Mcgovern, Nathan

At UW-Whitewater

University - Faculty/Staff
Philosophy & Religious Studies
Office Phone
(262) 472-5112
Office Location
LT 4225

I teach World of Ideas and courses on Asian religions in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. In my research, I’m interested in exploring the boundary and interactions between Buddhism and Brahmanism/Hinduism. I explore this boundary in two contexts: ancient India (late first millennium BCE) and Thailand (historically and in the present). In ancient India, I’m interested in better understanding the way in which Buddhist and Brahmanical (as well as Jain) identities arose and interacted with one another. In Thailand, I’m interested in the role that superficially “Hindu” elements play in the overwhelmingly Theravada Buddhist religious context. Currently, I’m working on two major projects. The first is the preparation of my first book, The Snake and the Mongoose, for publication with Oxford University Press. The second is ongoing research on the Royal Court Brahmans of Thailand. I also have a side interest in the philosophy of physics that I indulge when I have the time.


Peer-Reviewed Book

The Snake and the Mongoose: The Emergence of Identity in Early Indian Religion. New York: Oxford University Press (forthcoming).


Peer-Reviewed Articles

“Beyond the Indianized-indigenous dichotomy in the study of Southeast Asia: The interplay of the exotic and the familiar in the history of the Royal Court Brahmans of Thailand,” Journal of Southeast Asia Studies (forthcoming).

“On the Origins of the 32 Marks of a Great Man,” Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies (forthcoming).

“A Buddhist Cult of Brahmā: Thick Description and Micro-histories in the Study of Religion,” History of Religions 55, no. 3 (Feb. 2016): 329-360.

“Intersections Between Buddhism and Hinduism in Thailand,” in Oxford Bibliographies Online: Buddhism,

“Brahmā: An Early and Ultimately Doomed Attempt at a Brahmanical Synthesis,” Journal of Indian Philosophy 40, no. 1 (Feb. 2012): 1-23.

G.S. Adkins and N.M. McGovern, “Application of the effective interaction
method to the relativistic Coulomb problem,” Am. J. Phys. {\bf 73}, 759 (2005).

G.S. Adkins, N.M. McGovern, R.N. Fell, and J. Sapirstein, “Two-loop
corrections to the decay rate of parapositronium,” Phys. Rev. A {\bf 68}, 032512 (2003).


Book Chapters

“The Study of Buddhism.” In The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Buddhism, edited by Michael Jerryson. New York: Oxford University Press (forthcoming).

“The Buddha: Historicizing Myth, Mythologizing History.” In Varieties of Religious Invention: Founders and Their Functions in History, edited by Patrick Gray. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.


Invited Journal Article

“Péguy on Hope,” L’Amitié Charles Péguy 142 (2013).


Encyclopedia Articles

“Buddhist Seers (isi/ṛṣi) and Brāhmaṇas in Southeast Asia,” in Brill Encyclopedia of Buddhism (forthcoming).

“Thailand,” in Brill Encyclopedia of Hinduism, vol 1. Leiden: Brill, 2009.


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