Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational and Research Institute

Department of Philosophy


Last updated Nov 24, 2017

Brahmachari Ayon Maharaj

Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Department Head
Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, 2009

Ayon Maharaj is Assistant Professor and Head of the Department of Philosophy at Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University in Belur Math, West Bengal (India). He is also a Brahmacharin, with the name of Buddhachaitanya, in training to be a Sannyasin monk of the Ramakrishna Order. His current research focuses on Vedāntic philosophical traditions, cross-cultural philosophy of religion, Indian scriptural hermeneutics, and the philosophies of Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, and Sri Aurobindo. He is a Section Editor for the International Journal of Hindu Studies, overseeing submissions in Hindu and Cross-Cultural Philosophy of Religion.

His second book, Infinite Paths to Infinite Reality: Sri Ramakrishna and Cross-Cultural Philosophy of Religion, is forthcoming with Oxford University Press. The book examines the philosophy of the nineteenth-century Indian mystic Sri Ramakrishna and brings him into dialogue with Western philosophers of religion, primarily in the recent analytic tradition. Sri Ramakrishna’s expansive conception of God as the impersonal-personal Infinite Reality opens up a new paradigm for addressing central topics in the philosophy of religion, including divine infinitude, religious diversity, the nature and epistemology of mystical experience, and the problem of evil.

He is editing The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Vedānta (under contract), a pioneering collection of eighteen original articles by leading international scholars on various facets of the Indian philosophical tradition of Vedānta. He is also editing a Special Issue on "Hindu Theodicies" for the International Journal of Hindu Studies.

He is the author of The Dialectics of Aesthetic Agency: Revaluating German Aesthetics from Kant to Adorno (Bloomsbury, 2013; reviewed in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews and British Journal for the History of Philosophy). His articles have appeared in such journals as Philosophy East and West, Journal of Indian Philosophy, Journal of Religion, International Journal of Hindu Studies, Sophia, History of European Ideas, PMLA, and Journal of the History of Ideas.

He received his BA (2002) and PhD (2009) from the University of California at Berkeley. He was also a Fulbright Fellow at the Institut für Philosophie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (2006-7) and a Visiting Student at Magdalen College, University of Oxford (2000-1).

For a full list of his publications, please visit his academic website.

Harold Sjursen

Adjunct Professor of Philosophy
Ph.D., New School for Social Research

Harold Sjursen, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Global Ethics at New York University, will teach at RKMVERI for one semester per academic year and also supervise student theses. He studied with Hannah Arendt and Hans Jonas and is completing a book on the philosophy of Hans Jonas. His current research focuses on global philosophy, Chinese philosophy, history of philosophy, global ethics, and the philosophy of science and technology. For more details, please visit his academic website.

At present, the Department of Philosophy has these two faculty members, but we plan to recruit more faculty in the near future.