List of Publications
Sovereignty and the Sacred: Secularism and the Political Economy of Religion. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2019. Finalist, AAR Award for Excellence in Constructive-Reflective Studies. (reviewed in Sociology of Religion, Journal of Religion in Europe, and several other journals)
The Language of Disenchantment: Protestant Literalism and Colonial Discourse in British India. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. (reviewed in 10 journals; excerpts available upon request)
Semiotics of Religion: Signs of the Sacred in History. London: Bloomsbury, 2013. (review symposium in Religion 44 (2014): 84-163; reviewed in four additional journals; excerpts available upon request)
Explaining Mantras: Ritual, Rhetoric, and the Dream of a Natural Language in Hindu Tantra. London and New York: Routledge, 2003. (reviewed in Journal of Religion)
Narratives of Disenchantment and Secularization: Critiquing Max Weber’s Idea of Modernity, ed. Robert A. Yelle and Lorenz Trein. London: Bloomsbury, 2021.
Mediation and Immediacy: The Semiotic Turn in the Study of Religion, ed. Jenny Ponzo, Robert A. Yelle, and Massimo Leone. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2021.
Interpreting and Explaining Transcendence: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Beyond, ed. Robert A. Yelle and Jenny Ponzo. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2021.
Language and Religion, ed. Robert A. Yelle, Courtney Handman, and Christopher I. Lehrich. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2019.
After Secular Law, ed. Winnifred F. Sullivan, Robert A. Yelle, and Mateo Taussig-Rubbo. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011. (reviewed in Journal of the American Academy of Religion)
Articles and Book Chapters
“Hobbes the Egyptian: The Return of the Pharaoh, or the Ancient Roots of Secular Politics.” In Sacred Kingship in World History: Between Immanence and Transcendence, ed. Alan Strathern and Azfar Moin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (revising for submission).
“Chastening and Disciplining Comparison: Bruce Lincoln and Oliver Freiberger on the Comparative Method in the Study of Religion.” Review symposium on Bruce Lincoln, Apples and Oranges and Oliver Freiberger, Considering Comparison, in Method & Theory in the Study of Religion (in press).
“Imagining Sacrifice in Ancient India: A Genealogy of Heesterman’s ‘Broken World,’” in South Asian Rituals in Archaeological Context: Power, Presence and Space, ed. Henry Albery, Jens-Uwe Hartmann, and Himanshu Prabha Ray. London: Routledge (in press).
“Exceptional Grace: Religion as the Sovereign Suspension of Law.” In Law as Religion, Religion as Law, ed. Benny Porat and David Flatto. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (in press).
“‘An Age of Miracles’: Disenchantment as a Secularized Theological Narrative.” In Narratives of Disenchantment and Secularization: Critiquing Max Weber’s Idea of Modernity, ed. Robert A. Yelle and Lorenz Trein. London: Bloomsbury, 2020 (in press).
“Religion and History.” In Blackwell Companion to the Study of Religion, ed. Robert A. Segal, 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell (in press).
“‘By Fire and Sword’: Early English Critiques of Islam and Judaism as ‘Impostures’ or Political and ‘Unfree’ Religions,” Patterns of Prejudice 53 (2020). DOI: 10.1080/0031322X.2019.1702761. Special issue on “Genealogies of ‘Jews’ and ‘Muslims’: Social Imaginaries in the Race-Religion Nexus,” ed. Yolande Jansen and Nasar Meer.
“From Sovereignty to Solidarity: Some Transformations in the Politics of Sacrifice from the Reformation to Robertson Smith,” History of Religions 58 (2019): 319-46.
“Protestant (An)aesthetics,” in Bloomsbury Handbook for the Cultural and Cognitive Aesthetics of Religion, ed. Anne Koch and Katharina Wilkens, 241-51. London: Bloomsbury, 2019.
“Frozen Forms: An Inquiry into Magic Words and the Power of Names,” Lexia (October 2019): 35-47.
“Intertextuality, Iconicity, and Joint Speech: Three Dialogical Modes of Linguistic Performance in South Asian Traditions.” In Language and Religion, ed. Robert A. Yelle, Courtney Handman, and Christopher I. Lehrich, 57-67. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2019.
“Religionsfreiheit und die Säkularisierung religiösen Rechts aus der Perspektive eines Historikers.“ In Hat Religiöses Recht eine Existenzberechtigung in säkularer Gesellschaft?, ed. Burkhard Berkmann, Kirche & Recht Beihefte, Band 1 (2019): 113-25.
“Réflexions sur la théorie sémiotique de Sacrosanctum Concilium.” In Désirs de réforme : Relectures de la Constitution conciliaire sur la liturgie, ed. Ângelo Cardita. Montréal: Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 2018.
“Semiotics and Aesthetics: Historical and Structural Connections.” In Aesthetics of Religion: A Connective Concept, ed. Alexandra K. Grieser and Jay Johnston, 465-71. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2017.
“The Peircean Icon and the Study of Religion: A Brief Overview.” Material Religion 12 (2016): 241-43.
“Semiotics.” In Oxford Handbook of Religious Studies, ed. Michael Stausberg and Steven Engler, 208-19. New York: Oxford University Press 2016.
“Imagining the Hebrew Republic: Christian Genealogies of Religious Freedom.” In Politics of Religious Freedom, ed. Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Saba Mahmood, and Peter Danchin, 17-28. Chicago: University of Chicago Press 2015.
“Secular Blasphemies: Symbolic Offense in Modern Democracy.” In Profane: Sacrilegious Expression in a Multicultural Age, ed. Chistopher S. Grenda, Chris Beneke, and David Nash, 141-66. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014.
“Coda and Counterpoint.” Author’s response to review symposium on Semiotics of Religion: Signs of the Sacred in History. In Religion 44 (2014): 148-63.
“Spiritual Economies beyond the Sacred/Secular Paradigm: Or, What Did Religious Freedom Mean in Ancient India?” In Varieties of Religious Establishments, ed. Lori Beaman and Winnifred Sullivan, 15-32. Farnham, Surrey, UK: Ashgate, 2013.
Review Article on Brad Gregory, The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society, in Church History 81 (2012): 918-24.
“Comparative Religion as Cultural Combat: Occidentalism and Relativism in Rajiv Malhotra’s Being Different.” Review Article on Rajiv Malhotra, Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism, in International Journal of Hindu Studies 16 (2012): 335-48.
“Semiotics.” In Handbook of Research Methods in Religious Studies, ed. Michael Stausberg and Steven Engler, 355-65. London and New York: Routledge, 2011.
“Moses’ Veil: Secularization as Christian Myth.” In After Secular Law, ed. Winnifred F. Sullivan, Robert A. Yelle, and Mateo Taussig-Rubbo, 23-42. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011.
“The End(s) of Sacrifice: Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto as a Christian Defense of Colonialism.” Journal of Religion and Popular Culture 23 (2011): 82-89.
“The Trouble with Transcendence: Carl Schmitt’s ‘Exception’ as a Challenge for Religious Studies.” Method & Theory in the Study of Religion 22 (2010): 189-206.
“Hindu Law as Performance: Ritual and Poetic Elements in Dharmasastra.” In Hinduism and Law: An Introduction, ed. Timothy Lubin, Donald R. Davis, Jr., and Jayanth K. Krishnan, 183-92. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
“Punishing Puns: Etymology as Linguistic Ideology in Hindu and British Traditions.” In Religion and Identity in South Asia and Beyond: Essays in Honor of Patrick Olivelle, ed. Steven E. Lindquist, 129-46. New York, London, Delhi: Anthem Press, 2010.
“The Hindu Moses: Christian Polemics against Jewish Ritual and the Secularization of Hindu Law under Colonialism,” History of Religions 49 (2009): 141-71.
“To Perform or Not to Perform?: A Theory of Ritual Performance versus Cognitive Theories of Religious Transmission.” Method & Theory in the Study of Religion 18 (2006): 372-91.
“The Rhetoric of Gesture in Cross-Cultural Perspective.” In Paul Bouissac, ed., “Gesture, Ritual and Memory,” special issue of Gesture 6 (2006): 223-40.
“Law’s Trouble with Images: Fetishism and Seduction from Athens and Jerusalem to Madison Avenue.” In Images in Law, ed. Anne Wagner and William Pencak, 267-79. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2006.
Editor, “The Spaces and Places of Law,” special issue of International Journal for the Semiotics of Law 19, no. 3 (2006).
“Bentham’s Fictions: Canon and Idolatry in the Genealogy of Law.” Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities 17 (2005): 151-79.
“Images of Law and its Others: Canon and Idolatry in the Discourses of British India.” Culture and Religion 6 (2005): 181-99.
“Poetic Justice: Rhetoric in Hindu Ordeals and Legal Formulas.” Religion 32 (2002): 259-72.
“Rhetorics of Law and Ritual: A Semiotic Comparison of the Law of Talion and Sympathetic Magic.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 69 (2001): 627-47.
“The Rebirth of Myth?: Nietzsche’s Eternal Recurrence and its Romantic Antecedents.” Numen 47 (2000): 175-202.
“Discord and Concord in Buddhist Perspective,” with Frank Reynolds and Jason A. Carbine.
In Research in Human Social Conflict, ed. Joseph B. Gittler. Vol. 2, Ideas of Concord and Discord in Selected World Religions, 21-58. Stamford, CT: JAI Press, 2000.
“Mantrasamskara: Tantric Rites for Making Mantras Effective.” Journal of the Sanskrit Department of Rabindra Bharati University 9 (2000): 10-25.
Encyclopedia and Reference Articles
“European Constructions of Hinduism.” With Lorenz Trein and Joydeep Bagchee. Oxford Bibliographies Online, published August 2016. DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195399318-0174.
“Criticism and Critique (in, among and of Religions).” In Brill Vocabulary for the Study of Religion, ed. Robert Segal and Kocku von Stuckrad, 372-78. Leiden: Brill, 2015.
“Law and Religion.” In International Encyclopedia of Legal History, ed. Stanley N. Katz. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.
“Mantra.” In Encyclopedia of Religion, Communication, and Media, ed. Daniel Stout, 232-34. London and New York: Routledge, 2006.
“Ritual and Religious Language.” In Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, second revised edition, ed. Keith Brown, 633-40. Oxford: Elsevier, 2005.
Consultant, articles on Law and Religion, Encyclopedia of Religion, second edition. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005.
“Law, Religion, and Punishment.” In Encyclopedia of Religion, second edition, 5371-5375. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005.
(With Winnifred Fallers Sullivan.) “Law and Religion: An Overview.” In Encyclopedia of Religion, second edition, 5325-5332. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005.
“Utilitarianism and J. S. Mill.” In Encyclopedia of Religious Freedom, ed. Catharine Cookson, 497-99. London and New York: Routledge, 2003.
“Mantra,” “Mandala,” and “Tantricism.” In Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh, ed. Sirajul Islam. Dhaka: Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, 2003.
Review of Richard Parmentier, Signs and Society: Further Studies in Semiotic Anthropology, in Anthropos (in press).
Review of Jakob De Roover, Europe, India, and the Limits of Secularism, in Journal of Religion in Europe 11 (2018): 102-104.
“Secularism Reconsidered: Three Approaches.” Review of Ari Joskowicz and Ethan Katz, ed., Secularism in Question: Jews and Judaism in Modern Times, in Politics, Religion, and Ideology 17 (2016): 429-32.
“Protestant Presuppositions in the Study of Hinduism.” Review of Vishwa Adluri and Joydeep Bagchee, The Nay Science: A History of German Indology, in International Journal of Dharma Studies 4 (2016): 14-16.
Review of Robert Orsi, History and Presence, in Religious Studies Review 42 (2016): 268.
Review of André Padoux, Tantric Mantras: Studies on Mantrasastra, in Religious Studies Review 38 (2012): 257.
Review of Donald Davis, Jr., The Spirit of Hindu Law, in History of Religions 51 (2011), 183-85.
Review of Jesper Sørensen, A Cognitive Theory of Magic, in Journal of the American Academy of Religion 76 (2008): 527-31.
Review of Susan Snow Wadley, Raja Nal and the Goddess: The North Indian Epic Dhola in Performance, in International Journal of Hindu Studies 11 (2007): 347-48.
Review of Robert Eric Frykenberg, ed., Christians and Missionaries in India: Cross-Cultural Communication Since 1500, in Journal of Interdisciplinary History 35 (2005): 681-83.
Review of Mark C. Taylor, ed., Critical Terms for Religious Studies, in Journal of Religion 80 (2000): 360-61.
Review of Rebecca Redwood French, The Golden Yoke: The Legal Cosmology of Buddhist Tibet, in Journal of Religion 77 (1997): 343-44.
“Corporate Veil or Wall of separation?” The Immanent Frame
(accessed 5/26/2015 at http://blogs.ssrc.org/tif/2015/01/22/corporate-veil-or-wall-of-separation/).
“Christian Genealogies of Religious Freedom.” The Immanent Frame
(accessed 4/06/2012 at http://blogs.ssrc.org/tif/2012/04/06/christian-genealogies-of-religious-freedom/).
“The Semiotics of Religion.” Semiotix Bulletin XN-1 (New Series) (2010)
(accessed 1/13/2012 at http://www.semioticon.com/semiotix/issues/semiotix-xn-1-2010).