The Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship is excited to announce a new addition to the roster of visiting scholars for 2020. Dr. Ravi Gupta has been named an affiliate faculty member during the fall semester.
Dr. Gupta is a scholar of Hinduism and currently holds the Charles Redd Chair of Religious Studies at Utah State University. The Institute’s associate director Philip Barlow became acquainted with Dr. Gupta and his work during his time at Utah State University.
“At the age of twenty-one, Ravi Gupta received his PhD from Oxford University,” Dr. Barlow said. “That is not the most important aspect of his life, but it may serve as an introduction to his uncommon gifts. The prospect of conversation and collaboration with Dr. Gupta this semester is most promising.”
Institute executive director J. Spencer Fluhman said he is delighted to have Dr. Gupta visit, having previously delivered a guest lecture and a Maxwell Institute Podcast interview on the subject of disciple-scholarship.
“Dr. Gupta has spent a lot of time considering the intersection of religious practice and religious studies in his own tradition,” said Dr. Fluhman. “We’re thrilled to learn more from his experience. He’ll enrich our thinking about what that means in a Latter-day Saint context, no doubt.”
Affiliate faculty members of the Institute are scholars who take leave from their home institutions to spend a season collaborating with the research community here. In the face of COVID-19, the Institute is looking into creative adaptations in how we gather and nurture disciple-scholars.
During his time as affiliate faculty, Dr. Gupta said he plans to begin a new project on Hindu eco-theology in conversation with Christian environmental thought.
“During my visit to the Maxwell Institute in 2017 I recognized deep synergies between the Latter-day Saint experience and that of Vaishnava Hindus like myself,” Dr. Gupta said. “I came away with fresh insights and a desire to engage further with other scholars who share the challenges, opportunities, and commitments that come with being a disciple-scholar.”