Professor Julius Lipner, FBA

Emeritus Professor of Hinduism and the Comparative Study of Religion, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge.
Fellow, Clare Hall, Cambridge.


Professor Julius Lipner was born and brought up in India, for the most part in West Bengal. After his schooling in India, he obtained a Licentiate in Theology (summa cum laude) in the Pontifical Athenaeum (now Jnana Deepa Vidyapith) in Poona, and then spent two years studying for an M.A. in Indian and Western philosophy at Jadavpur University in Calcutta. Before sitting for his final examinations, he was invited by the well-known philosopher H.D. Lewis to undertake doctoral research on the self,  with reference to Indian and Western thought, at King’s College, University of London. Lipner obtained his PhD in 1974, and then spent a little over a year as lecturer in Indian religion at the University of Birmingham. In 1975, Julius Lipner was appointed Professor of Hinduism and the Comparative Study of Religion at the University of Cambridge, where he taught  till retirement in 2014. 

Lipner has been appointed Visiting Scholar and Visiting Professor in a number of universities both nationally and internationally. He is a member of the editorial board of several international journals and  a Fellow and former Vice-President of Clare Hall.  In 2008 he became a Fellow of the British Academy. 

Professor Julius Lipner’s book Brahmabandhab Upadhyay: The Life and Thought of a Revolutionary (1999) was given the award for the “Best Book in Hindu-Christian Studies 1997-1999” by The Society for Hindu-Christian Studies (affiliated to the American Academy of Religion).

Research Areas

His special fields of study are Vedantic thought, 19th century Bengal, and inter-cultural and inter-religious understanding, with special reference to the Hindu and Christian traditions.

Classical Vedanta, Truth and inter-religious dialogue, 19th century Bengal and Hindu images.

Selected Publications

  • Hindus: their religious beliefs and practices (Routledge, 1994 and 2010).
  • Anandamath, or The Sacred Brotherhood (Oxford University Press, 2005).
  • Brahmabandhab Upadhyay: The Life and Thought of a Revolutionary (Oxford University Press, 1999).
  • Hindu Ethics: Purity, Abortion and Euthanasia (State University of New York Press, 1989).
  • The Face of Truth: a Study of Meaning and Metaphysics in the Vedantic Theology of Ramanuja (SUNY Press, 1986).