John Stratton Hawley

John Stratton Hawley

Research Interest


PhD, Comparative Religion, Harvard University, 1977
MDiv, Hebrew Bible, Union Theological Seminary, 1966
BA, European History, Amherst College, 1963


Jack Hawley joined Barnard's faculty in 1986. His research is focused on the religious life of north India and on the literature that it has spawned in the course of the last 500 years. He is the author or editor of some twenty-five books. Most concern Hinduism and the religions of India, but others are broadly comparative. Recent publications include A Storm of Songs: India and the Idea of the Bhakti Movement and, with Kenneth E. Bryant, Sur’s Ocean: Poems from the Early Tradition (both Harvard University Press, 2015). Each won an award from the Association for Asian Studies. A poem-by-poem commentary on verse found in Sur’s Ocean, with extensive introduction, is Into Sur’s Ocean: Poetry, Context, and Commentary (Harvard Oriental Series, 2016). A shortened paperback version is Sur’s Ocean: Classic Hindi Poetry in Translation (Harvard, 2023). With the publication of a revised and expanded version of Surdas: Poet, Singer, Saint (Primus Books, 2018), Hawley has been following Surdas and his poetry into the realm of manuscript illustration. As for the present day, Krishna’s Playground: Vrindavan in the 21st Century appeared from Oxford University Press in January, 2020 and has been translated into Hindi (Rajkamal Prakashan, 2023).

Jack Hawley has served as director of Columbia University's South Asia Institute and has received multiple awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Smithsonian, and the American Institute of Indian Studies. He has also been a Guggenheim Fellow, and has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2016-17 he was a Fulbright-Nehru Fellow principally resident in Vrindavan, not far from Delhi. In 2023-24 he holds a senior fellowship of the American Institute of Indian Studies.