Professor Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad


Research Interests

Areas of Expertise

Indian and comparative epistemology, metaphysics and philosophy of religion; religion and politics, especially foreign policy; South Asian religious identities in contemporary Britain; the conceptual sources of modern Hindu life and beliefs.

Books and other publications

Papers: Over forty-five papers in a wide range of journals like Philosophy East and West, Journal of Indian Philosophy, Ageing and Society, Contemporary South Asia, Journal of Hindu Studies, etc., and edited volumes.


Knowledge and Liberation in Classical Indian Thought, Library of Philosophy and Religion Palgrave, Basingstoke, 2001

Advaita Epistemology and Metaphysics: An Outline of Indian Non-Realism Routledge Curzon, London; 2002

Eastern Philosophy, Weidenfield and Nicholson London, 2005

India: Life, Myth and Art Duncan Baird, London, 2006

Indian Philosophy and the Consequences of Knowledge: Themes in metaphysics, ethics and soteriology Ashgate, Aldershot, 2007

Divine Self, Human Self. The Philosophy of Being in Two Gita Commentaries, Bloomsbury, New York, 2013


My recent and current research areas are as follows:

1. Conceptions of bodily being in classical Indian thought. I am currently writing a book that looks at how different intuitions about the bodily nature of phenomenology are expressed in different genres of classical Indian materials - medical compendia, mystical poetry and metaphysical debates, orthodox and esoteric rituals, erotic poetry, and theological texts.

2. Theories of self: I was PI on a major AHRC research project: Self: HinduResponses to Buddhist Critiques ( (2008-11). My work for this project was primarily on i) arguments for the diachronic unity of consciousness and the relationship between subject unity and theories of self; ii) the relationship between personal identity and the unity of consciousness, especially with regard to memory; and iii) the theological and ethical dimensions of Hindu conceptions of human and divine self. An outgrowth of this project, tied also to some elements of 3., below, has been an interest in the neurophilosophical aspects of meditative states, focussing on the conceptual debates about consciousness and selfhood between Hindu and Buddhist practices of meditation. In this regard, I have worked with members of the Mind Life Institute, after presenting papers on Hindu theories of consciousness and contemporary neuroscientific and cognitive scientific issues at Mind Life Institute's firstmajor public conference in India, in 2010, inthe presence of HH the Dalai Lama.

3. Theories of consciousness derived from classical Indian thought, for which I held an award from the John Templeton Foundation. My work at the National Institute for Advanced Studies, Bangalore in 2006-07 was primarily on the reconceptualisation of the cognitive science agenda through classical Indian theories of consciousness. I am currently working with Dr Rajesh Kasturirangan, National Institute for Advanced Studies Bangalore, and Dr Nirmalya Guha, Jadavpur University on cognition, conceptualisation and reasoning.

4. Religion and politics, with a focus on the theoretical possibilities offered in interpeting political and public religion in the world, outside the constraints of the modern liberal Western experience, especially through a comparative theological analysis of the politics of secularism. In the more specific area of religion and identity in Britain, I worked under a Home Office Grant with Gwen Griffith-Dickson of the Lokahi Foundation, London, to develop an account of integration of Hindus and Muslims into British society. My interest in the role of comparative theology in the political understanding of secular society has led toworking withthe Hindu-Christian Forum in the UK under the auspices of the Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and chairing the then-Archbishop's engagement with Hindu religious teacher-leaders in India in 2010. My project, 'Religion, Immigration and Integration', will run within the ESRC funded Centre for Corpus Approaches to Linguistics at Lancaster University, within which I am a CI (PI, Tony Mcenery):

5. Comparative study of Indian and Chinese philosophies, especially on the issues of self and knowledge. I am co-chair with Tao Jiang of Rutgers University of a new Consultation on Comparative Studies in the Philosophy and Religion of India and China at the American Academy of Religion Conferences starting in 2011. This follows a successful five-year Seminar Series on the same topic. I also sit on the Board of the Working Papers Series on India and China of the India-China Institute at the New School, New York.

Reading the Ācāryas: a generous conception of the theological method
Ram-Prasad, C. 04/2014 In: International Journal of Hindu Studies. 7, 1, p. 98-112. 15 p.
Journal article

Divine self, human self: a comparative theology from two Gita commentaries
Ram-Prasad, C. 2013 London/New York : Continuum. 176 p. ISBN: 9781441154644.

Pluralism and liberalism: reading the Indian Constitution as a philosophical document for Constitutional Patriotism
Ram-Prasad, C. 2013 In: Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy. 16, 5, p. 676-697. 22 p.
Journal article

Self and memory: personal identity and unified consciousness in comparative perspective
Ram-Prasad, C. 2012 Farnham : Ashgate. ISBN: 978-1-4094-4354-4. Electronic ISBN: 978-1-4094-4355-1.

The phenomenal separateness of self: Udayana on body and agency
Ram-Prasad, C. 6/09/2011 In: Asian Philosophy. 21, 3, p. 323-340. 18 p.
Journal article

Indian cognitivism and the phenomenology of conceptualization
Kasturirangan, R., Guha, N., Ram-Prasad, C. 2011 In: Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences. 10, 2, p. 277-296. 20 p.
Journal article

Situating the Elusive Self of Advaita Vedanta
Ram-Prasad, C. 2010 In: Self, No Self? Perspectives from Analytical, Phenomenological, and Indian Traditions. Oxford University Press p. 217-238. 22 p. ISBN: 978-0-19-959380-4.

Indian Philosophy and the Consequences of Knowledge: Themes in Ethics, Metaphysics and Soteriology.
Ram-Prasad, C. 2007 Ashgate. 240 p. ISBN: 0754654567.

Hindu perspectives on Islam
Ram-Prasad, C. 2006 In: Religions view religions : explorations in pursuit of understanding. Amsterdam : Rodopi p. 177-196. 20 p. ISBN: 9042018585.

Hindus and non-Hindus.
Ram-Prasad, C., Patton, L. 2006 In: The life of Hinduism. Berkley : University of California Press 324 p. ISBN: 9780520249134.

India : life, myth and art.
Ram-Prasad, C. 2006 London : Duncan Baird.

Eastern Philosophy.
Ram-Prasad, C. 2005 Weidenfield & Nicolson. ISBN: 0-297-84744-9.

Hindu views of Jesus
Ram-Prasad, C. 2005 In: Jesus in the world’s faiths : leading thinkers from five religions reflect on his meaning. Maryknoll, N.Y. : Orbis p. 81-90. 10 p. ISBN: 1570755736.

Non-violence and the other : a composite theory of multiplism, heterology and heteronomy drawn from Jainism and Gandhi.
Ram-Prasad, C. 12/2003 In: Angelaki. 8, 3, p. 3-22. 20 p.
Journal article

Contemporary political Hinduism.
Ram-Prasad, C. 2003 In: Companion to Hinduism. Oxford : Blackwell p. 526-550. 25 p. ISBN: 0631215352.

A Comparative Treatment of the Paradox of Confirmation.
Ram-Prasad, C. 1/08/2002 In: Journal of Indian Philosophy. 30, 4, p. 339-358. 20 p.
Journal article

Promise, power and play: Conceptions of childhood and forms of the divine.
Ram-Prasad, C. 08/2002 In: International Journal of Hindu Studies. 6, 2, p. 147-173. 27 p.
Journal article

Advaita epistemology and metaphysics : an outline of Indian non-realism.
Ram-Prasad, C. 2002 London : Routledge. 274 p.

Being Hindu and/or governing India? Religion, social change and the state.
Ram-Prasad, C. 2002 In: The freedom to do God's will : religious fundamentalism and social change. London : Routledge p. 159-196. 38 p.

Conflict-management and reconciliation as challenges of governance : India at the start of the 21st century.
Ram-Prasad, C. 2002 In: Religion, conflict and reconciliation. Amsterdam : Rodopi p. 231-238. 8 p.

Saving the Self? Classical Hindu Theories of Consciousness and Contemporary Physicalism.
Ram-Prasad, C. 07/2001 In: Philosophy East and West. 51, 3, p. 378-392. 15 p.
Journal article

Knowledge and liberation in classical Indian thought.
Ram-Prasad, C. 2001 Basingstoke : Palgrave.

Multiplism : a Jaina meta-ethics of toleration.
Ram-Prasad, C. 2001 In: Ethics and the world religions. Oxford : One World Press p. 347-369. 23 p.

What kind of questions do Hindu philosophers ask?
Ram-Prasad, C. 2001 In: Meeting Hindus. Leicester : Christians Aware p. 16-23. 8 p.

Conceptuality in question : teaching and cognition in Yogacara-Madhymaka.
Ram-Prasad, C. 09/2000 In: Religious Studies. 36, 3, p. 277-291. 15 p.
Journal article

Knowledge and action I : means to the human end in Bhatta Mimamsa and Advaita Vedanta.
Ram-Prasad, C. 02/2000 In: Journal of Indian Philosophy. 28, 1, p. 1-24. 24 p.
Journal article

Knowledge and action II : attaining liberation in Bhatta Mimamsa and Advaita Vedanta.
Ram-Prasad, C. 02/2000 In: Journal of Indian Philosophy. 28, 1, p. 25-41. 17 p.
Journal article

Hindu nationalism and India's international relations.
Ram-Prasad, C. 2000 In: Religion and international relations. London : Macmillan p. 140-197. 58 p.

Hindu nationalism and the international relations of India.
Ram-Prasad, C. 2000 In: Religion and international relations. London : Macmillan p. 140-197. 58 p.

Religious experience in the Hindu traditions.
Ram-Prasad, C. 2000 Oxford, 16 p.
Working paper

Liberation without annihilation : Parthasarathis Misra on jnanasakti.
Ram-Prasad, C. 10/1999 In: Sambhasa : Nagoya Studies in Indian Culture & Buddhism. p. 1-20. 20 p.
Journal article

Review of K. Ballhatchet, 'Caste, class and Catholicism'.
Ram-Prasad, C. 08/1999 In: Reviews in Religion and Theology. 6, 3, p. 334-335. 2 p.
Journal article

Review of W. Sinclair-Brull, 'Female ascetics'.
Ram-Prasad, C. 08/1999 In: Reviews in Religion and Theology. 6, 3, p. 268-271. 4 p.
Journal article