University of Chicago Press recently published Professor Laurie Patton’s book, Who Owns Religion? Scholars And Their Publics in the Late Twentieth Centuries, which includes references to writings by Asian Studies Professor Harjot Oberoi (South Asian Social and Religious History).
The book asks an important question: What is the role of a scholar of religion in the academy? Is it to simply describe religion or is it to re-describe religion? And what happens to the public sphere if a religion is re-described?
In answering these urgent questions, Professor Patton’s work engages with Professor Oberoi’s writings in chapter six of her book (pages 145 to 168). In summing up Professor Oberoi’s work, she concludes: “Oberoi’s work was immediately taken up as valuable in the same way as the work of Dipesh Chakarbarty, Bernard Cohn, Ron Inden, and Edward Said …”
Professor Patton serves as the president of Middlebury College (Vermont, USA). In 2019, she was president of the American Academy of Religion and is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts And Sciences.