Taurinensia 33 (2007): 93–122.
“The Nīlarudropanisad and the Paippalādasamhitā: A Critical Edition with Translation of the Upanisad and Nārāyana’s Dīpikā,“ in: The Atharvaveda and its Paippalāda Śākhā: Historical and Philological Papers on a Vedic Tradition, edited by Arlo Griffiths and Annette Schmiedchen (Geisteskultur Indiens. Texte und Studien.11. = Studia Indologica Universitatis Halensis) (Aachen: Shaker Verlag, 2007), 81–139.
“The Transmission, Patronage, and Prestige of Brahmanical Piety from the Mauryas to the Guptas,” in: Boundaries, Dynamics and Construction of Traditions in South Asia, edited by Federico Squarcini (Kykéion studi e testi. I, Scienze delle religioni 3) (Firenze: Firenze University Press, 2005), 77–103.
“The Virtuosic Exegesis of the Brahmavadin and the Rabbi,” Numen: International Review for the History of Religions 49.4 (2002): 427–459.
“Science, Patriotism, and Mother Veda: Ritual Activism in Maharashtra,” International Journal of Hindu Studies 5.3 (2001): 81–105, in a special issue, “Middle-class Religion,” along with papers by Joanne Punzo Waghorne and Philip Lutgendorf, and an introduction by John Stratton Hawley.
“Vratá Divine and Human in the Early Veda,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 121.4 (2001): 565–579.
“Veda on Parade: Revivalist Ritual as Civic Spectacle,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 69.2 (2001): 377–408.
Reprinted as ch. 37 in Will Sweetman (ed.), Hinduism: Critical Concepts in Religious Studies, vol. 2 (London: Routledge, 2015), 414–444.
Consecration and Ascetical Regimen: A History of Hindu vrata, dīkṣā, upanayana and brahmacarya. Doctoral dissertation, Columbia University (Ann Arbor: UMI/ProQuest, 1994).
ENCYCLOPEDIA, TEXTBOOK, AND NEWSLETTER CONTRIBUTIONS:
Advisory editor, and author of articles on “Artha and Arthaśāstra” (updated 2015); “Āśramas”; and “Grhya (Domestic) Rites,” Oxford Bibliographies Online: Hinduism, edited by Alf Hiltebeitel (Oxford Online, 2011).
“Adhikāra,” Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Volume II: Texts, Rituals, Arts, Concepts, edited by Knut Axel Jacobsen (Leiden: Brill, 2010), 671–674.
Editorial board member, and author of article “Hinduism – Late Medieval Period,” Encyclopedia of Religion and War, edited by Gabriel Palmer-Fernandez (New York: Routledge, 2004), 165–169.
“Orientalism,” in: Encyclopedia of Modern Asia, vol. 4, edited by David Levinson and Karen Christensen (New York: Scribner’s/Berkshire, 2002), 393–395.
“Tamils,” in: Encyclopedia of Modern Asia, vol. 5, edited by David Levinson and Karen Christensen (New York: Scribner’s/Berkshire, 2002), 410–411.
“Zoroastrianism,” in: Encyclopedia of Modern Asia, vol. 6, edited by David Levinson and Karen Christensen (New York: Scribner’s/Berkshire, 2002), 221–223.
“The Self in Relation to Absolute Reality: Hinduism,” ch. 8(a) in: God, Meaning and Morality, 2nd ed., edited by Diana Edelman and Iain S. Maclean (New York: Harcourt, 2000; 3rd edition, Thomson, 2002), 177–188.
“Writing the History of an Upanishad,” Dak: The Newsletter of the American Institute of Indian Studies 3 (Spring 2000): 9–12.
“Rites of Passage,” in: Encyclopedia of Women and World Religion, edited by S. Young (New York: Macmillan, 1999), 843–844.
Review of Marko Geslani, Rites of the God-King: King: Śānti and Ritual Change in Early Hinduism. Journal of Asian Studies (forthcoming, 2020).
Review of Patrick Olivelle, A Dharma Reader: Classical Indian Law. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 81.2 (2018): 372–374.
Brief review of Stephanie Jamison and Joel Brereton, trs., The Rigveda, Religious Studies Review 42.4 (2016): 308–309.
Review of Phillipe Bornet, Rites et pratiques de l’hospitalité: Mondes juifs et indiens anciens. Numen: International Review for the History of Religion 63.2/3 (2016):325–328.
“Greater Magadha and the New Brahmanism: Recent Publications by Johannes Bronkhorst,” Religious Studies Review 41.3 (2015): 93–100.
Review of Ludo Rocher, Studies in Hindu Law and Dharmaśāstra, edited by Donald R. Davis, Jr., Religions of South Asia 8.2 (2014): 242–245.
Review of Andreas Pohlus, Two Commentaries on the Arthaśāstra: Jayamaṅgalā & Cāṇakyaṭīkā, critically re-edited from Harihara Sastri’s Fascicle Editions (2011), Indo-Iranian Journal 57.1/2 (2014): 187–189.
“The Spirit and the Flesh of Hindu Law” [on The Spirit of Hindu Law , by Donald R. Davis, Jr.], Journal of the American Oriental Society 130.3 (2010): 445–451.
Review of Kathryn McClymond, Beyond Sacred Violence: A Comparative Study of Sacrifice (2008), Numen: International Review for the History of Religions 57 (2010): 539–541.
Review of Signe Cohen, Text and Authority in the Older Upanishads (2008), Journal of Asian Studies 68.4 (2009): 1329–1331.
Review of Dominic Goodall, The Parākhyatantra, a Scripture of the Śaiva Siddhānta: A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation (2004), Journal of the American Oriental Society 128.2 (2008): 333–335.
Review of Anil Bhatti and Johannes H. Voigt, eds., The Jewish Exile in India, 1933-1945 (1999), International Journal of Hindu Studies 4.2 (2000): 192–195.
Review of P. V. Kane, Professor Kane’s Contribution to Dharmaśāstra Literature (1998), and Suresh Chandra Banerji, A Companion to Dharmaśāstra (1998), Indo-Iranian Journal, 43.4 (2000): 406–411.
Review of Patrick Olivelle, The Āśrama System: The History and Hermeneutics of a Religious Institution (1993),Union Seminary Quarterly Review 48.3/4 (1994): 161–165.
Review of Mark S.G. Dyczkowski, The Aphorisms of Śiva: The Śiva Sūtra with Bhāskara’s Commentary, the Vārttika (1992), Journal of Asian Studies 52.3 (August 1993): 748–749.
Review of Brian K. Smith, Reflections on Resemblance, Ritual, and Religion (1989), Southern Asian Institute Newsletter 14.2 (Columbia University, Spring 1990): 20–21.
Numerous entries on music and intellectual history in American Studies: An Annotated Bibliography, edited by Jack Salzman, 3 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), and in American Studies: An Annotated Bibliography, 1984–1988, edited by Jack Salzman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
CONFERENCE PAPERS AND TALKS:
“The Wise Thief and the Brahmin Felon,” paper for a panel on “Sanskrit Jurisprudence and Hermeneutics on How to Solve Legal Controversies,” 26th European Conference on South Asian Studies, University of Vienna, 26–29 July 2021.
“Javanese Innovations in Indic Legal Science,” paper for the 230th Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Boston, 15–18 March 2020. [Conference canceled because of COVID-19 pandemic]
“The Householder Brahmin as a Religious Professional,” invited talk, South Asia Studies Colloquium, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 4 March 2020.
“Asymmetries of Status in Civil and Ecclesiastical Polities: Lessons from Religious Exemptions in Ancient India,” paper for a conference on Status and Justice in Law, Religion, and Society, Washington and Lee University, 1–3 November 2019. (Conference organizer)
“Old Javanese Legal Texts and Their Relevance to Epigraphy: Indic Models, Javanese Innovations,” presentation for the kickoff workshop of the DHARMA Project (ERC 809994), Humboldt University, Berlin, 16 September 2019.
“The Householder Brahmin as a Religious Professional,” invited talk, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, Tokyo University, 10 July 2019.
“The Political Economy of Polytheism: The Indian versus the Greco-Roman Religions” (with Atin Basuchoudhary and Mario Ferrero), paper for 2019 meeting of the European Public Choice Society, Jerusalem, 1–4 April 2019 (Mario Ferrero presenting).
“Svayambhu, an Old Javanese Paraphrase of Mānavadharmaśāstra, Chapter 8,” paper for the 229th Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Chicago, 15–18 March 2019.
“From Scholastic Paraphrase to Customary Law Code? Genres of Javanese Juristic Literature,” invited talk, École française d’Extrême-Orient, Paris, 11 March 2019.
“Vedic Ritual Back-Formations of a Classical Goddess,” paper for the Navarātri Seminar, Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Denver, 17–20 November 2018.
“What Did the Authors of the Śivadharma and the Viṣṇudharma Mean by the Word Dharma?” paper for a special panel on “The Viṣṇu- and Śivadharma: Early Medieval Lay Religion in a Socio-Religious and Historical Perspective” at the 17th World Sanskrit Conference, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, 9–13 July 2018.
“Dignity and Status in Ancient and Medieval India,” invited paper for the 2018 Inter-national Conference on Legal Thought and Social Change, “Human Dignity in Asia: Dialogue between Law and Culture,” Institutum Iurisprudentiae, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, 2–3 July 2018.
“Religious Exemptions and Religious Pluralism in Early Indian Endowments,” invited lecture, Department of Indology, Kyoto University, 23 June 2018.
“Jayanta Bhaṭṭa on Reciting the Atharvaśiras and Feeding Brahmins,” invited lecture, Veda Seminar, Kyoto University, 22 June 2018.
“Ritual Expertise as an Intangible Asset in the Political Economy of First-Millennium India,” invited paper for a conference, “Rituals for Power, Rituals for Prosperity” organized by Himanshu Prabha Ray, Humboldt Fellow, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, 23–24 March 2018.
“Jayanta Bhaṭṭa on Studying the Atharvaśiras and Feeding Brahmins,” paper for the 228th Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Pittsburgh, 16–19 March 2018.
“Pluralism, Patronage, and Documentary Protocol,” lecture for a Seminar on Politics, Pluralism, and Patronage in Ancient India, University of Texas, Austin, 3 November 2017:
“The Contrasting Social Programs of the Śivadharma and the Viṣṇudharma,” paper in a special panel, “The Viṣṇudharma and the Śivadharma: points of influence and divergence,” for the 33rd Deutscher Orientalistentag, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena, Germany, 18–22 Sept. 2017.
“On Feeding Śivabhaktas and Other Rules of Śivāśrama-Dharma,” paper for a panel on “Śivadharma and the Formation of Lay Śaivism” at the 227th Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Los Angeles, 17–20 March 2017.
“Feeding Monks, Feeding Brahmins: Competing Idioms of Religious Semiotics in Early India,” 45th Annual Conference on South Asia, Madison, Wisc., 20–23 October 2016.
“The Śivadharma‘s Revision of Manu’s Varṇāśramadharma,” invited paper for a workshop on the Śivadharma, Leiden, 26–30 September, 2016.
“Sanskrit Commentary as Professional Discipline and Transcribed Performance,” lecture, University Research Priority Program Asia and Europe, project on Concepts and Taxonomies, University of Zurich, 7 April 2016 (via Skype).
“A Genealogy of South Asian Sale Deeds,” 226th Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Boston, 18–21 March 2016.
“The Invention of the Gṛhastha as a Married Religious Professional in the Vedic Domestic Ritual Codes,” invited paper for a Workshop on Gṛhastha and Dharmaśāstra, Department of Asian Studies, University of Texas, Austin, 20 February 2016.
“Towards a South Asian Diplomatics: Cosmopolitan Norms and Regional Idioms in the Use of Documents,” invited paper for an international conference “Studying Documents in Pre-Modern South Asia and Beyond: Problems and Perspectives,” Heidelberg University, 4–6 October 2015.
“Classical Notions of Equity in India as Reflected in Legal Documents, 1200–1850,” invited paper for a conference, “Ethical Discourses in Ancient and Early Medieval India: Justice, Law and Religion,” Parekh Institute of Indian Thought, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi, 20 August 2015.
“Dharma’s Avatars in Daily Life,” invited paper for an interdisciplinary conference, Law and the Curated Body, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto, 26–28 March 2015.
“Minimum Daily Requirements: Daily Duties as a Template for the Pious Householder,” 225th Meeting of the American Oriental Society, New Orleans, 13–16 March 2015.
“The Three Sources of Dharmaśāstra,” lecture, University of Surabaya, Trawas, Indonesia, 17 June 2014.
“The Vocabulary of Justice in Late Medieval Indian Inscriptions,” invited paper for conference, “Realizing Justice: Encountering Normative Justice and the Realities of (In)Justice in South Asia,” Max-Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, University of Erfurt, Germany, 12–14 June 2014.
“Śāstric Rules and Customary Norms in Epigraphic Records of South Asian Property Deeds and Disputes,” invited paper for the workshop “Changing Concepts of Landed Property in Modern South Asia: The View from History,”University of Pennsylvania, 18–19 April 2014.
“The Medium Is the Message — The Prequel from South and Southeast Asia,” Plenary Session: Techniques of Knowledge, 224th Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Phoenix, 14–17 March 2014.
“The Learned Reason of the Brahmanical Jurist: Hermeneutical Strategies in Dharmaśāstra,” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Baltimore, 22–25 November 2013.
“Status Mapping in Classical India: How Brahmins Cornered the Market in Norms,” lecture, Yale University, 12 September 2013.
“How the Brahmins Invented Themselves 3306 Times,” lecture, Asian Studies, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, 5 April 2013.
“Customary Practice in the Vedic Ritual Codes as an Emergent Dharma Principle,” 223rd Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Portland, 15–18 March 2013.
“Identifying Difference of Religion in Early India,” Annual Meeting of the North American Association for the Study of Religion, Chicago, 16–19 November 2012.
“Status Mapping in Classical India: How Brahmins Cornered the Market in Norms,” lecture, Brown University, 15 November 2012.
“An Early Sectarian Adaptation of Manu’s Social Model: Chapter 11 of the Śivadharmaśāstra Edited from Cambridge University Manuscripts,” lecture in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Cambridge University, 28 June 2012.
“Aśoka’s Disparagement of Vedic Domestic Ritual,” 222nd Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Boston, 16–19 March 2012.
“Domestic Ritual Codes and the Formation of the Dharmasūtra Genre,” paper for the 15th World Sanskrit Conference (Law and Society Section), New Delhi, 5-10 January 2012.
“Varṇāśramadharma for Śūdras,” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, San Francisco, 18 November 2011.
“The Baudhāyanīya Contribution to Smārta Hinduism,” 5th International Vedic Workshop, Bucharest, 20–23 September 2011.
“Dharmaśāstra for Śūdras: Śaiva and Vaiṣṇava Revisions of Varṇāśramadharma,” paper for the 221st Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Chicago, 11-14 March 2011.
“Writing and the Recognition of Customary Law in Premodern India and Java,” invited lecture in a series on Hindu law at the University of Virginia, 24 February 2011.
“Brahmins and Political Institutions in Medieval India,” paper in the panel “Brahmins at the Court of the King: The Brahmin in Political Office in Pre-Modern India,” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Atlanta, 29 October-1 November 2010.
“The Polity of the Philosopher-Bureaucrat: Brahmanical Virtue as a Qualification for Public Office,” XXth Quinquennial World Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions, Toronto, 15-21 August 2010.
“Śaiva Dharmaśāstra?” invited paper for the Workshop on “Authors and Patrons: Social Contexts of Legal Texts in Ancient India,” University of Texas, Austin, 19 February 2010.
“Legal Diglossia: Modeling Discursive Practices in Premodern Indic Law,” invited paper for the 14th World Sanskrit Conference (Law and Society section), Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan, 1-5 September 2009.
“Legal Diglossia in Medieval Tamil Nadu,” invited paper for a workshop on “Bilingual Discourse and Cross-cultural Fertilisation: Sanskrit and Tamil in Mediaeval India,” Wolfson College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, England, 22–23 May 2009.
“The Relation between Adhikāra [Practical Authority] and Pramāna [Theoretical Authority] in Legal Contexts,” invited paper for the International Conference on “World View and Theory in Indian Philosophy,” Barcelona, Spain, 26-30 April 2009.
“Ritual Self-Discipline as a Response to the Human Condition: Toward a Semiotics of Ritual ‘Indices’,” paper for the panel on grammar and morphology of ritual, in the International Conference on Ritual Dynamics and the Science of Ritual, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany, 29 September-2 October 2008.
“Legal Diglossia in Premodern India, Cambodia, and Java,” invited paper for the symposium “Ocean of Devotion: South Asian Regional Worship Traditions,” organized by the Center for the Study of Hindu Traditions at the University of Florida, 20-22 March 2008.
“The Criteria of Legitimacy in Hindu Nationalism,” 2008 Rudolph C. Barnes Sr. Symposium: Legitimacy, Economic Development and Change, convened by David Linnan (Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina School of Law, 2008), published on-line in video format: http://www.lfip.org/barnes/2008/video/video_publish.htm.
“The Religious Implications of Premodern Indian Legal Practice,” presentation in the panel “The Relevance of Hindu Law for Religious Studies,” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, San Diego, 17-20 November 2007.
“Authority,” Pre-Conference Workshop on Law and Hinduism, 36th Annual Conference on South Asia, Madison, Wisc., 11 October 2007.
“Formats for the Standardization of Vedic Domestic Ritual,” 4th International Vedic Workshop, Austin, 24-27 May 2007.
“Image and Temple in the Late Vedic Ritual Codes,” in the panel “Invoking the Veda in the Worship of Śiva and Visnu,” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Washington, 18-21 November 2006.
“Brahmin and Royal Authority in Hindu Law” [expanded version], presented at the École française d’Extrême-Orient, Centre de Pondichéry, 14 August 2006.
“Brahmin and Royal Authority in Hindu Law,” 13th World Sanskrit Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland, 10-14 July 2006.
“The Elusive Snātaka,” 216th Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Seattle, 17-20 March 2006.
“Punishment and Expiation: Secular and Religious Forms of Correction in Hindu Law,” in the panel “Dharma and the Śāstras: The ‘Religious’ and the ‘Secular’ in Hindu Scholasticism,” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Philadelphia, 12-22 November 2005.
“Brāhmana as Commentary,” invited paper for the conference “Forms and Uses of the Commentary in the Indian World,” Institut français de Pondichéry, Pondicherry, India, 21-25 February 2005.
“The Nīlarudra-Upanisad and the Paippalāda-Samhitā,” 29. Deutscher Orientalistentag, “Barrieren-Passagen,” Halle an der Saale, Germany, 20-24 September 2004.
“Towards a New Edition of the Baudhāyana-Grhya-Sūtra,” 12th World Sanskrit Conference, Helsinki, Finland, 14-18 July 2003.
“Orientalism-ism: Said’s Critique and Its Limits,” ASIANetwork Meeting, Greenville, S.C., 11-13 April 2003.
“‘Śaiva Upanisads’ as Upanisads and as Śaiva,” 213th Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Nashville, 4-7 April 2003.
“Ārya Status and the Propagation of Brahmanical Authority in Classical India,” 31st Annual Conference on South Asia, Madison, Wisc., 10-13 October 2002, as part of the panel, “The Āryas in South Asian History.”
“Textual History of the Atharvashiras in Light of Manuscript Evidence,” Third International Vedic Workshop, Kern Instituut, Universiteit Leiden, 30 May-2 June 2002.
“The Rhetoric of Ritual in Defining Ārya and Brahmin Status: Ancient and Modern Versions,” invited paper for South Asia Identities and the Question of Origins: A Symposium for the North Carolina Center for South Asian Studies, Chapel Hill, 28-29 March 2002.
“Results of a Collation of Atharvaśiras Manuscripts,” 212th Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Houston, 22-25 March 2002.
“What is Islamic about Islamic Terrorism? The Religious Dimensions of Militancy,” invited paper in the Mary Baldwin Series on Sept. 11, 2001, Intersections: Politics, Religion, and Culture in Contemporary Islam, 14 November 2001, at Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, Virginia.
“The Domestic Ritual Codes and the Promotion of Vedic Piety,”30th Annual Conference on South Asia, Madison, Wisc., 19-21 October 2001, as part of the panel, “Word and Action in the Forging of Vedic Hermeneutics.”
“Ritual Regimens as a Mechanism of Culture-Building in Early Historic South Asia,” workshop on “Traditions of Learning and Networks of Knowledge” in the series The Indian Ocean: Trans-regional creation of societies and cultures, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Oxford University, 29-30 September 2001.
“Sanskritic Culture and Sanskritization from Above and Below in Classical South Asia,” Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Chicago, 23 March 2001, as part of the panel, “Transregional Culture-Building in Premodern and Early Modern Asia.”
“The Householder Ascetic and the Uses of Self-Discipline,” conference on “Asceticism and Power in the Asian Context,” Royal Asiatic Society/SOAS, London, 22-24 February 2001.
“Sacrifice by Other Means: Brahmanical Strategies,” Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Nashville, 20 November 2000, as part of the panel, “Sacrifice Revisited.”
“Towards a Text-History of the Atharvashiras-Upanishad,” 11th World Sanskrit Conference, International Institute for Advanced Studies (CESMEO), Turin, Italy, 3-8 April 2000.
Invited participant (presenting the theme of Sanskritization as a premodern transregional phenomenon), Conference on Religion and Transnationalism, Washington and Lee University, 1-2 April 2000.
“The Science of Ritual in Contemporary Maharashtra: A Saint and his Mission,” Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, San Diego, 11 March 2000, as part of the panel, “Reinventing Tradition: Contemporary Trends in Religious Practice in India.”
“The Virtuosic Exegesis of the Brahmavadin and the Rabbi,” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Boston, 22 November 1999.
“Initiation and Veda-Study in the Development of Early Brahmanism,” 208th Meeting of the American Oriental Society, New Orleans, 5 April 1998.
“Veda on Parade: Revivalist Ritual as Civic Spectacle,” Association for Asian Studies Southeast Conference, Charlottesville, Va., 17 January 1998.
“Sanskritization in Indian Religious History,” Center for South Asian Studies, University of Virginia, 13 September 1996.
“The Veda-Vratas: The Ritual Format for Upanisad Study,” 206th Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Philadelphia, 17 March 1996.
“Sri Ram ka Yajñik Garbhadhan: Tulsidas ke ‘Putrakama Jajña’ par ek Aitihasik Paripreksya” (“Rama’s Ritual Conception: A Historical Perspective on Tulsidas’s ‘Putrakama Jajña’ [RCM 1.188.3]”), Annual Meeting of the International Hindi Committee, Syracuse Univ., 13 August 1995 (in Hindi).
“Buddhist Arguments with Brahmins,” American Academy of Religion Tri-Regional Annual Meeting, Boston, 31 March 1995.
“Consecration and the Divine Regimen: The Origins of the Brahmanical Vrata,” Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting, Boston, 27 March 1994.
“The Domestication of the Vedic Sacrifice,” American Academy of Religion Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting, Union Theological Seminary, New York, 18 March 1994.
“Mirror of the Unseen: The Force of Brahmanical Ritual,” 203rd Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Chapel Hill, 18 April 1993.
“The Uncooperative Victim: A Vedic Legend of Child Sacrifice Averted,” Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, 26 March 1993.
“Burning Away Bondage: The Shaiva-Siddhanta Funeral as Last Initiation and the Vedic Last Sacrifice,” Association for Asian Studies Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference, Rutgers University, 20 October 1990.
“The Path to Yama’s World: Cremation, Sacrifice, and Burial in the Vedic Funeral,” American Academy of Religion Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting, Philadelphia, 5-6 April 1990.
FELLOWSHIPS, GRANTS, AWARDS:
|2020-21||National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship|
|2015-16||EURIAS fellowship (alternate for Paris IEA)|
|2015-16||American Council of Learned Societies sabbatical fellowship (alternate).|
|2010-11||American Philosophical Society Sabbatical Fellowship (awarded for 2009-10).|
|2010-11||Lenfest Sabbatical Fellowship, Washington and Lee University.|
|2009-10||Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad fellowship.|
|2004-05||National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship (awarded for 2003-04).|
|2003-04||Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad fellowship.|
|2003-04||American Institute of Indian Studies Senior Research Fellowship (declined).|
|2002||Mednick Fellowship, Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges.|
|1997-98||American Institute of Indian Studies Senior Research Fellowship, with funds provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.|
|1993||Mellon Foundation Summer Research Fellowship.|
|1991-92||American Institute of Indian Studies Junior Research Fellowship for doctoral research in India.|
|1991||Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Research Fellowship (alternate).|
|1990-91||Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, for the study of Hindi and Urdu.|
|1989-94||Columbia University President’s Fellowship for doctoral study in the study of religion.|
|2015-16||Lenfest Foundation sabbatical supplemental grant, Washington and Lee University|
|2009-18||Lenfest Grants for summer research, Washington and Lee University.|
|2002-03||American Academy of Religion individual research grant.|
|2002||Lee Summer Research Program grant for a student research assistant, Washington and Lee University.|
|2001-03,05-08||Glenn Summer Research Grants, Washington and Lee University.|
|2000||Grant from the Class of ’65 Endowment for Excellence in Teaching, Washington and Lee University.|
|2002||Science and Religion Course Award, from the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, for “Magic, Science, and Religion.”|
|from 2020||Jessie Ball duPont Professor of Religion, Washington and Lee University|
|Chair, Department of Religion, Washington and Lee University
Chair, Middle East & South Asia Studies Program, Washington and Lee University
|2009-2020||Professor, Department of Religion, Washington and Lee University|
|since 2013||Adjunct Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University School of Law|
|2007-2013||Lecturer in Law and Religion, Washington and Lee University School of Law|
|2006-2008||Chair, East Asian Studies Program, Washington and Lee University|
|2003-2009||Associate Professor, Department of Religion, Washington and Lee University|
|1997-2003||Assistant Professor, Department of Religion, Washington and Lee University|
|1996-1997||Lecturer, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia|
|1994-1996||Lecturer on the Study of Religion, Harvard University|
|1993-1994||Preceptor in Sanskrit, Dept. of Middle Eastern & Asian Langs., Columbia University|
|Aug. 2015||Visiting scholar, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi|
|since 2003||Associated Researcher, Département d’Indologie, Institut français de Pondichéry|
Ph.D. 1994, Columbia University (South Asian religious history).
M.Phil. 1991, Columbia University (South Asian religious history).
Certificate in South Asian Studies 1991, School of International and Public Affairs.
M.T.S. 1989, Harvard University (comparative study of religion).
B.A. 1986, Columbia University (French literature; linguistics).
Graduated 1982 from Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire.
Classical Tamil Intensive Courses, EFEO, Pondicherry (Feb. 2005, Aug. 2006, Aug. 2009, Aug. 2013).
International Intensive Course in Old Javanese (Nat’l Lib. Indonesia/EFEO/KITLV), Java, Indonesia (June 2014, July 2017, July–August 2019).
|Director-at-Large, American Oriental Society|
|2018–2025||Regional Director (USA and Canada), International Association of Sanskrit Studies|
|2012–2018||Steering Committee member, Ritual Studies Group, American Academy of Religion|
|2011–2014||Executive Council member, North American Association for the Study of Religion|
|2011–2013||Program Committee member, North American Association for the Study of Religion|
|2006–2011||Co-Chair, Hinduism Group, American Academy of Religion|
|2005–2006||Steering Committee member, Hinduism Group, American Academy of Religion|
|2003–2008||Steering Committee member, Comp. Study of Hinduisms and Judaisms Group, AAR|