Associate Professor Religion & Philosophy
B.A. University of Maryland Baltimore County
M.A. Florida State University
Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin
Matthew R. Sayers earned his Ph.D. in Asian Cultures and Languages at The University of Texas at Austin. His work focuses on the relations between the living and the dead and his research includes the Hindu and Buddhist traditions in ancient India as well as the later history of and contemporary practice at the pilgrimage site Gaya in Bihar, India. His book, Feeding the Dead: Ancestor Worship in Ancient India, discusses the development of ancestral rites from the Veda to the formative stages of Hinduism and is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. He is currently working on the development of Gaya as a pilgrimage place in the Puranic period. He teaches across the religion curriculum, including special courses on Evil, Death and Dying, and Scripture, and also teaches introductory Sanskrit.
Sayers, M. R. (2015, June). The Śrāddha: The development of ancestor worship in classical Hinduism. Religion Compass,
Sayers, M. R. (2013). Feeding the dead: Ancestor worship in ancient india. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Geary, D., Sayers, M. R., & Amar, A. S. (Eds.). (2012). Cross-disciplinary perspectives on a contested buddhist site. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
Sayers, M. R. (2012). Claiming modes of mediation in ancient hindu and buddhist ancestor memorial ritual. Journal of Ritual Studies, 26(1), 5-18.
Sayers, M. R. (2010). Gaya-Bodhgaya: The origins of a pilgrimage complex. Religions of South Asia, 4(1), 9-25. doi:10.1558/rosa.v4il.9