Ohio University

Brian Collins

Brian Collins Profile Picture
Associate Professor, Chair & Drs. Ram and Sushila Gawande Chair in Indian Religion and Philosophy
Ellis 234

Ohio University faculty member since 2013

Recent News


University of Chicago, Ph.D. in History of Religions (2010); University of Chicago, M.A. in History of Religions (2003); B.A. in Religious Studies, North Carolina State University (2001); B.A. in Psychology, North Carolina State University (2001)


  • Hinduism
  • Buddhism
  • Comparative Religion
  • Theories of Religion
  • Religion in Asia

Courses Taught

  • CLWR 1810 Introduction to the Study of Religion
  • CLWR 2300 The Global Occult: Ghosts, Demonology, and the Paranormal in World Religions
  • CLWR 3340/5340 Hinduism
  • CLWR 3350/5350 Buddhism
  • CLWR 3480 The History of Yoga From Ancient Discipline to Modern Movement
  • CLWR 4810/5810 Myth, Ritual, and Symbolism
  • CLWR 4900 Religious Traditions of India (Study Abroad Course)
  • CLAS 3140 Indian Epic: Mahabharata and Ramayana

Selected Publications

“Not Buying the Cow: The Ambā Story as a Cattle Raid.” In Visions and Revisions: Studies in the Indian Epics and Purāṇas. Edited by Raj Balkaran and McComas Taylor. Canberra: Australian National University Press, (forthcoming).

“Paraśurāma, Droṇa, and Aśvatthāman: Brahmin Warriors in the Mahābhārata.” In Nomen Numen: Expressions of the Sacred Between History of Religions, Linguistics, and Archeology. Edited by Marcello De Martino. Lugano, CH: Agora & Co, (forthcoming).

“Myth.” In The Encyclopedia of Religious Ethics: Volume 1-Moral Inquiry. Edited by William Schweiker, Maria Antonaccio, Elizabeth Bucar, and David Clairmont. Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell, (forthcoming).

“Monsters, Masala, and Materiality: Close Encounters with Hindi Horror Movie Ephemera.” In Bollywood Horrors: Religion, Violence, and Cinematic Fears in India. Edited by Ellen Goldberg, Aditi Sen, and Brian Collins, 21-43. London: Bloomsbury Academic 2021.

“Vampire Man Varma: The Untold Story of the ‘Hindu Mystic’ Who Decolonized Dracula.” In Bollywood Horrors: Religion, Violence, and Cinematic Fears in India. Edited by Ellen Goldberg, Aditi Sen, and Brian Collins, 44-65. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2021.

The Other Rāma: Matricide and Genocide in the Mythology of Paraśurāma. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2020.

“A Very Square Peg: A Podcast About Austrian Polymath Robert Eisler.” Podcast. June 2020. New Books Network. https://newbooksnetwork.com/category/nbn-special-series/very-square-peg/

The Magic of the Combinatory Mind: The Forgotten Life of 20th Century Austrian Polymath Robert Eisler. London: Palgrave Pivot, 2020.

“Un pezzo troppo quadrato: la vita e l’opera di Robert Eisler” [“A Very Square Peg: The Life and Work of Robert Eisler”]. In Uomo diventa lupo: un’interpretazione antropologica di sadism, masochismo e licantropia [Man into Wolf: An Anthropological Interpretation of Sadism, Masochism, and Lycanthropy] by Robert Eisler, 323-391. Translated by Raul Montanari. Milan: Adelphi Edizioni, 2019.

With Kristen Tobey. “From Middlemarch to The Da Vinci Code: Portrayals of Religious Studies in Popular Culture.” Religious Studies Review Vol. 44, No. 2 (Jun. 2018), 173-182. DOI: 10.1111/rsr.13420

“By Post or by Ghost: Ruminations on Visions and Epistolary Archives.” Jewish Quarterly Review Vol. 107, No. 3 (Summer 2017), 393-404.

“The Eastern Revolution: From the Vedas to Buddhism, Jainism, and the Upanishads.” In The Handbook of Mimetic Theory and Religion. Edited by James Alison and Wolfgang Palaver, 111-117. London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2017.

“Burning Desires, Burning Corpses: Girardian Reflections on Fire in Hinduism and Buddhism.” In René Girard and World Religions. Edited by Wolfgang Palaver and Richard Schenk, 303-317. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press, 2017.

The Head Beneath the Altar: Hindu Mythology and the Critique of Sacrifice. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2014.