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Home > Research > Researchers > Ram Ram-Prasad
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Ram Ram-Prasad supervises 4 postgraduate research students. Some of the students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Professor Ram Ram-Prasad

Professor

Ram Ram-Prasad

County South

Lancaster University

Bailrigg

Lancaster LA1 4YL

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1524 592424

Location:

Research overview

Comparative philosophy, especially phenomenology, epistemology, metaphysics and theories of consciousness; comparative studies of India and China; classical Indian thought; history of Hinduism; Hindu theology; contemporary Indian politics and religion; multiculturalism and British society; comparative political philosophy

PhD supervision

Indian Philosophy - classical and modern, especially in: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, consciousness studies

Comparative Philosophy, especially Indian and Western: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, consciousness studies,and political thought

Comparative Hindu and Christian theology

Hinduism

Indian Buddhism

Religion and politics: South Asia, and comparative studies

Indian diaspora

Multiculturalism and British society

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.

Books:

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

 

Research

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 (http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/projects/self/index.htm) (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): http://cass.lancs.ac.uk/.

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.

Profile

Career details

I studied Politics, Sociology and History in India, and took a doctorate in Philosophy at Oxford. I taught at the National University of Singapore and held Research Fellowships at Trinity College Oxford and Clare Hall, Cambridge before joining Lancaster. I have also been Visiting Fellow at Benares Hindu University, Ecole Francaise d' Extreme Orient, Pondicherry, De Nobili College, Pune, and Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles and the National Institute for Advanced Studies, Bangalore.

I have a range of interests in global and comparative studies. I sit on the academic advisory council of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, and I am a Senior Fellow of the Mind Life Institute. I also previously sat on the academic council of the Global Religion and Ethics Forum and I was Asia advisor for the Templeton Foundation's Global Perspective on Science and Spirituality Programme, 2004-6, and sat on the Board of the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy, 2009-11.

I am South Asia Reviews Editor of Philosophy East and West; and sit on the editorial and advisory board of the Online Forum of the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy, Blackwell Compass Religion, Diskus, the online journal of the British Association for the Study of Religion, and Fu Jen International Religious Studies.

I am General Editor for Mysticism and Spirituality for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia for Religion, and Editor of the Bloomsbury Research Handbooks on Asian Philosophy.

I regularly lecture at universities in the US, Europe, East Asia and India. Apart from many invited conference talks, major lectures have included a plenary address at the 9th East-West Philosophers' Conference in Hawaii, 2005; a Weidenfield Lecture, Glasgow University, 2006; the Bimal Matilal Memorial Lecture, Jadavpur University, 2007; the Swami Haridas Memorial Lecture, Madras University, 2007; the inaugural Comparative Theology lecture at Harvard Divinity School, 2008, Dahlem Humanities lectures, Free University Berlin, 2011, Majewski Lecture, Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, 2012, the Huntington Lecture, Chapman University, 2103, and Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures in 2012-13.

News and Events

October 2010: I chaired a private and a public meeting of the Archbishop of Canterbury's meeting with traditional Hindu teachers and leaders in Bangalore.

http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/ppr/stories/1121/

November 2010: I took part in the Mind Life Institute's public conference on neuroscience and meditation in Delhi, in the presence of HH the Dalai Lama.I presented two papers, one on general challenges facing the neuroscientific study of Indian meditative practices and the role of a proper understanding of the classical philosophical arguments that inform those practices; and the other on the specific Hindu school of Advaita Vedanta.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVXb4979Hjg

December 2010: Together with my colleague Dr Brian Black, and former colleague Dr Irina Kuznetsova, I conducted a workshop at Gresham College where we sought to present to a wider audience some key findings from the AHRC major research project, Self: Hindu Responses to Buddhist Critiques.

http://www.gresham.ac.uk/event.asp?PageId=108&EventId=1164

I gave the Huntington Lecture at Chapman University on the Hindu woman mystic and poet Ānṭāl in September 2013

http://ibc.chapman.edu/Mediasite/Play/359910dadfc4456fa5fa1c06ef851fd01d

Here are links to episodes in In Our Time in which I have participated:

The Bhagavad Gītā

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00zt235

The Upaniṣads

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01nq7ct

Hindu Ideas of Creation

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03k289f

 

A documentary on the Kumbh Mela

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1RzYjJ6YCo

 

Current Teaching

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