Bart Scott

J. Barton Scott

Assistant Professor Historical Studies - History of Religions
Office Location:
MN 4244
Office Hours:
Please refer to syllabus and/or contact via email.
3359 Mississauga Road, Maanjiwe nendamowinan, 4th floor
Mississauga , ON
L5L 1C6

J. Barton Scott is a theorist of religion who works on the global intellectual and cultural history of the long nineteenth-century, with a focus on South Asia and its connections to the British empire. He has been particularly interested in modern Hindu thought, religious polemics, and anticolonialism. He is the author of Spiritual Despots: Modern Hinduism and the Genealogies of Self-Rule (Chicago) and the co-editor of Imagining the Public in Modern South Asia (Routledge), and he teaches courses on social and cultural theory, religion in political thought, and media and material religion.  

Scott’s current book project, Slandering the Sacred: Law and Religious Affect in Colonial India, is a study of the sections of the Indian Penal Code that criminalize wounding “religious feelings.” The book situates these laws within the history of religious polemics in nineteenth and early twentieth century India, particularly those of the Arya Samaj, as well as within the global history of liberal ideas about free speech, secular governance, and print publicity. As a whole, the book asks how affect or emotion became part of state efforts to define and govern religion, both within India and beyond. 




Book Chapters

  • A Commonwealth of Affection: Modern Hinduism and the Cultural History of the Study of Religion." In Constructing Nineteenth Century Religion, eds. (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2019).
  • “The Supernatural and Colonialism.” In Super Religion, ed. Jeffrey J. Kripal, New York: Palgrave, 2016.

Culture Criticism


Modern South Asia; Postcolonial Theory; Secularism; Religion and Law; Media and Popular Culture; Affect Theory; History of Study of Religion
Ph.D. Duke University
B.A. Swarthmore College