Hillary Rodrigues

Faculty of Arts & Science
Religious Studies


Research expertise

Primary: Indian Religious Culture and Philosophy
Medieval and modern Hinduism. Contemporary Hindu worship rituals (e.g., puja, pilgrimage) and their relationship to scripture (primarily Puranic), mythology, and metaphysics; in particular, the study of goddess worship (e.g., Durga, Saktism) in India. Analysis of the metaphysical doctrines of modern Indian religious teachers (e.g., J. Krishnamurti, R. Balsekar) and their relationship to traditional Asian philosophies (e.g., Vedanta, Buddhism).

Secondary: Social Scientific Study of Religion
Contemporary theory (anthropological, phenomenological) in the study and practice of religion (e.g., precepts versus practices, popular religion, ritual theory, cultural/symbolic systems); the quest for religious experience and the transmission of religious truths.

Current Research

  • Fieldwork and library research on the myths and worship rituals of the Hindu goddess Durgā.1990-date.
  • Archival and fieldwork research on the legacy of the Indian religious teacher, Jiddu Krishnamurti, who left behind a vast corpus of teachings, numerous schools and educational foundations in the Americas, Europe, and India. 1994-date.
  • Library and fieldwork-based research on attitudes to authority and process in culturally heterogeneous Asian milieus among seekers dedicated to the search for pivotal religious experience. 1997-date.
  • Pedagogy of the discipline of Religious Studies and the Hindu Tradition, in its theoretical, methodological, and practical dimensions, through the examination and crafting of textbooks and other educational materials. 1993-date.