Following in the footsteps of senior scholars like Prof.Frank Clooney (Harvard University, USA)and Prof.Pratap Kumar (KwaZulu Natal,South Africa),from October 2005 the new Academic Director of OCHS will be Prof.Gavin Flood,who is currently the senior lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Stirling, Scotland.
With research interests that span South Asian traditions, Prof.Flood 's history of research and publication is outstanding. His publications include An Introduction to Hinduism; Body and Cosmology in Kashmir Saivism; and Beyond Phenomenology: Rethinking the Study of Religion. He is also the editor of The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism.
Prof. Flood is now taking time away from his position in Scotland to lead OCHS: tutoring students interested in learning about Hinduism,lecturing on the world-wide significance of South Asian cultures, and directing OCHS ' academic activities over the next three years.Prof.Flood explained: "I have always had a general interest in Hinduism,even as a boy when I remember reading an article in the Encyclopedia Britannica that was utterly compelling and utterly incomprehensible for me at the time!" Hindu studies, he says, should be devoted to "the deepening of knowledge about Hindu traditions, the development of reflection on the arts and literature (particularly in the vernacular) of Indian culture, and the development of Hindu theological reasoning from within those
traditions,in ways that meet modern criteria of rigour. We might add that the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies has a further pedagogical responsibility to disseminate information and knowledge about Hindu traditions to both 'insiders ' and 'outsiders '."
Prof.Flood is an extremely welcome addition to our existing scholars and students, overseeing OCHS ' development as an international centre of research and publication on Hindu culture, ancient and modern.