I am trained in Classical and Modern Indian religion and philosophy, having studied under Gavin Flood and Maya Warrier. My research and teaching centres on modern Hindu Reform Movements and Hinduism post 1800, with particular interest in Neo-Vedanta philosophy, and religious encounter and religious identity from a Hindu perspective. I am currently preparing my doctoral thesis as a monograph, under the working title Swami Vivekananda and Non-Hindu Traditions. In recent years, my interest in modern Guru movements in the ‘West’ has led me into the study of New Religious Movements, and I am now active in publishing in this area – particularly with regard to the relationship between New Religions and ‘majority’ religious culture.
Much of my research is concerned with methodology and pedagogy in the Study of Religion – particularly with regard to tutor-led Field Visits and Study Tours. I have previously been awarded a Higher Education Academy grant for a project (co-coordinated with Lynne Scholefield, St Mary’s University College) entitled Developing Fieldwork in Religious Studies – Possibilities and Practicalities. I am currently working on a book, Engaging with Living Religion, to be published by Routledge in 2014.
In addition to my main areas of research, I have a long-standing interest in religion and comedy, and am currently writing on purposefully offensive comedy concerning religion, stand-up comedy in relation to the New Atheism, and British social attitudes to comedy and religion from the 1950s to the current day.