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

Dr Sharada Sugirtharajah

Department of Theology and Religion
Senior Lecturer in Hindu Studies

Contact details

ERI Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am a Senior Lecturer in Hindu Studies in the Department of Theology.  My research focuses on representation of Hinduism in colonial and postcolonial writings. I have also research interests in the following areas:  Religious Pluralism, Hinduism in Diaspora, and Women’s issues.


Sharada Sugirtharajah is a Senior Lecturer in Hindu Studies.  She taught in India before embarking on her academic career at the University of Birmingham in the mid-1990s. She is an Associate Fellow of the School of Oriental and African Studies ( SOAS). She has been a freelance lecturer, and has led sessions for students, counsellors, social workers, nurses, clergy and mutli- faith groups.  She has acted as a consultant   to various RE projects, the recent   being the Warwick RE research project conducted for DCSF.  She is on the International Editorial Board of the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion.


  • Introduction to Hinduism
  • Hinduism, Colonialism and Nationalism

Postgraduate supervision

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


Her research focuses particularly on the issue of representation of Hinduism in orientalist, missionary, colonial and postcolonial discourses.  Her research interests also cover women issues, 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. Publications include chapters in edited volumes, journal articles, entries in reference works, book reviews, and contributions to resource packs on Hinduism.

  • Colonialism and Religion
  • European orientalists and missionaries
  • Hinduism in colonial and postcolonial discourses
  • Hinduism and Nationalism
  • Modern Hindu thinkers
  • 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.
  • Member of   the Sanskrit Tradition in the Modern World (STIMW)
  • Member of the European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies (ECMSAS)



  • 2010 (ed.) Religious Pluralism and the Modern World: An Ongoing Engagement with John Hick. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • 2003 Imagining Hinduism: A Postcolonial Perspective .London and New York: Routledg.e  


  • 2010 ’Gandhi and Hick on Religious Pluralism: Some Resonances’,  International Journal of            Studies (forthcoming).
  • 2010   ‘Max Müller and Textual Management: A Postcolonial Perspective’, in Purushottama Bilimoria and Andrew B. Irvine (eds.) Postcolonial Philosophy of Religion, Springer.
  • 2010 ‘Colonialism and Religion’, in Esther Bloch, Marianne Keppens and Rajaram Hedge (eds.) Rethinking Religion in India: The Colonial Construction of Hinduism, Routledge.
  • 2008. ‘Max Muller and Textual Management: A Postcolonial Perspective’ in Rita Sherma and Arvind Sharma, eds, Hermeneutics and Hindu Thought: Towards a Fusion of Horizons. Springer.
  • 2008.Colonialism’ in Sushil Mittal and Gene Thursby, eds, Studying Hinduism: Key Concepts and Methods. London and New York: Routledge.
  • 2007. ‘What Makes a “Good City”? A Hindu Perspective’ in What Makes a ‘Good City’? : Faith Perspectives. Birmingham: University of Birmingham.
  • 2005 ‘Pandita Ramabai’. The Encylopedia of Religion. Macmillan (Second edition).
  • 2002 Hinduism and Feminism: Some Concerns’ in Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 18 (2), pp.97-104. in 18 (2), pp.97-104.
  • 2001 ‘Courtly Text and Courting Sati’ in Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 17 (1), pp.5-32.