Asian Religions

The graduate study of Asian Religions at McGill encompasses the study of religions originating in Asia throughout history and across the globe. Faculty and graduate students in the School of Religious Studies often focus on the study of Hinduism in South Asia as well as in North America, and the study of Buddhism in South Asia, Tibet, China, and Japan, and as a contemporary transnational set of traditions.


Mikaël Bauer, Associate Professor of Japanese Religions (Buddhism)

Lara E. Braitstein, Associate Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism

Rongdao Lai, Assistant Professor of Chinese Religions (Buddhism), joint appointment with the Department of East Asian Studies

Andrea Farran, Associate Professor of South Asian Religions

Arvind Sharma, Birks Professor in Comparative Religion

Hamsa Stainton, Associate Professor of South Asian Religions (Hinduism)

Graduate Students


Sujata Chaudhary, PhD Student, School of Religious Studies Sujata Chaudhary (Ph.D. 2017–) B.A in Applied Psychology from the University of Delhi, India (2008). M.A in Social Anthropology from Indira Gandhi National Open University, India (2011). M.Phil. in Sociology from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India (2013). Sujata’s Ph.D. research at McGill focuses on analyzing the role of Indian judiciary and bureaucracy in regulating religious matters. Using legal judgments and archival documents as a primary source of analysis, she looks at varied forms of religion-state relations in different parts of India.    

Alex Grabiner (Ph.D. 2018–), B.A. New York University (2016), M.A. Yale University ( 2020)

Chulthim Gurung, PhD student, School of Religious Studies Chulthim Gurung (2019–) is a Ph.D. student at McGill University’s School of Religious Studies, and ABD position in (2024). His thesis focuses on Tibetan Abhidharma Psychology. He earned his B.A. in Buddhist Studies from Vikrama Shila Buddhist Institute in 2000 and M.A. in Asian Studies from the University of British Columbia in 2019. Between 2002 and 2015, Mriti served as a research assistant, teacher, Buddhist interpreter, and secretary at different Buddhist monastic institutes in Nepal and India.

Adrien Moevus (Ph.D. 2019–) B.A. McGill University (2017), M.A. in Religious Studies from McGill (2020). Research Interests:Indian Buddhism; Tibetan Buddhism; Sanskrit; Classical Tibetan; Mahāmudrā


Matilda Perks (Ph.D. 2019–) B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science (2006), M.A. in Religious Studies from McGill University (2020). Matilda studies the history of Buddhist modernism(s) and Tibetan Buddhism outside of Tibet with a focus on the life and works of Tibetan lama, Chögyam Trungpa (1940–1987), and the development of the Vajradhatu community.

Helena Reddington, PhD student, School of Religious Studies

Helena Reddington (Ph.D. 2014–) Wilfred Cantwell Smith Fellowship (2014–2017). Broadly speaking, her research focuses on religion, vernacular literature, and the history of performing arts traditions from Kerala, South India. Her doctoral research explores the Tuḷḷal genre, combining textual analysis on the literary tradition as well as fieldwork on the living performance heritage. Her research contributes to the existing scholarship on regional identity and the emergence of vernacular literature in South Asia by examining the Tuḷḷal genre as an important factor in the development of the Malayalam language.

  Tahereh Tavakkoli (Ph.D. 2020–) M.A. in Religious Studies, McGill University (2021)
Anna Lee White, PhD Student Religious Studies Anna Lee White (Ph.D. 2018–). Graduate Option in Gender and Women's Studies. Wilfred Cantwell Smith Fellowship (2018–2022). Graduate Excellence Fellowship (2018–2022). B.A. in Anthropology and South Asian Studies from Mount Holyoke College (2015). M.A. in History of Religions from the University of Chicago Divinity School (2018). Anna Lee studies the history of bhakti (devotional) literature written in Hindi and Sanskrit from early modern North India and focuses on the development of the Ramanandi community. 


Recently Completed Supervisory Projects

Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy
Darry Dinnell, (2020) Thesis Title: Upwardly mobile Mātās: The transformation of Village Goddesses in Gujarat, India, Supervisors: Lara Braitstein and Davesh Soneji
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