Department of Religion
Eaton Hall, Room 314
Medford, MA 02155
Packard Chair of Theology
PhD, Harvard University
MA, Harvard University
MDiv, Yale University
BA, Carleton College
Hinduism and Religion in modern South Asia Religion and Colonialism
Brian Hatcher's research interests include the expression of
religious change among emergent Hindu movements in colonial and
contemporary South Asia, the transformation of intellectual and
social life in colonial Bengal, and the interrogation of modernity
under the conditions of colonialism. He is particularly interested
in recovering the agency of Indian intellectuals as they negotiated
the normative ideologies, institutions and material technologies
associated with British rule in South Asia. Currently he is
conducting research on the networking and emplacement of Shiva
shrines and Shaiva monastic complexes in western Bengal from the
eighteenth to the twentieth century; on the textual and
institutional articulation of the Swaminarayan movement in early
colonial Gujarat; and on the discourse of reform as it has shaped
both colonial attitudes and contemporary scholarship on modern
Hinduism. He currently has a monograph under contract with Harvard
University Press entitled Religion before India and is the recipient
of a 2017 Senior Short-term Fellowship from the American Institute
of Indian Studies.
Read an interview with Brian Hatcher.
The Life and After-life of an Eminent Indian (Routledge
Bourgeois Hinduism, or Faith of the Modern Vedantists: Rare
Discourses from Early Colonial Bengal (New York: Oxford
University Press, 2008)
Eclecticism and Modern Hindu Discourse (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1999)
Idioms of Improvement: Vidyasagar and Cultural Encounter in Bengal
(Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1996)
Hindu Widow Marriage: An Epochal Work on Social Reform from Colonial
India. Translated by Brian A. Hatcher (New York: Columbia
University Press, 2011)
Hinduism in the Modern World.
Edited by Brian Hatcher
Trans-colonial Modernities in South Asia. Edited by Michael S.
Dodson and Brian A. Hatcher (New York: Routledge, 2012)
Recent Articles and Book Chapters:
"India's Many Puritans: Connectivity and Friction in the Study of
Modern Hinduism" History Compass (forthcoming)
"Translation in the Zone of the Dubash: Colonial Mediations of
Anuv?da," Journal of Asian Studies (forthcoming).
"Situating the Swaminarayan Tradition in the Historiography of
Modern Hindu Reform," in: Swaminarayan Hinduism: Tradition,
Adaptation and Identity, edited by Raymond B. Williams and Yogi
Trivedi. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2016. 6-37.
"Pandits at Work: The Modern Sastric Imaginary in Early Colonial
Bengal," in: Trans-Colonial Modernities in South Asia, edited by
Michael S. Dodson and Brian A. Hatcher (New York: Routledge, 2012).
"Current Approaches to Colonial Hinduism," in: Continuum Companion
to Hinduism, edited by Jessica Frazier (London: Continuum, 2011).
171-199. Reprinted in paper as: Bloomsbury Companion to Hindu
Studies, edited by Jessica Frazier (New York: Bloomsbury, 2014).
"Setting off and Settling Down: Religious Mobility and
Place-Making," seminar presentation, Le Centre d'Études de l'Inde et
de l'Asie du Sud, at l'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales,
March 25, 2016.
"Cowherds, Kings and Sadhus: Shiva Networks in Colonial Bengal,"
seminar presentation, Le Centre d'Études de l'Inde et de l'Asie du
Sud, at l'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, March 18,
"Translating Translation: Colonial Mediations of Anuv?da," seminar
presentation, Le Centre d'Études de l'Inde et de l'Asie du Sud, at
l'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, March 17, 2016.
"Imitating Friends: Philanthropy and Associational Behavior in
Colonial Calcutta," seminar presentation, Le Centre d'Études de
l'Inde et de l'Asie du Sud, at l'École des Hautes Études en Sciences
Sociales, March 8, 2016.
"Association and Imitation: Translating Philanthropy in Early
Colonial Calcutta," presentation for the seminar Orientalismi at
Universita Ca' Foscari Venezia, November 24, 2015.
"Cowherds, Kings and Sadhus: Aspects of Religious Place-Making in
Modern Bengal," lecture delivered at Sapienza Universita di Roma,
November 17, 2015.
"The Whereabouts of an Indian Reformer," invited lecture, Department
of History, Calcutta University, August 5, 2015.
"Religion in Motion: Shaiva Networks in Colonial Rarh," invited
lecture, Department of Sociology, Presidency University, Kolkata,
August 4, 2015.