Dr. Vose’s main areas for research and teaching are the religious traditions of South Asia, primarily in Jainism and secondarily in Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Islam. He examines the history of interactions within and between these traditions to understand the meaning and contexts of community identity formation, religious authority, and the relationships between religious communities and the state in the medieval and early modern periods. Dr. Vose is interested in devotional practices as public religious expressions, especially pilgrimage and temple ritual; and the place of “tantra” and alchemy in medieval Indian society. Dr. Vose also works on the development of vernacular literary traditions, especially in Old Gujarati, and the interaction of Sanskrit, Prakrit and vernacular languages and literatures. Finally, his work examines architecture, sculpture and manuscript painting practices, especially in western India. More broadly, he is interested in historiography in the study of religion, literary theory and religious reading practices, modern and premodern religious identity politics, religious and ethno-nationalism, conflict and non-violence in South Asia. His early training was primarily anthropological, and he brings a focus on the lived reality of religious life to his study of the medieval and early modern Indian past.


Ph.D.: University of Pennsylvania – South Asia Studies (2013)

M.T.S.: Harvard Divinity School – World Religions (2006)

B.A.: St. Lawrence University – Religious Studies (2001)


Forthcoming: Reimagining Jainism in Islamic India: Jain Intellectual Culture in the Delhi Sultanate. London: Routledge. (Fall 2020.)


Monograph: “Globalizing Jainism in Neoliberal India”

Translation: (with Babu Suthar), The Garland of Teachings on Virtue, Illustrated (translation of an Old Gujarati Jain story collection on virtue [śīla] and a study of gender and caste in early modern India)


Upcoming Talks and Conferences

“What To Do About All This Killing? Locating Jain Tantra in Medieval Indian Political and Social Life,” 22nd Annual Jaina Studies Workshop, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, March 21, 2020. (And panel respondent, “Statehood and (Non-)Violence.”)
“Registers of Virtue: A Comparative Reading of the Nammayāsundarī śīlakathā in Prakrit, Apabhraṃśa, and Old Gujarati,” Conference: “Jain Practices of Literary Transcreation,” Ghent University, May 21-22, 2020. (And panel respondent.)
“Marketing Self-Help Jainism: Mental Health and Stress Relief in the Shrimad Rajchandra Mission’s Social Media Strategy,” Symposium: “Illness, Medicine, and Healing in the Jain Tradition,” University of California at Riverside, June 6-7, 2020.


American Academy of Religion (AAR) – Co-Chair, Jain Studies Unit

Steven Vose

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