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Tracy Coleman


I am a scholar of Hinduism and its traditions of bhakti (devotion), especially Krishna-bhakti in the Sanskrit epics and purāṇas, and my teaching and research address issues of women, men, and gender in religion and society. My current project on Vaiṣṇava bhakti traditions reconsiders the prevalent claim that bhakti empowers women in social and religious life and demonstrates to the contrary that despite various narratives glorifying exemplary women, bhakti often functions to support the traditional patriarchal order. By situating the development of bhakti within larger cultural discourses on masculinity and dharma (truth, duty, proper behavior), the book reveals the conservative trajectory of Vaiṣṇava bhakti throughout history.


Specialty: Hinduism and Early Indian Buddhism; Women, Men, and Gender in Religion; Bhakti Literature; Krishna Traditions; Feminisms in Religion


Early Indian Buddhism
Women, Men, and Gender in Religion
Bhakti Literature
Krishna Traditions
Feminisms in Religion

Regular Classes

RE 160 Hinduism
RE 261 Women and Goddesses in Hinduism
RE 352 Holy Men, Manly Men: Gods, Buddhas & Gurus in South Asia
RE 357 Women in Hinduism & Buddhism
RE 362 Bhakti: Devotion in South Asia
RE 405 Thesis Preparation
RE 406 Senior Thesis


  • RE357 – Women in Hinduism and Buddhism
  • RE160 – Hinduism


    Ph.D., Brown University
    M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School
    M.A., Middlebury College (Paris)
    B.A., Rockford College, Phi Beta Kappa

    Papers & Publications

    Tracy Coleman