Assistant Professor of South Asian Religions
Office Phone number: 517-353-0830
Office: C735 Wells Hall
Ph.D., Columbia University, 2011
M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary, 2002
B.A., St. Olaf College, 1997
Devotional Hinduism (bhakti), social history, caste and reform, medieval Marathi literature, modern Buddhism in India, Hindu-Christian encounter, construction of religious traditions, historiography.
Prior to joining MSU in 2015, Jon Keune was a postdoctoral fellow in the India Studies program at the University of Houston and in the Centre for Modern Indian Studies at the University of Göttingen in Germany. His main field of research is in west-central India, where he lived for several years, and he has comparative interests in central Europe and East Asia.
Keune focuses on the development of popular, devotional (bhakti) Hindu traditions, especially the Varkari tradition and its hagiographical literature in Marathi between the sixteenth century and the present. He is working on a book manuscript, The Brahman Who Ate with Untouchables: Historicizing Religion and Caste in Western India, about the tension of bhakti traditions between observing caste boundaries and spiritual equality. Keune has published several articles in journals, edited books, and encyclopedias about Hindu devotionalism, Marathi hagiography, Hindu-Christian encounters, and German orientalism. He co-founded the Regional Bhakti Scholars Network, a platform which brings together scholars of various Indian regions and languages to explore patterns in literatures, traditions, and theologies that come under the umbrella of devotional Hinduism. Keune is also working on a project on new connections between Dalit (ex-Untouchable) Buddhists in India and Buddhists in Japan and Taiwan.
REL 101 Exploring Religion
REL 301 Theories and Methods
REL 340 Hinduism
REL 350 Buddhism in South Asia
REL 441 Bhakti Hinduism