Ph. D., Harvard University, 2013
Nawaraj Chaulagain is an Associate Professor in Religion Department at Illinois Wesleyan University.
Born and raised in Nepal, Professor Chaulagain did his undergraduate studies at Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu (Nepal). He holds graduate degrees from Tribhuvan University (MA in British and American Literature), Florida International University, Miami (MA in Religious Studies), and Harvard University (Ph. D. in South Asian Studies). He is trained in South Asian religions, literature, and theories, and his academic interests span the religions and cultures of humanity worldwide.
In his research and publication, Professor Chaulagain specializes in Hindu Religious Traditions and in comparative religions. He is the author of Hindu Kingship Rituals: Power Relation and Historical Evolution (Harvard Oriental Series-Opera Minora 11, Gorgias Press, 2019). He has published articles in peer-reviewed journals and volumes covering such topics as religious rituals and ceremonies and dealing with the issues of power, politics, gender, and environment. He is currently working on the Hindu king Shivaji (reign, 1674–1680 CE), focusing on the religious and political life of Shivaji and his evolution in Indian history.
In his teaching, Professor Chaulagain shares his enthusiasm for the academic study of religions. He emphasizes the objective and scientific analysis of religions, providing students with different theories and methods for understanding religions. He encourages his students to pay close attention to social, cultural, historical, political, and economic contexts that give rise to particular religions and their influences on human life, past and present. He believes that students need a safe space and an open forum in which they can candidly discuss real-world issues, situations and values in order to enhance their critical thinking and communication skills and develop a habit of inquiry for an empathetic and comprehensive global worldview.
Professor Chaulagain offers the following courses at Illinois Wesleyan: