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Jonathan Edelmann, Assistant Professor

106 Anderson Hall
Hinduism, Sanskrit, Indian Philosophy, Science and Religion, Gaudiya Vaisnavism

View Dr. Edelmann’s CV here.

Visit his website.

Jonathan Edelmann received a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of California – Santa Barbara, an M.A. in Science and Religion from Oxford University, and Ph.D. (D.Phil.) from Oxford University in Religious Studies and Theology. While at Oxford he was affiliated with Harris Manchester College and the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.

Edelmann’s fields of research are twofold. The first is the Bhagavata Purana, as well as the Sanskrit theological and philosophical tradition that surrounds it known as Gaudiya or Caitanya Vaisnavism. He has focused on thinkers like Sridhara Svamin, Jiva Gosvamin, and Visvanatha Cakravartin, looking at their conceptions of bhakti (devotion), religious experience, and self-hood.

The second is the manner in which Hindu thought and Indian philosophy has interacted with and might further interact with Western thought in a constructive manner, especially the evolutionary sciences and Western philosophy. Edelmann has argued for a discussion (samvada) between Hindu thought and the evolutionary sciences, one that respects the autonomy and value of multiple perspectives in our on-going discovery our world.

Edelmann is a section editor for the International Journal of Hindu Studies, and was an American Academy of Religion Luce Fellow in Comparative Theology and Theologies of Religious Pluralism. His book, Hindu Theology and Biology: The Bhagavata Purana and Contemporary Theory (Oxford University Press) won a John Templeton Foundation Award from the Forschungszentrum Internationale und Interdisziplinäre Theologie at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. He has been an invited speaker at, for example, Harvard University’s Center for the Study of World Religion, University of Notre Dame’s Theology Department, University of Heidelberg’s Theology Department, and University of Virginia’s Religious Studies Department. Edelmann has published book chapters with Columbia University Press, Oxford University Press, and the New Delhi Centre for Studies in Civilizations, as well as articles in journals like the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, the Journal of the American Oriental Society, Zygon, the Journal of Consciousness Studies, and the Journal of Vaishnava Studies.

Some Recent Publications:

  • Setting Criteria for Ideal Reincarnation Research. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 14/12, pp.92-101. 2007.
  • Argument and Persuasion: A Brief Study of Kirtana in the Bhagavata Purana. Journal of Vaishnava Studies, 17/.2, pp.37-56. 2009.
  • Hindu Theology and Biology: The Bhagavata Purana and Contemporary Theory, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. 2012.
  • Hindu Theology as Churning the Latent. Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 81/2, pp.427-466. 2013.
  • The Cause of Devotion in Gaudiya Vaisnava Theology: Devotion as the Result of Spontaneously Meeting a Devotee. Journal of the American Oriental Society. 135/1, pp.49-69. 2015.
  • Introducing the Bhagavad Gita as Theological Source Text: Text & Commentary, Teacher & Student. In: Teaching Interreligious Encounters, edited by M.Pugliese and A.Hwang. NY: Oxford University Press (American Academy of Religion Teaching Religious Studies), pp.220-236. 2017.
  • Seeing in Eternal Return: Hermeneutical Perspectives on Karma and Rebirth. Religions. 8/ 250, pp.1-13. 2017.
  • Bhagavatapurana and Sridhara Svamin. Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Volume 5. Edited by Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Leiden: Brill. 2018.