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Faculty Directory

Rita D. Sherma, PhD

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 Mira & Ajay Shingal Center for Dharma Studies; Core Doctoral Faculty; 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 on the Board of the Society for Hindu-Christian Studies. Sherma has authored/edited/co-edited several 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). 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

BAdmin, University of Ottawa

Research and Teaching Interests
  • Hindu Theology
  •  Religion & Sustainability 
  • Theory & Method 
  • Feminine Divine (Hinduism) 
  • Theory & Method 
  • Comparative & Dialogical Theology.
Academic Committees and Boards

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

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

Associate Editor of the Encyclopedia of Indian Religions. 

Selected Publications
  • 2019 | VIVEKANANDA: HIS LIFE, LEGACY, AND RELEVANCE Rita D. Sherma, editor | Book Series: Explorations in Indic Traditions: Theological, Ethical, and Philosophical | Rowman & Littlefield: Lexington Press
  • 2019 | Rita Sherma and Arvind Sharma, editors | Dordrecht: Springer Publishing SUSTAINABLE SOCIETIES: INTERRELIGIOUS INTERDISICIPLINARY RESPONSES Rita D. Sherma and Purushottama Bilimoria, editors; Pravina Rodrigues, associate editor | 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
  • 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.
  • 2000 “Sacred Immanence: Reflections of Ecofeminism in Hindu Tantra.” In Purifying the Earthly Body of God: Religion and Ecology in Hindu India. Lance E. Nelson editor.
Courses Taught
  • STCE-6007 Theology & Ethics Doctoral Departmental Seminar
  • BSHR-6100 Sacred Texts Doctoral Departmental Seminar
  • STBS-5020-01 Hindu Theology Foundations
  • HRBS 4054 Yoga Studies
  • HRST-5100-01 God the Mother in Hinduism
  • HRIR 4000 Ecology & Religion