Associate Professor of Religion
Professor Hopkins' areas of expertise are Hinduism and Buddhism in South Asia, South Asian studies, religion and literature, and the comparative study of religion. His major academic field of interest is South Indian devotional literature in Sanskrit and Tamil, with special attention to the work of a medieval (14th century) South Indian saint-poet Vedantadesika.
He has received fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, The National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Institute of Indian Studies, and a George E. Becker Faculty Fellowship at Swarthmore College to begin and complete various projects focused on the work of Vedantadesika.
The author of Singing the Body of God: The Hymns of Vedantadesika in Their South Indian Tradition (Oxford University Press, 2002) and An Ornament for Jewels: Love Poems for the Lord of Gods by Vedantadesika (Oxford University Press, 2007), he also co-edited, with John B. Carman, Tracing Common Themes: Comparative Courses in the Study of Religion (Scholars Press, 1990) and has published numerous articles and chapters. Along with his work as a scholar and translator of South Indian devotional poetry, he has published several poems and a book of fiction, The Leaving: Three Stories (Mudborn Press, 1978), which received the Eisner Prize in Literature (for poetry) at U.C. Berkeley.
Professor Hopkins received his B.A. in English Literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his Ph.D. in the Comparative Study of Religion from Harvard University.