- AB (religion), Princeton University
PhD (social and behavioral sciences), The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
AM (divinity), PhD (history of religions), The University of Chicago Divinity School
- Shubha Pathak is a historian of religions who interprets epic myths from Greece, India, and Rome. In addition to teaching courses on intersections of religion, philosophy, and politics in classical and postclassical contexts, she researches 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. Her articles have appeared in such journals as Classics@, the International Journal of Hindu Studies, and Religions of South Asia.
CORE-105 Complex Problems Seminar: Epic Love, Lust and Loss
RELG-396 Selected Topics:Non-Recurring: Mod Myth: the Celestial Hunter
RELG-245 Stories of South Asia
RELG-396 Selected Topics:Non-Recurring: Mod Myth: Calasso's Ka
American Academy of Religion
Member, Steering Committee, Mahābhārata and Classical Hinduism Seminar; Past Chair (with Professor Patton Burchett, College of William & Mary, as Chair), Hinduism Unit
American Oriental Society
Society for Classical Studies
Past Chair, Committee on Public Information and Media Relations, Communications and Outreach Division; Past Member, Committee on the Classical Tradition and Reception, Outreach Division
The philosophical, psychological, and religious aspects of epic poetry and literary creativity; political aesthetics; political theologies; 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.
- Divine Yet Human Epics: Reflections of Poetic Rulers from Ancient Greece and India. Washington: Center for Hellenic Studies, Trustees for Harvard University; Cambridge: distributed by Harvard University Press, 2014.
- Figuring Religions: Comparing Ideas, Images, and Activities (edited volume). Albany: State University of New York Press, 2013.
- “Demonic and Demidivine Beauty in the Eyes of Demidivine and Demonic Beholders: Making Hanumat Disbelieve and Duryodhana Misbelieve through (A-)Puruṣārthic Assembling-Hall Aesthetics in the Rāmāyaṇa and Mahābhārata.” In “Transdisciplinary Approaches to the Rāmāyaṇa and Mahābhārata,” edited by Laxshmi Rose Greaves and Simon Brodbeck, special issue, Religions of South Asia 16, nos. 2–3 (December 2022): 137–57.
- "Shubha Pathak on 'What does philosophy of religion offer to the modern university?'" Philosophy of Religion: big question philosophy for scholars and students (Web log). March 15, 2016.
- "Why People Need Epics: Terming and Learning from the Divine Yet Human." Classics@ 12 (2015).
- "Why Do Displaced Kings Become Poets in the Sanskrit Epics? Modeling Dharma in the Affirmative Rāmāyaṇa and the Interrogative Mahābhārata." International Journal of Hindu Studies 10, no. 2 (2006): 127–49.