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Jackie Hirst


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Personal profile


My doctoral research on the teacher in Shankara's works included fieldwork in South India studying colophons of manuscripts. After this, I trained as a secondary school teacher of Religious Education, taught in comprehensive schools for five years, then, as Senior Lecturer in Religious Education, trained teachers at Homerton College, Cambridge with responsibility for the secondary PGCE in RE, before coming to Manchester in 1994. As first Lecturer and currently Senior Lecturer in Comparative Religion with a special interest in South Asian Studies, my research has consistently focused on the exploration of the Advaita Vedanta philosophical theological traditions of India and their interactions with other Hindu and Buddhist traditions composed in Sanskrit.  I am also interested in the different ways in which understandings of 'religion' have been constructed in western and Indian contexts related to South Asia and in gender and narrative issues across such traditions.  My diverse research interests are all related to my professional as well as my academic interest in teaching and representation.


  • MA, PhD (Cambridge)
  • Senior Lecturer in South Asian Studies

Further information

I welcome enquiries from potential research students in Vedanta and other Indian philosophical traditions, in gender issues in South Asia and the diaspora, and from those who share a desire to explore pedagogy in the context of South Asian religious traditions or the UK school system.

Areas of expertise

  • BL Religion
  • Vedanta
  • Hindu
  • Shankara
  • pedagogy
  • religion in modern South Asia


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