Faculty Scholarship: Dr. Matthew Sayers

Dr. Sayers

Matthew Sayers

Associate Professor Religion & Philosophy

B.A. University of Maryland Baltimore County
Florida State University
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.

Dr. Sayers' Scholarship and Pedagogy 2016 Celebration

Sayers, M. R. (2015, June). The Śrāddha: The development of ancestor worship in classical Hinduism. Religion Compass,

9(6), 182-197.

Dr. Sayers' Scholarship and Pedagogy 2014 Celebration

Sayers, M. R. (2013). Feeding the dead: Ancestor worship in ancient india. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Dr. Sayers' Scholarship and Pedagogy 2013 Celebration

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.

Dr. Sayers' Scholarship and Pedagogy 2012 Celebration

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