Ph.D. — West and South Asian Religions, Emory University
M.T.S. — World Religions, Harvard Divinity School
B.A. — Classical Languages (Greek and Latin), Haverford College
Luke Whitmore received his M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School in 1999 and his Ph.D. in West and South Asian Religions from the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University in 2010. He also studied for two years at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. Broadly, his research and teaching interests include South Asian and Himalayan religions, Shaivism, Judaism, theory and method in religious studies, pilgrimage, myth, visual culture, network theory, phenomenological anthropology, and the study of place and space. His research focuses on the Hindu pilgrimage place of Kedarnath, and the mountainous region of Garhwal (located in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand) in which it is found. He is currently writing a book about the different ways in which people experience the place of Kedarnath today.
“In the Mountains of Radical
Juxtaposition: Kedarnath at the Beginning of a New Millennium”. Chapter for
peer-reviewed edited volume entitled Religion
and Modernity in the Himalaya. Forthcoming (Routledge)
“Conversations about Changes in Ritual
Practice at the Himalaya Hindu Shrine of Kedarnath." Chapter for edited
volume of proceedings from the 2009 meeting of the Conference on the Study of Religions
in India. Forthcoming (SUNY)
“In the Aftermath of the ‘Himalayan
Tsunami”, in Religion Dispatches. http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/culture/7185.
‘God’s Gateway: Identity and Meaning in a
Hindu Pilgrimage Place by James Lochtefeld.’ Review for Oxford Journal of Hindu Studies. Vol. 5,
No. 3, Sept. 2012.
Challenges of Representing Shiva: Image, Place and Divine Presence in the
Himalayan Hindu Shrine of Kedarnath" in Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art, and Belief. Volume
8, Number 2, June 2012.
‘God of Justice:
Ritual Healing and Social Justice in the Central Himalayas by William S. Sax.'
Review for the International Journal of
Hindu Studies. December 2010.
on Intersections: An Introduction to the Ethnography and Theology Issue of
Practical Matters." Co-authored with Lerone Martin. Issue may be accessed
here: http://practicalmattersjournal.org/issue/3/editorial-intro/reflections-on-intersections. June 2010.
Recent Conference Presentations
“Mountain, Water, Rock, God: Shiva’s Abode of Kedarnath
in the Twenty-First Century.” Institute for Research in the Humanities,
University of Wisconsin-Madison. December 2014.
Natural Disaster in the Land of the Gods: Preliminary
Observations on Post-June 2013 Uttarakhand. South Asia Center, University of
Wisconsin-Madison. November 2014.
“Ritual and the Fragile Power of the Himalayan
Landscape”. University of Wisconsin-Madison Annual Conference on South Asia.
“Touching Power: The Popular Faces of
Kedarnath-Centered Esoteric Practice.” American Academy of Religion annual
conference. November 2013.
“The Decline of Walking: What it Says about
Tirtha-Yatra in the Twenty-First Century.” American Academy of Religion annual
conference. November 2013.
“’Dance the Angry God of the Politicians’:
Re-imagining the Poetics of Possession in Toronto.” American Academy of
Religion annual conference. November 2012.
“Where Frogs Become Shivas: Kedarakhanda
and the Power of Region”. Annual Conference on South Asia at University of
Wisconsin-Madison. October 2012.
“Many Facets, One Power: Shiva’s Abode of
Kedarnath at the Beginning of a New Millennium.” American Academy of Religion
annual conference. November 2011.
Associate Editor, Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies
Steering committee (Space, Place, and
Religion unit, American Academy of Religion.) November 2013-present.