John Stratton Hawley

Claire Tow Professor of Religion

Jack Hawley joined Barnard's faculty in 1986. His research is focused on the religious life of north India and on the literature that it has spawned in the course of the last 500 years. He is the author or editor of some twenty books. Most concern Hinduism and the religions of India, but others are broadly comparative. One of the most recent of these—A Storm of Songs: India and the Idea of the Bhakti Movement (Harvard University Press, 2015)—is devoted to deconstructing and reconstructing one of the principal ways in which Indians have told their religious history. Its focus is bhakti, the religion of song, of radical engagement, and of the heart. A second recent book, Sur’s Ocean: Poems from the Early Tradition (Harvard University Press, 2015) is co-authored with Kenneth E. Bryant. It is one of the inaugural volumes in the Murty Classical Library of India.  A poem-by-poem commentary on verse appearing in this edition, together with an extensive introduction, has been published in the Harvard Oriental Series as Into Sur's Ocean: Poetry, Context, and Commentary (Harvard University Press, 2016).  

Jack Hawley has served as director of Columbia University's South Asia Institute and has received multiple awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Smithsonian, and the American Institute of Indian Studies. He has also been a Guggenheim Fellow, and was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2016-17 he was a Fulbright-Nehru Fellow principally resident in Vrindavan, not far from Delhi.

For more information, including a full list of publications and descriptions of courses he has taught, visit

Recent Books:

Into Sur’s Ocean:  Poetry, Context, and Commentary (Harvard, 2016)
A Storm of Songs:  India and Idea of the Bhakti Movement (Harvard, 2015).
Sur’s Ocean:  Poems from the Early Tradition (with Kenneth E. Bryant; Harvard, 2015).
The Memory of Love: Surdas Sings to Krishna (Oxford, 2009)
Co-editor (with Vasudha Narayanan), The Life of Hinduism (California, 2006).
Co-editor (with Kimberley Patton), Holy Tears: Weeping in the Religious Imagination (Princeton, 2005)
Three Bhakti Voices: Mirabai, Surdas, and Kabir in Their Time and Ours (Oxford, 2005)

Academic Focus: 

Academic Focus:

Hinduism in north India
Religious literature in Brajbhasa/Hindi
Religion in New York



Love, Translated:  Hindu Bhakti
Religious Worlds of New York (with Courtney Bender)
The Bhakti Movement
Colloquium on Comparative Religion
Bhakti Texts
Religion vs. the Academy
Hinduism Here



219A Milbank
T: 212.854.5292


Office Hours: 

Spring 2014: Thursdays 4-6pm


Ph.D., Harvard University

M.Div., Union Theological Seminary

A.B., Amherst College