Scholarship on the popular genre of Sanskrit religious poetry called the stotra, or hymn of praise, has advanced in a number of ways in recent years. This progress, however, also has highlighted major methodological challenges for the study of such hymns. This talk will review recent scholarship on the stotra genre, outline the methodological problems facing further work, and chart several ways of moving forward. In doing so, it will introduce the speaker’s current research project on the many hymns of mostly unknown authorship and provenance published in collections like “The great ocean of hymns” (Bṛhatstotraratnākara).
Hamsa Stainton is an Assistant Professor in the School of Religious Studies at McGill University. He did his graduate work at Columbia University (Ph.D.) and Harvard Divinity School (M.T.S.) in the United States. He specializes in South Asian religions, particularly Hinduism, and has spent many years studying and traveling in South Asia.
For more information, please visit: https://www.mcgill.ca/religiousstudies/hamsa-stainton