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Brian Collins

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

On Faculty Fellowship Leave for Spring 2023

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); North Carolina State University, B.A. in Religious Studies and B.A. in Psychology, (2001)


  • Hinduism
  • Buddhism
  • Comparative Mythology
  • Intellectual History of Religious Studies
  • Religion, the Paranormal, and the Occult

Courses Taught

  • CARS 2400 Introduction to the Study of Religion
  • CARS 2410 The Global Occult: Ghosts, Demonology, and the Paranormal in World Religions
  • CARS 2430 The History of Yoga: From Ancient Discipline to Modern Movement
  • CARS 3100 Hinduism
  • CARS 3110 Buddhism
  • CARS 3130 Indian Epic: Mahābhārata and Rāmayāṇa
  • CARS 3260 Myth, Ritual, and Symbolism
  • CARS 4900 Religious Traditions of India (Study Abroad Course)

Selected Publications

Of Demons and Disciplines: Old Thiess, a Livonian Werewolf: A Classic Case in Comparative Perspective by Carlo Ginzburg and Bruce Lincoln and Daemons Are Forever: Contacts and Exchanges in the Eurasian Pandemonium by David Gordon White.” Religious Studies Review Vol. 47, No.1 (Mar. 2021).

“The Ambā-Upākhyāna Reconsidered: Reading Ambā’s Story as Part of the Rāma Jāmadagnya Myth Cycle.” In Visions and Revisions. Edited by Raj Balkaran and McComas Taylor. Canberra: Australian National University Press, forthcoming.

“Paraśurāma, Droṇa, and Aśvatthāman: A Comparative Study of Brahmin Warriors in the Mahābhārata.” In NOMEN NVMEN: Espressioni del sacro tra storia delle religioni, linguistica e archeologia, Atti del convegno Università degli Studi della Campania “Vanvitelli”, Santa Maria Capua Vetere – 15-16 Aprile 2019. Edited by Marcello do Martino and Claudia Santi, 177-192. Lugano: Agora & Co, 2021

“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, 2022.

“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.

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.

“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.