The Conference on Religion in South India (CRSI) was founded in 1971 by Harry Buck to support the academic study of religious traditions in South India and its areas of influence elsewhere. Between 1971 and 2001 the CRSI sponsored annual workshops in a leisurely, informal setting where scholars presented their “work in progress.” CRSI has always been an independent organization and financially self-supporting.
Paul Courtright served as chairman of CRSI from 1985 to 2001. During this period, Emory University provided administrative support to publicize the workshops. After shepherding the conference for sixteen years, he decided to step down. In July 2004, Selva J. Raj of Albion College became chairman of the conference, renamed CSRI, and Albion College served as the host institution, providing administrative and technical support for the conference and its website for the years 2005-2007. With Selva Raj’s death in 2008, the Conference Advisory Committee has assumed responsibilities for planning and organization. Beginning in 2008, Loyola University Chicago has provided administrative and technical support for CSRI.
The Conference on the Study of Religions of India (CSRI) is a forum of exchange for scholars engaged in the academic study of the religious traditions of India in both native and diasporic contexts. It provides scholars a leisurely, collegial environment in which to present their work. Emphasis will be placed on informality among peers. Committed to critical and creative inquiry, the conference is not an advocacy forum for the religions of India and does not endorse or proscribe a particular point of view. Only scholars with terminal degrees in religious studies or related academic disciplines (like Anthropology, Art, Ethnomusicology, History, Philosophy, Theology, Women Studies) researching and/or teaching in the area of religions of India are eligible to present, attend, and participate in the conference. Graduate students in advanced standing in any of these disciplines are also welcome to participate in the conference.
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