J. Barton Scott (Ph.D. Religion, Duke University, 2009) works on the intellectual and cultural history of religion in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with a focus on South Asia and its global connections. He teaches courses on social and cultural theory, media and material religion, and religion in political thought. He is the author of Spiritual Despots: Modern Hinduism and the Genealogies of Self-Rule (University of Chicago, 2016) and Slandering the Sacred: Blasphemy Law and Religious Affect in Colonial India (Chicago, 2023), the co-editor of Imagining the Public in Modern South Asia (Routledge, 2016), and the lead investigator on the SSHRC-funded website The Global Blasphemer: An Atlas of Insult. He is currently working on a book called The Piercing Virtue: Isherwood's Guru in Adorno's Los Angeles, which takes the unlikely friendship between a British novelist and a Bengali monk as the starting point for a theoretically-inflected inquiry into global guru culture—into renunciation as piercing virtue—at mid-twentieth century.