Faculty Directory

Rita D. Sherma

Director of the Center for Dharma Studies
Associate Professor of Dharma Studies

Core Doctoral Faculty
At the GTU since

Rita D. Sherma is founding Director and Associate Professor at the Center for Dharma Studies; Core Doctoral Faculty; Department Chair of Theology & Ethics; and Co-Chair of Sustainability 360 Initiative at GTU, Berkeley, CA. Formerly, she was the Swami Vivekananda Visiting Professor in Hindu Studies at USC, Los Angeles. She holds an MA in Women’s Studies in Religion, and a PhD in Theology & Ethics from Claremont Graduate University, CA. Sherma is co-founder of the American Academy of Religion’s Hinduism Program Unit. She is the founding Vice President of DANAM (Dharma Academy of North America)—a scholarly society for research on Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain religious & interreligious studies—and serves as Vice President of the Society for Hindu-Christian Studies. Dr. Sherma has authored/edited/co-edited numerous books and is the founding Editor-in-Chief of "Journal of Dharma Studies." She serves on the Editorial Board of "Reading Religion" Journal (an AAR publication), serves as Advisor to the Parliament of the World’s Religions Climate Action-sponsored Faith for the Earth online & print project, as well as on the Advisory Board of the Yale Forum for Religion and Ecology. Her pedagogical approach goes beyond encounters in the classroom to create collaborations with her students in research, writing, publications, and sponsoring students' leadership in their disciplines.

Degrees and Certifications

PhD, Claremont Graduate University, 2002

MA, Claremont Graduate University, 1997


Research and Teaching Interests
  • Hindu Theology & Ethics
  • Religion & Ethics of Sustainability 
  • Theory & Method 
  • Feminine Divine (Hinduism) 
  • Theory & Method 
  • Comparative & Interreligious, Studies
Academic Committees and Boards

Editor in Chief, Board of Journal of Dharma Studies: Philosophy, Theology, Ethics, and Culture, Springer. 

Advisory Board of the Yale Forum for Religion and Ecology.

Founding Vice President, Dharma Academy of North America (DANAM)

Vice President, Society for Hindu-Christian Studies Board

Associate Editor of the Encyclopedia of Indian Religions


Selected Publications
  • 2021 | SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: HIS LIFE, LEGACY, AND LIBERATIVE ETHICS | Rita D. Sherma, editor | Book Series: Explorations in Indic Traditions: Theological, Ethical, and Philosophical | Rowman & Littlefield: Lexington Press
  • 2021 | RELIGION & SUSTAINABILITY: INTERRELIGIOUS RESOURCES, INTERDISICIPLINARY RESPONSES S | Rita D. Sherma and P. Bilimoria, editors; associate editor: Pravina Rodrigues | Dordrecht: Springer
  • 2011 | WOMAN AND GODDESS IN HINDUISM: REINTERPRETATIONS AND RE-ENVISIONINGS Tracy Pintchman and Rita D. Sherma, editors | New York: Palgrave Macmillan
  • 2008 | HERMENEUTICS AND HINDU THOUGHT: TOWARD A FUSION OF HORIZONS | Rita Sherma and Arvind Sharma, editors | Dordrecht: Springer Publishing
  • 2020 | “God the Mother and Her Sacred Text: A Hindu Vision of Divine Immanence,” Rita D. Sherma, in the Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Gender & Indian Philosophy, V. R. Howard, editor.
  • 2020 | “Contemplative Experience: An Interdharma Comparative Reflection,” in Contemplative Studies & Hinduism, Rita D. Sherma & P. Bilimoria, editors, (Routledge).
  • 2015 “A Hindu Response to Laudato Si’.” In For Our Common Home: Process-Relational Responses to Laudato Si', John B Cobb Jr & Ignacio Castuera editors
Courses Taught
  • STCE-6007 Theology & Ethics Doctoral Departmental Seminar
  • BSHR-6100 Sacred Texts Doctoral Departmental Seminar
  • STBS-5020-01 Hindu Theology Foundations
  • HRIR 4000 Ecology & Religion
  • CEPH-5200 Postcolonialism, Decolonialism, & Dharma: A Dialogue  
  • BSST-5400  The Divine Feminie: Hindu Thealogy 
  • BSLS-4500-1 Contemplative Studies & Yoga