Leslie Orr

OrrComplete profile on Concordia University’s departement of religion website »

Leslie Orr joined the Department of Religion at Concordia in 1991. Her research interests include the religious and social history of medieval Tamil Nadu; women in pre-colonial South Asia; devadasis; temple architecture, iconography and epigraphy; the interaction of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Islam; the history of South Indian sectarian movements (especially Saivism); and colonial archaeology. Her current research project is on “Renovation, replication, recovery, and revival: building temples and building histories in South India.” She is the author of the book Donors, Devotees and Daughters of God: Temple Women in Medieval Tamilnadu (NY: Oxford University Press, 2000), and co-editor with A. Luithle-Hardenberg and J. Cort of Co-operation, Contribution and Contestation: The Jaina community, British Rule and Occidental Scholarship from the 18th to early 20th century(Berlin: EB Verlag, forthcoming).

Selected publications

“Words for Worship: Tamil and Sanskrit in Medieval Temple Inscriptions,” in Bilingual Discourse and Cross-cultural Fertilisation: Sanskrit and Tamil in Mediaeval India, W. Cox and V. Vergiani, ed. Pondichéry: Institut Français de Pondichéry / Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient, 2013.

“The Medieval Murukan: The Place of a God among his Tamil Worshippers,” in Hindu Ritual at the Margins: Transformations, Innovations, Reconsiderations, L. Penkower and T. Pintchman, ed. University of South Carolina Press, 2013.

“Orientalists, Missionaries and Jains: The South Indian Story.” in The Madras School of Orientalism: Producing Knowledge in Colonial South India. T.R. Trautmann, ed. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2009.

“Cholas, Pandyas, and ‘Imperial Temple Culture’ in Medieval Tamilnadu.” in The Temple in South Asia. Adam Hardy, ed. London: British Academy, 2007.

“People of the Festival.” Co-authored with Richard H. Davis, in Melanges tantriques a la memoire d’Helene Brunner/Tantric Studies in Memory of Helene Brunner. D. Goodall and A. Padoux, eds. Pondicherry: Ecole francaise d’extreme-orient/Institut francais de Pondichery, 2007.

“Domesticity and Difference/Women and Men: Religious Life in Medieval Tamilnadu.” in Women’s Lives, Women’s Rituals in the Hindu Tradition. Tracy Pintchman, ed. NY: Oxford University Press, 2007.

“Identity and Divinity: Boundary-Crossing Goddesses in Medieval Tamilnadu.” in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion 73:1 (2005), 9-43.