November 14, 2016

Scholar Who Completed Research at BRC Publishes Comprehensive Survey of Recent Gaudiya Literature

Lucian Wong, an Oxford University scholar who has utilized BRC library resources for his research, has recently completed a comprehensive survey of recent critical literature pertaining to the study of the Gaudiya tradition, "Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava Studies: Mapping the Field". This article appeared in an academic journal Religions of South Asia.


A mandala depicting all the principle devotees of the first generation of the Gaudiya community. It is referenced in the article mentioned above.


Mr. Wong had made numerous trips to the BRC the course of his PhD, which I began in 2010. "The BRC has proved an absolutely indispensable facility for my research, which centers on the life and writings of Bhaktivinod Thakur. The BRC is in fact something of a Mecca for those doing research on Bhaktivinod Thakur, Bhaktisidhanta Saraswati, and Vaiṣṇavism in colonial Bengal more broadly," he said.

Negotiating History in Colonial Bengal: Bhaktivinod's Kṛṣṇa-saṁhitā draws upon a number of sources  related to Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura that he had access to while at the BRC.  


As an undergraduate, Wong studied Western philosophy in London. His interest in the critical study of the Gaudiya tradition was prompted by visits to the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. 


He is currently in pursuit of his DPhil in Theology from University of Oxford. Along with Dr. Ferdinando Sardella (Stockholm University), he is conducting research on a project related to Bengali Vaishnavism in the Modern Period, which aims to map, collect, translate, and investigate material pertaining to the tradition from the mid mid-eighteenth to the mid- twentieth century. 

"I cannot stress enough how accommodating and helpful the staff at the BRC have been during my visits there. I must mention in particular Hari Sauri Prabhu, Acyuta Prabhu, and Bharati Didi, who have each in their own way greatly facilitated my research, for which I am exceedingly grateful."



Lucian Wong, University of Oxford


Here are some comments made by other research scholars throughout the years: 

Prof. Ashlin Aronin, Wesleyan Uni., CT:
"The Bhaktivedanta Research Library was an invaluable asset for my research. I wish I had known about it sooner!"


Prof. Ruby Sain, Yadavpur University:

"It is impossible to collect such treasure within such a short span of time...  This collection is indeed marvelous for future generations of India and other countries. I must congratulate all those who are working so hard to make this library vibrant."