Ellen Gough

Assistant Professor

Office: S222 Callaway Memorial Center

Phone: 404-727-7996

Fax: 404-727-7597

Email: ellen.m.gough@emory.edu

Additional Contact Information

Mailing Address:

Department of Religion

Emory University
537 Kilgo Cir., Callaway S214

Atlanta, GA 30322


Ellen Gough, Assistant Professor. Ellen Gough received her B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her M.A. in the Study of Religion from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and her Ph.D. in Asian Religions from Yale University (2015). Her work focuses on the religious traditions of India, especially Jainism, and pays particular attention to ritual, sacred space, narratives, and material culture. Most of her research takes an ethno-historical approach that combines the study of Gujarati, Hindi, Sanskrit, and Prakrit texts, the study of material culture, and fieldwork. Her book, Making a Mantra: Tantric Ritual and Renunciation on the Jain Path to Liberation (Chicago University Press, 2021), examines the life of a single Jain mantra, from its inception at the outset of the first millennium, to its use in medieval tantric initiations and meditative exercises, to its popularity as a source of healing today. 

In 2020, she received a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Fellowship to undertake nine months of research in Mumbai on Jain festivals for her book project entitled What Makes a Jain not Hindu? Religious Identity and the Indian Festival Calendar. She is also working on a project on Jain astrology. Some of her research can be found here. 

Along with research, she loves teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and in 2017, she won Emory’s Crystal Apple Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching. Courses taught:

Undergraduate Courses

Is Yoga Religious?

Violence, Nonviolence, and Religion: From India to Atlanta

The Religious Art of South Asia

Religion in the News


Graduate Courses

Religion and Material Culture

Tantric Traditions

The Purāṇas