Montana State University

Department of History and Philosophy

Montana State University
P.O. Box 172320
Bozeman, MT 59717-3440

Tel: (406) 994-4395
Fax: (406) 994-7420
Location: Wilson Hall 2-155

Department Chair

Dr. David Cherry

J. Barton Scott, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies

Current Semester

Spring 2014 Courses:

RLST 100D: Intro to the Study of Religion

RLST 494: Seminar: Rethinking Secularism

Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00-10:00am, and by appointment

Office: Wilson 2-164


Phone: (406) 994-5126

Curriculum Vitae: Click Here

Research Interests

Religion in Modern India

Transnational religious reform movements

Religion, media, and public culture

Theory and method in religious studies


PhD, Religion, Duke University, Durham, NC, 2009

BA, Religion and English Literature, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA, 2001

Awards, Honors, and Affiliations

SIAS Summer Institute, National Humanities Center and Wissenshaftskolleg zu Berlin (2013-2014)

Scholarship and Creativity Grant, Montana State University (2013-2014)

Scholarship and Creativity Grant, Office of the Vice President for Research, Montana State University (2011-2012)

Sponsored Participant, Cornell University School of Criticism and Theory (2009)

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Academic Year Fellowship, Hindi (2008-2009)

American Institute of Indian Studies, Junior Fellowship (2007-2008)

American Institute of Pakistan Studies, Research Fellowship (2007-2008)

Duke University Summer Research Grant (2007)       

FLAS Academic Year and Summer Fellowships in Hindi-Urdu (2004-2006)

Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Humanistic Studies (2003-2004)

Recent Publications

Spiritual Despots: Colonial Hinduism and the Politics of "Priestcraft" (book manuscript)

“Comic Book Karma: Visual Mythologies of the Hindu Modern,” in “Inscriptions,” eds. Jeremy Stolow and Lisa Gitelman, special issue of Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts and Contemporary Worlds, Vol. 4, No. 2 (2010): 177-197.

“Miracle Publics: Theosophy, Christianity, and the Coulomb Affair,” History of Religions 49.2 (2009): 172- 196.

“Luther in the Tropics: Karsandas Mulji and the Colonial ‘Reformation’ of Hinduism,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion (forthcoming)

Courses Taught

RLST 100D: Introduction to the Study of Religion

RLST 201: Islam

RLST 202D: Hindu Traditions

RLST 325: Religion and Literature

RLST 326: Topics in Religion: Guru Culture (2011), Gandhi's Modernity (2013)

RLST 370: Philosophy of Religion

RLST 402: Natural/Unnatural/Supernatural