• Ph.D. Religious Studies (ABD), McGill University
  • M.A. Religious Studies, McGill University
  • B.A. (Hon.), St. Thomas More College
  • Certificate in Spoken Sanskrit, Heidelberg University

Selected Publications and Presentations

Invited Presentations

“Prayer, Meditation, Visualization: experience from religious and scientific perspectives.” Neuroscience Research Unit Seminar Series, University of Saskatchewan. upcoming February 24, 2020

“Her Jeweled Island Abode: teleological visions of Maṇidvīpa and the New Jerusalem.” St Thomas More College Religion and Culture Colloquium, University of Saskatchewan. November 20, 2018

Conference Keynote Synthesis. “Our Place in the Cosmos? Humanity, Spirituality, and the Awesome Universe.” Saskatchewan Centre for Science and Religion Biannual Conference, University of Saskatchewan. August 14, 2018

“Death and Dying in Hinduism.” Saskatoon Health Region Chaplains’ Education Program, St. Paul’s Hospital, Saskatoon SK. January 21, 2016      

Keynote Speaker, “Someone to Love: Śaṅkara’s Advaita Vedānta and Bhakti.”  T.M.P. Mahadevan Memorial Lecture, Tamil Sangam, New Delhi, India. October 28, 2012

Selected Conference Presentations

“Situating Śrīvidyā: The Contemporary Tantric Maṇḍalī.”  American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, San Diego. November 24, 2019

“Śrīvidyā’s Rahasya: Secrecy in Three Contemporary Tantric Maṇḍalīs” Society for Tantric Studies Meeting, Flagstaff AZ. September 29, 2019     

“Keeping the Faith: Wellness, Student Success, and the University of Saskatchewan’s Faith Leaders’ Council. Canadian Association of College and University Student Supports (CACUSS) Annual Meeting, Calgary AB. June 19, 2019

“Coupling Religious Diversity and Wellness on a Public Campus: The University of Saskatchewan Faith Leaders Approach.” Parliament of the World’s Religions, Toronto ON. November 2, 2018 

“Happy, Healthy, and Successful: Spiritual Wellness as the Measure of Religion.” Canadian Society for the Study of Religion, Congress Annual Meeting, Toronto ON. May 28, 2017 

“Tantric Hermeneutics with a Scientific Spin: Śrīvidyā and Public Esotericism.” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, San Antonio TX. November 19, 2016

His Own Visionary Authority: Manifesting Maṇidvīpa at Devipuram.” Dharma Association of North America (DANAM) Annual Meeting, San Antonio TX. November 18, 2016

“Dreams of Guruji: Conversion and Devotion at Devipuram.” University of Alberta History and Classics Graduate Student Conference, Edmonton AB. February 26, 2016

“Professional Prayoga: Marketing yantras in Contemporary Śrīvidyā.” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Atlanta GA. November 23, 2015

“Mapping Maṇidvīpa: the Manifestation of Amritananda’s Inner Vision.”  Stanford University Religious Studies Graduate Conference, Palo Alto CA. October 2, 2015

“Marketing the MahMeru: Public Esotericism in a Contemporary Śrīvidyā Institution.” University of Madison Annual Conference on South Asia, Madison WI. October 19, 2013

“Śaṅkara and the Śaṅkarācāryas: Redefining Authority at Kanchipuram.”  Centre for Research on Religion (CREOR) Conference, McGill University. October 22, 2011


Mooney, Emily. “Faith Leaders’ Council supports spiritual wellness of community.” On Campus News. University of Saskatchewan. Vol. 25, Issue 8. p.12. Article about my work as Research Associate for the VPTLSE. April 13, 2018. Online version at link.

Porter, Lesley. “Gone Bollywood: Class Focuses on Indian film industry.” On Campus News. University of Saskatchewan. Vol. 24, Issue 3. November 11, 2016. p.7. Article features the approach and content of my course Religion and Culture in Bollywood Film. Online version at link.

Porter, Lesley.  “A gateway to mystery.” On Campus News. University of Saskatchewan. Vol. 23, Issue 7. November 20, 2015. p.7. Article discusses my approach to teaching the course, “Death and Dying.” Online version at link.

Venkatesan, J. “Glowing tributes paid to philosopher T.M.P. Mahadevan.” The Hindu. City Edition, Delhi. Vol.135 No.259. October 29, 2012. p.3. Article highlights my keynote lecture on Advaita Vedānta philosophy given at Tamil Sangam, New Delhi, Oct 28, 2012.

Teaching Responsibilities

Courses at STM:

  • RLST 111: Asian Religions
  • RLST 211: Introduction to Hinduism
  • RLST 214: Introduction to the Philosophies of India
  • RLST 215: Indian Yoga Heritage
  • RLST 217: Buddhist Traditions
  • RLST 218: Buddhist Philosophy
  • RLST 258: Religion and Culture in Bollywood Film
  • RLST 282: Religious Perspectives on Death and Dying
  • RLST 284: Religions and Non-Violence