Dr. Ben Williams is an intellectual historian focused on Indian religions and the history of Śaiva tantra. He has also received extensive training in Indian philosophy, literature, and aesthetics in Sanskrit sources. Ben completed his PhD in the Department of South Asian Studies at Harvard University. Since arriving at Naropa University, Ben has been involved in co-creating a low-residency MA program in Yoga Studies that launches in fall 2020.
Ben serves on the steering committee of the Tantric Studies Unit of the American Academy of Religion and the academic advisory council of the Muktabodha Indological Research Institute, an organization that is dedicated to the preservation of scriptural and philosophical texts of classical India.
Ben’s doctoral thesis is on revelation and the figure of the tantric guru in the writings of Abhinavagupta, an eminent intellectual figure of medieval Kashmir. Building upon this study, one of his current research projects is charting the transmission of tantric traditions to South India that are indebted to non-dual Śaiva teachings and lineages that originally flourished in Kashmir.