Jarrod L. Whitaker

Associate Professor
South Asian Religions

Graduate Program Director

Office: Wingate 311
Phone: 758-4162
Email: whitakjl@wfu.edu

Bio

Jarrod L. Whitaker is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at Wake Forest University, where he teaches courses relating to Asian Religions, especially Hinduism and Buddhism, and also theory and method courses on religion, ritual, and gender. He holds a M.A. with First Class Honors in Religious Studies from The University of Canterbury, New Zealand (1998), and a Ph.D. in Asian Cultures and Languages from The University of Texas at Austin (2005).

CV

EDUCATION

B.A. The University of Canterbury, New Zealand

M.A. The University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Ph. D. The University of Texas at Austin

1999-2005 Ph.D., Asian Cultures and Languages, Dept. of Asian Studies, University of Texas at Austin. Dissertation: Drinking Status, Wearing Duty: Magic, Power, and Warrior Ethics in Ancient India.

1995-1997 M.A. with First Class Honors in Religious Studies, University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Thesis: Divya Astras (Divine Weapons) and Tejas (Fiery Energy) in the Mahabharata and Ramayana.

1990-1994 B.A., in Religious Studies, University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

Publications

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

MONOGRAPH

Strong Arms and Drinking Strength: Masculinity, Violence, and the Body in Ancient India (Oxford University Press, 2011).

ARTICLES

Forthcoming

“Ancient India.” In Meissner, Raaflaub, Schmitt, & Yates, eds. The Cambridge History of War, Volume One: War and the Ancient World.

“‘I Boldly Took the Mace for Might’: Ritually Weaponizing the Male Body in Ancient India.”

“What Makes Indra Indra? On indriyá in the Rgveda.” In Joel P. Brereton & Patrick Olivelle, eds., Selected Papers from The Fourth International Vedic Workshop: The Vedas in Culture and History, Austin, TX, May 2007.

“Masculinity and Violence in the Rgveda: Defining the Roles of nár, vīrá, and śura.” In Theodore N. Proferes & Joel P. Brereton, eds., Selected Papers from the 13th World Sanskrit Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland, July 2006.

 

2011
“Who Gets to Live Forever in Ancient India? Rethinking ayus (“life”) in the Rgveda.” In Steven E. Lindquist, ed., Religion and Identity in South Asia and Beyond: Essays in Honor of Patrick Olivelle (New York, London, Delhi: Anthem Press, 2011): 41-68.

2010

“Empowering Men Ritually in Ancient India.” In: Michael Axels, ed. et al, Ritual Dynamics and the Science of Ritual, Volume III: State, Power, and Violence (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2010): 47-54.

2009
Translation: Paul Horsch. “From Creation Myth to World Law: the Early History of Dharma.” Reprinted in Patrick Olivelle, ed., Dharma: Studies in its Semantic, Cultural and Religious History (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 2009): 1-26.

2007
“Does Pressing Soma Make You an Aryan? A Brief Review of sushvi- and asushvi- in the Rgveda.” Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, vol.157.2: 417-426.

2004
“Ritual Power, Social Prestige, and Amulets (mani) in the Atharvaveda.” In A. Griffiths & J.E.M. Houben, eds., The Vedas: Texts, Language, & Ritual. Proceedings of the Third International Vedic Workshop, Leiden 2002 (Groningen: Egbert Forsten): 565-580.

“Hinduism, Classical.” In Palmer-Fernandez, G., ed., Encyclopedia of Religion and War, 1st ed. (New York: Berkshire/Routledge): 161-165.

“Hinduism, Vedic.” In Fernandez, ed., Encyclopedia of Religion and War: 170-174.

Translation: Paul Horsch. “From Creation Myth to World Law: the Early History of Dharma.” Special Edition of Journal of Indian Philosophy, Patrick Olivelle, ed., Vol. 32, Issue 5 (December): 423-448. Originally Paul Horsch (Universität Zürich), “Vom Schöpfungsmythos zum Weltgesetz.” Asiatische Studien: Zeitschrift der Schweizerischen Gesellschaft für Asiankunde, vol.21 (Francke: 1967): 31-61.

2002
“How the Gods Kill: The Narayana Astra Episode, the Death of Ravana, and the Principles of Tejas in the Indian Epics.” Journal of Indian Philosophy, vol.30, no.4: 403-430.

2000
“Divine Weapons and Tejas in the Two Indian Epics.” Indo-Iranian Journal, vol.43, no.2: 87-113.


BOOK REVIEWS

2012
Galewicz, Cezary, A Commentator in Service of the Empire: Sāyaṇa and the Royal Project of Commenting on the Whole of the Veda. Publications of the de Nobili Research Library, vol.35, 327 pp. Vienna: 2010 [2009?]. €39. ISBN 978 3 900271 41 1.” Bulletin for the School of Oriental and African Studies.

2011
“Jerryson, Michael K. and Mark Juergensmeyer, Buddhist Warfare (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010): pp.257.” Practical Matters Journal: Initiative in Religious Practices & Practical Theology (Emory University).

2010
“Powers, John, A Bull of a Man: Images of Masculinity, Sex, and the Body in Indian Buddhism (Cambridge, Massachusetts; London, England: Harvard University Press, 2009).” Indo-Iranian Journal, vol.53, no.1: 165-169.

2008
“Proferes, Theodore N., Vedic Ideals of Sovereignty and the Poetics of Power (New Haven, Connecticut: American Oriental Society [American Oriental Series 90], 2007).” Indo-Iranian Journal, vol.51, no.2 (June): 209–212.


CONFERENCE PAPERS

 

2011
Symposium on South Asian Masculinities, University of Miami, Ohio, April 30th. Agni as “Best Man among Men”: Fire Worship, Manhood, and Kin Relations in the Rgveda.

2010
American Academy of Religion, Panel on Weaponry and Violence in South Asian Religions, “‘I Took the Bold Mace for Might.’ Ritually Making the Body into a Weapon in Ancient India.”

2nd National Australian Sanskrit Conference, Canberra, Australia, “Who’s Listening to the Rgveda and What Are They Hearing?”
220th Meeting of the American Oriental Society, St. Louis, MO. “Encoding and Decoding the Rgveda.”

2009
Sept. 14th World Sanskrit Conference, Kyoto, Japan, September 1-5, 2009. “Empowering Men Ritually in Ancient India.”

2008
Sept-Oct. Ritual Dynamics and the Science of Ritual Conference, Heidelberg, Germany. “On Strong-Arms and Drinking Strength: Masculinity, Violence, and the Body in the Rgveda.”

March. 218th Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Chicago, IL. “On Indra’s Body.”

2007
May. The Fourth International Vedic Workshop: The Vedas in Culture and History, Austin, TX: “Indrahood (indriyá) and the Human Indra.”

Mar. 217th Meeting of the American Oriental Society, San Antonio, TX: “Who Gets to Live Forever in Ancient India? Rethinking ayus (“lifetime”) in the Rgveda and Atharvaveda 1.35.”

2006
November. New England Conference of the Association for Asian Studies: Magical Practice and Magical Thinking in Asian Culture: “Who Gets to Live Forever in Ancient India? Rethinking ayus (“life”) in the Rgveda.” Read In Absentia.

July. 13th World Sanskrit Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland: “Masculinity and Violence in the Rgveda: Reconsidering the roles of nar, vira, and shura.”

March. 216th Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Seattle, WA: “How Exactly is the Dragon Killed? The Importance of shávas in the Rgveda.”

2004
March. 214th Meeting of the American Oriental Society, San Diego, California: “Drinking Status, Wearing Duty: Reconsidering ójas, “authority”, in the Rgveda and Atharvaveda.”

2002
October. Asian Studies Graduate Conference, University of Texas at Austin: “Ritual Power and Social Prestige in Atharvavedic Magical Thought.”

June. 3rd International Vedic Workshop, Leiden, Netherlands: “Ritual Metaphysics vs. Ritual Performance: An Account of Magic in the Atharvaveda.”

March. 212th Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Houston, Texas: “Ritual Metaphysics and Ontology vs. Ritual Performance: An Account of Magic in the Atharvaveda.”

2001
September. University of Texas at Austin History Dept. Conference on Violence: “The Tension Between Warrior and Kingly Battle Ethics in the Mahabharata.”

1998
August. The Biannual Australia and New Zealand Religious Studies Conference: “The Principles of the Divine Weapons (Divya Astras) and Fiery Energy (Tejas) in India’s Two Epics.”

Courses

COURSES TAUGHT

REL 104: Introduction to Asian Religions
REL 108: Introduction to Hindu Traditions
REL 109: Introduction to Buddhist Traditions
REL 286: Upanishads and Urbanization in Ancient India
REL 286: Ancient Indian Religion and Culture
REL 300/600: Theory and Method in the Study of Religion
REL 306/606: Ritual Studies
REL 386/686: Indian Epics in Performance
REL 387/687: Magic, Ritual, and Power in Indian Culture
REL 387/687: Priests, Warriors, and Ascetics in Ancient India
REL 390: Hindu Religious Traditions
REL 390/702: Special Topics in Religion: Sanskrit I & II
REL 700: Method and Theory in the Study of Religion (Grad. Course)
REL 703: Postmodern Perspectives on Power, Symbolism, and Performance (Grad. Course)