Surjit S. Patheja Chair in World Religions and Ethics, Associate Professor of Theology

Arts and Sciences Building 310


George Pati received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies and South Asian Languages and Cultures focusing on Hinduism and Malayalam literature from The University Professors Program at Boston University. His research focuses on the mediation of Hindu devotion, bhakti, through texts, rituals, and performances in Kerala, South India. He has published several articles and book reviews in peer-reviewed journals including Journal of Hindu Studies, International Journal of Hindu Studies, Contemporary South Asia, Religions in South Asia, and Journal of Asian Studies.

He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Body and Religion and currently serves on steering committees for two groups at the American Academy of Religion: Arts, Literature, and Religion and Body and Religion. He has served two terms as the Co-Chair for the Body and Religion group at the American Academy of Religion and on the Board of Directors of the Society for Hindu-Christian Studies


Ph.D., Boston University (Religious Studies and South Asian Languages and Cultures)



Religious Devotion and the Poetics of Reform: Love and Liberation in Malayalam Poetry (London: Routledge, forthcoming)

Hindu Bodies as Threshold: Rituals and Performances of Kerala, South India (London: Routledge, forthcoming).

Select Articles:

2018: “Movements, Miracles, and Mysticism: Apotheosis of Sree Narayana Guru of Early Twentieth Century Kerala.” In Diana Dimitrova and Tatiana Oranskaia, eds., Divinization in South Asian Traditions. London: Routledge (In press)

2015: “Feet like a Lotus Powder.” In Jack Miles. ed., Hinduism: Norton Anthology of World Religion. Vol.1. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2015, pp.379-382.  

2013: “Nambūtiris and Ayyappan Devotees in Kerala.” In P. Pratap Kumar, ed., Contemporary Hinduism. Durham, UK: Acumen, 2013, pp. 204-16; London: Routledge, 2014, pp.204-16.

2011: “Temple and Human Bodies: Representing Hinduism.” International Journal of Hindu Studies. Vol.15, No.2, 2011, pp. 191-207.

2010: “Kaḷari and Kaḷarippayaṭṭu of Kerala, South India: Nexus of the Celestial, the Corporeal, and the Terrestrial.” Contemporary South Asia. Vol.18, No.2, 2010, pp.175-89.

2010: “Mohiniyāṭṭam: An Embodiment of the Aesthetic and the Religious.” The Journal of Hindu Studies. Vol.3, 2010, pp. 91-113.


Hinduism; Devotional Traditions of India; Kerala History and Culture; Malayalam Language and Literature; Sanskrit; Rituals; Indian Aesthetics; Body and Religion; Theories & Methods in the Study of Religion.

Courses Taught

  • Indian Religions and Cultures (THEO 361)
  • Topics in South Asian Religions: Hinduism (THEO 367/CC 300)
  • Hindu Sacred Texts and Motifs (THEO 360/ CC 300)
  • Topics in South Asian Religions: Devotional Traditions of India (THEO 367)
  • Topics in South Asian Religions: Religion, Rituals, and Performances (THEO 367)
  • Topics in South Asian Religions: Religion, Film, and Body (THEO 367)
  • Topics in South Asian Religions: Narratives of Love in South Asian Literature (THEO 367)
  • Religions of South Asia (Theo 360)
  • Goddess, Saints, and Women of India (THEO 495)
  • History of South Asian Civilization (THEO 495)
  • Buddhism (THEO 495)
  • Religions of China and Japan (THEO 363/EAST 363)
  • Chinese Culture and Civilization (EAST 395)
  • Perspectives on Religious Quest (THEO 369)
  • Elementary Sanskrit Language (THEO 495)
  • Elementary and Intermediate Hindi Language (THEO 495)
  • Contemporary India and Beyond (THEO 495)
  • The Christian Tradition: Asian Christianity (THEO 200)


  • American Academy of Religion
  • Association for Asian Studies
  • European Association for South Asian Studies
  • Kerala Council for Historical Research
  • Society for Hindu-Christian Studies


  • Valparaiso University Excellence in Teaching Award, 2016-17
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Delta, Delta, Delta Sorority, Valparaiso University, 2011
  • Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Valparaiso University, 2010
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