Centre for Applied South Asian Studies (CASAS)

Dr. Jacqueline Suthren Hirst

Lecturer in Indian Religions
Department of Religions and Theology
University of Manchester

Telephone (+44) 161-275-3616

E-mail: jacqueline.hirst@manchester.ac.uk


A. Issues of interpretation in Vedanta traditions; currently completing a book on teaching method in Shankara's Advaita Vednta; the relation of Advaita and Vaishnava devotional traditions. 

B. Religious Education with particular reference to South Asian traditions; textbook presentations; representation of minority communities on Standing Advisory Councils for Religious Education (SACREs); skills and competences needed for more effective service-delivery in education in polyethnic contexts (with Roger Ballard). 

C. Gender issues amongst South Asian minorities in Britain; reinterpreting, rejecting, renegotiating in relation to key religious narratives.


Doctoral research on the teacher in Shankara's works included a short period in South India in 1982 studying colophons of manuscripts. After this, I trained as a secondary school teacher of Religious Education, taught in comprehensive schools for five years, then trained teachers at Homerton College, Cambridge, where I became responsible for the secondary programme in the Religious Education. My diverse research interests are all related to this professional as well as academic interest in teaching and representation. I am currently working with Dr Mary Searle-Chatterjee from Manchester Metropolitan University on representation on SACREs and I continue to publish material for teachers and pupils linked with on-going fieldwork amongst South Asian minorities in the UK.


'Telling Sita's story: whose experience? Whose representation?' in ed. Grace Jantzen, Representation, Gender and Experience, John Rylands Bulletin special ed., Manchester, 1999

Sita's Story, Calgary: Bayeux Arts, 1997 (for 14-16 year olds)

'Upholding the world: dharma in the Bhagavadgt' in The Fruits of our Desiring, ed JJ Lipner, Calgary: Bayeux Arts, 1997

'Strategies of Interpretation: Ðakara's Interpretation of the Bhadrayakopaniad', Journal of the American Oriental Society Vol.116, No. 1, 1996 :58-75

'The Place of Bhakti in Ðakara's Vednta', in Love Divine: Studies in Bhakti and Devotional Mysticism, Durham Indological Series 3, ed. Karel Werner, Curzon Press, 1993 pp.117-43

'The Place of Teaching Techniques in Ðakara's Theology', Journal of Indian Philosophy Vol. 18, 1990: 113-150