Finnian Moore Gerety
Interests: mantra, Vedic texts and ritual; performance, sound, film; Sanskritic religious cultures of South India.
My dissertation, "This Whole World is OM: the Emergence of the Sacred Syllable in South Asia," traces the history of the world's most famous mantra from its Vedic background through its prominence in the theological and soteriological discourses of classical Hinduism. I argue that singers of liturgical song (samaveda) were instrumental in OM's ascendance. My other ongoing projects pertain to Hinduism as it is practiced today in Kerala, including a film on the revival of Sanskrit drama (kudiyattam) among teenagers; and a multi-year ethnographic project with Nambudiri Brahmin singers. My research has been supported at Harvard by the Film Study Center, the South Asia Initiative, the Graduate Society and the Committee on General Scholarships; and by the Fulbright Institute of International Education. As a visiting lecturer in Religious Studies at Brown University, I have taught courses on Hinduism and South Asian Religions.