At Stanford the study of religion in South Asia covers the intellectual history and cultures of the many traditions of the region, with faculty specializing in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. Faculty strengths include Hinduism in early modern India, Śaiva and Śākta Tantric traditions, secularism and pluralism in South Asia, communal conflict and interreligious relations, modern South Asian Islam, religion and material culture, the transmission and translation of Buddhist literature, the study of Buddhist manuscripts, Buddhist Tantra, Tibetan Buddhism, and the circulation of Buddhist knowledge in Asia.
Training in this program draws from a variety of theories and methods current within religious studies and related disciplines (critical theory, ethnography, philology, philosophy, ritual studies, material religion, etc) in the department and across the university. This training typically entails research in primary sources, requiring competence in the relevant languages (Sanskrit, Hindi, Urdu, Persian, Tibetan, etc.).