Dr Sharada Sugirtharajah BA, MA (Madurai), MA, PhD (Birmingham)

Department of Theology and Religion
Honorary Senior Research Fellow

Contact details

Address
ERI Building
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

My research focuses on representations of Hinduism in colonial and postcolonial writings. I have also research interests in the following areas: Modern Hindu Thought, Religious Pluralism, Interreligious Relations, Hinduism in Diaspora, and Women’s issues.

Qualifications

  • BA, MA - Madurai University, India
  • MA, PhD - University of Birmingham

Biography

Sharada Sugirtharajah taught in India before embarking on her academic career in the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Birmingham where she obtained her Masters Degree and then PhD.  She joined the Department as Lecturer in Hindu Studies in 2001, and later became Senior Lecturer.  Now as Honorary Senior Research Fellow, she is engaged in freelance work. She has led sessions for students, counsellors, social workers, nurses, clergy and mutli-faith groups. She has acted as a consultant to various Religious Education projects.  She is on the International Editorial Board of the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion. She was an Associate Fellow of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

Teaching

  • Introduction to Hinduism
  • Women in Hinduism
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Hinduism, Colonialism and Nationalism
  • Hinduism and Religious Pluralism
  • Hinduism and Interreligious Relations
  • Modern Hindu thinkers

Postgraduate supervision

  • Hindu and European Constructions of Hinduism
  • Modern Hindu thinkers
  • Hinduism and Religious Pluralism
  • Religion and Management (Cross-cultural Perspectives)
  • Hinduism in diaspora

Research

Her research focuses particularly on the issue of representation of Hinduism in orientalist, missionary, colonial and postcolonial discourses. Her research interests also cover women’s issues, religious pluralism interreligious relations, and diasporic Hinduism. She is the author of Imagining of Hinduism: A Postcolonial Perspective (Routledge, 2003), and is currently working on orientalist and nationalist constructions of Hinduism. She edited Religious Pluralism and the Modern World: An Ongoing Engagement with John Hick (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) - a volume of essays in honour of Professor John Hick on the occasion of his ninetieth birthday.Her publications include chapters in edited volumes, journal articles, entries in reference works, book reviews, and contributions to resource packs on Hinduism.

Research Interests:

  • Colonialism and Religion
  • European orientalists and missionaries
  • Hinduism in colonial and postcolonial discourses
  • Hinduism and Nationalism
  • Modern Hindu Thought
  • Religious Pluralism
  • Hindu approaches to religious diversity
  • Hinduism and Inter-religious relations
  • Diasporic Hinduism
  • Women’s issues and spirituality

Other activities

  • International Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion (JFSR)
  • Member of The Feminist Studies in Religion in Forum (JFSR)
  • Member of the Advisory Board of Feminist Studies and Sacred Texts
  • Member of the Sanskrit Tradition in the Modern World (STIMW)
  • Member of the European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies (ECMSAS) 
  • Member of the International Journal of Dharma Studies

Publications

  • ‘Rammohun Roy and John Hick: Demythologising Religious Beliefs’, Colloquium, forthcoming in May 2016.
  • ‘Swami Vivekananda and Muscular Hindu Spirituality' (Springer), forthcoming.
  • Religious Pluralism and the Modern World: An Ongoing Engagement with John Hick (ed.) Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
  • Introduction: Religious Pluralism - Some Issues’ in Sharada Sugirtharajah (ed.) Religious Pluralism and the Modern World: An Ongoing Engagement with John Hick (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), pp.1-16.
  • ‘The Mahatma and the Philosopher: Mohandas Gandhi and John Hick and Their Search for Truth’ in Sharada Sugirtharajah (ed.) Religious Pluralism and the Modern World: An Ongoing Engagement with John Hick (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), pp. 121-133.
  • Imagining Hinduism: A Postcolonial Perspective (London and New York: Routledge, 2003).
  • ’Gandhi and Hick on Religious Pluralism: Some Resonances’, International Journal of Studies Vol.1, (2012), pp.3-41.
  •  ‘Orientalism’ in Mark Juergensmeyer and Wade Clark (eds.) Encyclopedia of Global Religion (Santa Barbara: University of California, 2012).
  • Tamil Veda’ in Denise Cush, Catherine Robinson and Michael York (eds.) Encylopedia of Hinduism (London: Routledge, 2008), pp. 848-849.
  •  ‘Karaikkal Ammaiyar’ in Denise Cush, Catherine Robinson and Michael York (eds.) Encylopedia of Hinduism (London: Routledge, 2008), p.409.
  •  ‘Arumuka Navalar’ in Denise Cush, Catherine Robinson and Michael York (eds.) Encylopedia of Hinduism (London: Routledge, 2008), p. 551.
  • ‘Akka Mahadevi’ in   Denise Cush, Catherine Robinson and Michael York (eds.) Encylopedia of Hinduism (London: Routledge, 2008), pp.479-480.
  •  ‘Max Müller and Textual Management: A Postcolonial Perspective’ in Purushottama Bilimoria and Andrew B. Irvine (eds.) Postcolonial Philosophy of Religion (Dordrecht: London: Springer, 2009), pp.159-170.
  • ‘Colonialism and Religion’ in Esther Bloch, Marianne Keppens and Rajaram Hedge (eds.) Rethinking Religion in India: The Colonial Construction of Hinduism (London: Routledge, 2010), pp.69-78.
  •  ‘Max Müller and Textual Management: A Postcolonial Perspective’ in Rita Sherma and Arvind Sharma (eds.) Hermeneutics and Hindu Thought: Towards a Fusion of Horizons (New York: Springer, 2008), pp.33-45.
  •  Colonialism’ in Sushil Mittal and Gene Thursby (eds.) Studying Hinduism: Key Concepts and Method (London and New York: Routledge, 2008), 73-85.
  •  ‘What Makes a “Good City”? A Hindu Perspective’ in What Makes a ‘Good City’? : Faith Perspectives (Birmingham: University of Birmingham, 2007).
  •  ‘Pandita Ramabai’. The Encylopedia of Religion (Macmillan, 2005, Second edition).
  •  Hinduism and Feminism: Some Concerns’ in Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 18 (2), (2002), pp.97-104.
  • ‘Courtly Text and Courting Sati’ in Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 17(1) (2001), pp.5-32.
  • ‘Picturing God’ in Paul Bowen (ed.) Themes and Issues in Hinduism (Cassell: London, 1998), pp.161-202.                                           
  • ‘Women in Hinduism’, in Paul Bowen (ed.) Themes and Issues in Hinduism (Cassell: London, 1998), pp. 56-79.
  • Talking about Hinduism “Till the Sacred Cows Come Home”: a response to Hinduism and ecology by Catherine Robinson and Denise Cush’ Journal of Beliefs and Values 18 (1), (1997), pp.39.