Religious Studies


profile image for Dr Jessica Frazier

Dr Jessica Frazier

Lecturer in Religious Studies


Office: Cornwallis North West 221


Having studied Sanskrit, Hindu culture and continental philosophy at Cambridge and Oxford, my work now focuses on key themes in Hinduism and religious philosophies more widely. I work on philosophies and arts, focusing on ontology, aesthetics, and India's diverse notions of the self and the divine. These topics are explored in my book Reality, Religion and Passion, which contrasted the Indian philosophy of Acintya Bhedabheda with the hermeneutic ontology of Hans-Georg Gadamer, my recent edited book Categorisation in Indian Philosophy: Thinking Inside the Box, and also in my discussion of Indian cosmological arguments in 'Natural Theology in Eastern Religions' in The Oxford Handbook of Natural Theology, conceptions of the self in possession in 'Overflowing Selves: The Phenomenology of Possession' in Mystical Theology in the French Tradition: Eruptions from France, and Hindu formulations of Atheism in The Oxford Handbook of Atheism. I am currently investigating notions of divine embodiment and transformation in the parinama-vada doctrines and metaphors of Bhedabheda Hindu theology, and I also work on Hindu arts, aesthetics, and devotional thought, focusing on conceptions of emotion, passion, and embodiment.

I looked at the broader history, methods, disciplines, regional focus, and key themes of Hindu studies in The Bloomsbury Companion to Hindu Studies, and I am also the Founding and Managing Editor of the Journal of Hindu Studies which is published by Oxford University Press, editing annual thematic issues on topics such as Arts and Aesthetics, Reason and Rationality, Bhakti, Ritual and Practice, etc.

In the study of religion more broadly, I am working on reviving alternative conceptions of value, ontology, the self, and religious experience. These issues are explored in recent essays on topics such as passion and desire in Girard’s notion of sacrifice, and the nature of value in Gadamer’s hermeneutic philosophy. My forthcoming monographs Gadamer on Religion: Beauty, Spirit, Globalism, and The Inner World: Approaches to Experience in the Phenomenology, Anthropology, Psychology and Sociology of Religion, also explore conceptions of the self and its position in relation to truth, value and beauty.

I am also a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies since 2005, where I deliver various seminars, pursue research projects. In addition I regularly consult and contribute to various media sources such as the BBC on religious topics. Discussions from In Our Time on the Bhagavad Gita, the Kama Sutra , and Hindu concepts of creation can be heard online.

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

    Frazier, Jessica (2014) The Bloomsbury Companion to Hindu Studies. Bloomsbury, 424 pp. ISBN 9781472511515.


    This Companion offers the definitive guide to Hinduism and study in this area. Now available in paperback, The Bloomsbury Companion to Hindu Studies covers all the most pressing and important themes and categories in the field - areas that have continued to attract interest historically as well as topics that have emerged more recently as active areas of research. Specially commissioned essays from an international team of experts reveal where important work continues to be done in the field and, valuably, how the various topics intersect through detailed reading paths. Featuring a series of indispensible research tools, including a detailed list of resources, chronology and diagrams summarizing content, this is the essential tool for anyone working in Hindu Studies.

    Frazier, Jessica (2008) Reality, Religion and Passion: Indian and Western Approaches in Hans-Georg Gadamer and Rupa Gosvami. Studies in Comparative Philosophy and Religion. Lexington Books, Lanham, Maryland, USA, 278 pp. ISBN 9780739124390.

Book Sections
Edited Books

    Frazier, Jessica (2014) Categorisation in Indian Philosophy: Thinking Inside the Box. Ashgate ISBN 1409474550.


    It is by fitting the world into neatly defined boxes that Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain philosophers were able to gain unparalleled insights into the nature of reality, God, language and thought itself. Such categories aimed to encompass the universe, the mind and the divine within an all-encompassing system, from linguistics to epistemology, logic and metaphysics, theology and the nature of reality. Shedding light on the way in which Indian philosophical traditions crafted an elaborate picture of the world, this book brings Indian thinkers into dialogue with modern philosophy and global concerns. For those interested in philosophical traditions in general, this book will establish a foundation for further comparative perspectives on philosophy. For those concerned with the understanding of Indic culture, it will provide a platform for the continued renaissance of research into India's rich philosophical traditions.

Total publications in KAR: 5 [See all in KAR]
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Religious Studies, School of European Culture and Languages, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NF

Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 827159 or email Religious Studies

Last Updated: 26/11/2014