Hugh Urban

Director, Center for the Study of Religion; Professor, Department of Comparative Studies
Center Staff
Faculty Affiliates

Director, Center for the Study of Religion

Hugh B. Urban is interested in the study of secrecy in religion, particularly in relation to questions of knowledge and power. Focusing primarily on the traditions of South Asia, he is author of Tantra: Sex, Secrecy, Politics and Power in the Study of Religion (2003) and Magia Sexualis: Sex, Magic, and Liberation in Modern Western Esotericism (2006), among other books. He has a strong secondary interest in contemporary new religious movements, and has published articles on Heaven's Gate, Scientology and modern Western magic.

Interests:

  • Study of secrecy in religion, particularly in relation to questions of knowledge and power
  • Traditions of South Asia
  • Contemporary religious movements (Heaven's Gate, Scientology, modern Western magic)
Education
  • Ph.D. University of Chicago