Close menu Resources for... William & Mary
W&M menu close William & Mary

Introducing Professor Akshay Gupta

Photo: Akshay Gupta
This is Professor Gupta’s first teaching position, and he is excited to be a part of the William & Mary community, which he so far finds to be motivated, engaged and thoughtful. He completed his Undergraduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Religious Studies and Economics, followed by a M.A. in Religious Studies at Duke University and a Ph.D. in Theology and Religious Studies at Cambridge University. Professor Gupta first considered the discipline of Religious Studies when he read the Bhagavād Gīta for the first time after his first year of college, which prompted him to a greater interest in the Hindu traditions which he has pursued throughout his academic career.

Professor Gupta’s expertise centers around Vedānta and Religious Ethics, especially the idea of evil, its purpose, and its theological and philosophical character. His focus is primarily textually-based and philosophical, with an element of comparative analysis. He uses comparison within Religious Studies to inform and broaden the meanings of certain practices and belief; he has found the work of various Christian theologians to be of interest in the analysis of certain Vedantic concepts, particularly regarding the purpose of evil and its potential role in soul-making as well as ideas about free will.

In his free time, Professor Gupta enjoys hiking and songwriting. His most recent publication, “Is a Guru as Good as God”, regarding the epistemic authority of the guru within Vedānta, will appear in the Journal of Dharma Studies. Other notable works include “Constructing a Hindu Black Theology” 2022. Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies vol. 34: Article 6, and “The Alchemy of Suffering in the Laboratory of the World: Vedāntic Hindu Engagements with the Affliction of Animals” which will appear in Religious Studies.