George Pati Surjit S. Patheja Chair In World Religions and Ethics and Professor Of South Asian Religions and Cultures firstname.lastname@example.org 219.464.6110 Arts and Sciences Building 310
Professor George Pati joined Valparaiso University faculty in 2006 after earning his Ph.D. in Religious Studies and South Asian Languages and Cultures from the University Professors Program, Boston University, Boston, MA. He was named the Surjit S. Patheja Chair in World Religions and Ethics in 2011. He received the Valparaiso University Excellence in Teaching Award in 2016-17 and was nominated for the Valparaiso University Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award in 2020.
His areas of specialization include anthropology of South Asian religions and cultures, Hinduism, devotional traditions of India, Malayalam language and literature, and the body and religion. He is trained in various methods, including the history of religions, ethnographic fieldwork, and comparative religions. He is especially interested in the embodiment of devotion, bhakti through texts, rituals, and performances in the Malayalam language. His research interests come together in his publications. His first book, Religious Devotion and the Poetics of Reform: Love and Liberation in Malayalam Poetry (Routledge, 2019), is a study of Malayalam poetry authored by Kumāran Āśān (1873-1924) emphasizing the importance of bhakti as both passionate expressions toward the deity and resistance and reform movement during the colonial period in Kerala. His second book, Transformational Embodiment in Asian Religions: Subtle Bodies, Spatial Bodies (co-edited with Katherine C. Zubko) (Routledge, 2020), discusses transformational embodiment in different Asian religions, regions, and historical periods problematizing the study of the body. His third book, The Routledge Handbook of Religion and the Body (co-edited with Yudit Greenberg) (Routledge, 2023), is the first comprehensive volume examining multireligious cross-cultural perspectives on the body and embodiment, featuring multidisciplinary approaches and methodologies from the humanities and the social sciences. Currently, he is working on a monograph, Dynamics of Devotion: Spatiality, Corporeality, and Materiality in Kerala, South India, which is an ethnography that explores the embodiment and experience of devotion and its connection to space and material culture.
He is the Co-Chair of the Arts, Literature, and Religion unit of the American Academy of Religion and serves on the editorial board of the Body and Religion journal.
Religious Devotion and the Poetics of Reform: Love and Liberation in Malayalam Poetry (Routledge, 2019)
Transformational Embodiment in Asian Religions: Subtle Bodies, Spatial Bodies (co-edited with Katherine C. Zubko) (Routledge, 2020)
The Routledge Handbook of Religion and the Body (co-edited with Yudit Greenberg) (Routledge, 2023)
Articles, Chapters, and Entries:
Performing Kṛṣṇa’s Body in Kerala. In Yudit Greenberg and George Pati, eds., The Routledge Handbook of Religion and the Body. London and New York: Routledge, 2023: 333-344.
Sree Narayana Guru. In Oxford Bibliographies in Hinduism. Ed. Tracy Coleman. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020. DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195399318-0234
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 and New York: Routledge, 2018: pp.115-130.
Sacred Spaces and Objects: The Visual, Material and Tangible. Valparaiso: Valparaiso University, 2016 (Curated exhibit).
Feet like Lotus Powder. In Wendy Doniger, ed., Hinduism: Norton Anthology of World Religion. Vol.1. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2015: pp.370-372.
Nambūtiris and Ayyappan Devotees in Kerala. In P. Pratap Kumar, ed., Contemporary Hinduism. London and New York: Routledge, 2014: pp.204-216.
Narayana Guru. In Knut A. Jacobsen, ed., Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism: Symbolism, Diaspora, Modern Issues. Volume 5. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2013: pp. 559-565.
Kerala Hinduism. In Oxford Bibliographies in Hinduism. Ed. Alf Hiltebeitel. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195399318-0126
Temple and Human Bodies: Representing Hinduism. International Journal of Hindu Studies. Vol.15, No.2, 2011: pp. 191-207.
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.175-189.
Regional Tradition, Kerala. In Knut A. Jacobsen, ed., Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism: Texts, Rituals, Arts, Concepts. Volume 2. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2010: pp.606-114.
Mohiniyāṭṭam: An Embodiment of the Aesthetic and the Religious. Journal of Hindu Studies. Vol.3, 2010: pp. 91-113.
Body as Sacred Space in Kaḷaricikitsā of Kerala, South India. Religions of South Asia. Vol. 3, No.2, 2009: pp. 235-250.
Kerala. In Knut A. Jacobsen, ed., Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism: Regions, Pilgrimage, and Deities. Volume 1. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2009: pp. 221-231.
Ph.D., Boston University, MA
- Anthropology of South Asian Religions and Cultures; Hinduism; Devotional Traditions of India; Religion and the Body; Rituals and Performances; Kerala History and Culture; Malayalam Language and Literature
SELECT COURSES TAUGHT
- Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion and Theology
- Anthropology of Body
- Religion, Film, and Body
- Sacred Spaces, Bodies, and Rituals
- Senior Seminar Thesis
- Devotional Traditions of India
- Indian Religions and Cultures
- Religions of China and Japan
- Asian Christianities
- Malayalam Language
- Sanskrit Language
- Hindi Language
- American Academy of Religion
- Association for Asian Studies
- European Association for South Asian Studies
- Kerala Council for Historical Research
- Society for Hindu-Christian Studies