Gaudiya Vaisnava Studies

Mapping the Field


  • Lucian Wong University of Oxford Author



Bengal, bhakti, Caitanya, Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism, gosvāmī, Vrindavan


Gaudiya Vaisnavism, which traces its origins to the ecstatic Bengali Krsna devotee, Krsna Caitanya (1486-1533), has indelibly shaped the socio religious landscape of Bengal and significantly impacted other regions of the Indian subcontinent, such as Orissa, Bihar, Assam, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan. The present article provides a current map of the field of the study of the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition, from its inception to the early twentieth century, based largely on recent critical English-language scholarship. Adopting a thematic historical approach, it highlights the contextual specificity of recent scholarship and provides a heuristic framework for understanding the tradition and its historical dynamics.

Author Biography

  • Lucian Wong, University of Oxford

    Lucian Wong is a DPhil Candidate in Theology at the University of Oxford, Faculty of Theology and Religion. His thesis explores the subject of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism in colonial Bengal, with special reference to the life and thought of the prominent late nineteenth-century Gauḍīya figure Kedarnath Datta Bhaktivinod. He holds an MA in Indian Religions from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and currently teaches at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.


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How to Cite

Wong, L. (2016). Gaudiya Vaisnava Studies: Mapping the Field. Religions of South Asia, 9(3), 305–331.