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Photograph of Shubha Pathak

Shubha Pathak Associate Professor Philosophy & Religion

Send email to Shubha Pathak
(202) 885-2957 (Office)
CAS - Philosophy and Religion
Battelle Tompkins - 113
Office hours via Zoom audioconferencing by e-mail appointment
AM (divinity), PhD (history of religions), University of Chicago Divinity School; PhD (social and behavioral sciences), Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health; AB (religion), Princeton University

Shubha Pathak is a historian of religions who interprets myths from India, Greece, and Rome. In her research and teaching, she compares Greco-Roman and Indian epics in their original and later literary forms to illuminate their paradigmatic pantheons and their authors’ creative understandings of their places in their universes. Her monograph, Divine Yet Human Epics: Reflections of Poetic Rulers from Ancient Greece and India (Center for Hellenic Studies, Trustees for Harvard University, 2014), shows how divinity-favored and -favoring bardic kings in the primary Greek and Sanskrit epics articulate and address their respective audiences' existential needs. Her edited volume, Figuring Religions: Comparing Ideas, Images, and Activities (State University of New York Press, 2013), demonstrates the methodological advances made by applying metaphor and metonymy theories in comparative religious studies.
See Also
Shubha Pathak's ORCID record
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.


Fall 2021

  • CORE-105 Complex Problems Seminar: Epic Love, Lust and Loss

  • RELG-473 Hinduism

Partnerships & Affiliations

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

The philosophical, psychological, and religious aspects of epic poetry and literary creativity; comparative philosophy and comparative religion; literary criticism; and contemporary psychological theories.

Grants and Sponsored Research

2016–17 College of Arts and Sciences Mellon Faculty Development Fund Grant, American University.

2010–11 Faculty Research Award, Office of Academic Affairs, American University.

2008–9 College of Arts and Sciences Mellon Faculty Development Fund Grant, American University.  

Selected Publications