Professor Robert Geraci
Professor of Religious Studies and Department Chairperson
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I’m Texan, but living, teaching, and writing in New York City--except when I'm living in Bangalore, India. I’m pretty sure that everyone loves robots, which is why I wrote a book about them. People love games too, so I wrote another book. Many people love living in, visiting, or thinking about India, so I wrote a third book and have two more in process. I’m also interested in the toadstool circles, the ancient temples, the soaring cathedrals of our religious imagination. Likewise, the dark tunnels of mining and rapid transit. I visit mountains, deserts, temples, laboratories, factories, virtual realities…the places where magic enters the world.
My research arc engages the how technology gets used to enchant the world. In the beginning, there were digital technologies: robots, AI, virtual worlds. I wrote two books and a number of essays, and was awarded a National Science Foundation grant to study meaningful experiences in virtual worlds. Over the past few years, I've been studying religion, science, & technology in India. I was Fulbright-Nehru Research Scholar at the Centre for Contemporary Studies at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India (2012-13); received an American Academy of Religion Collaborative Research Grant to conduct research in India (2016); and am currently Fulbright-Nehru Research Scholar at the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bangalore (2018-19).
Religion, Philosophy & History Interests
History of Religion, History of Science, Indic Traditions
Science & Technology Interests
Anthropology, Information Technology
Apocalyptic AI: Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality
Oxford University Press 2010
Virtually Sacred: Myth and Meaning in World of Warcraft and Second Life
Oxford University Press 2014
Temples of Modernity: Nationalism, Hinduism, and Transhumanism in South Indian Science