Pashaura Singh

Pashaura SinghDepartment Chair
Professor & Jasbir Singh Saini Endowed Chair of Sikh and Punjabi Studies

INTN 2026 & INTN 2046
(951) 827-1251 Chair phone
(951) 827-6444 Faculty phone


Professor Singh comes to UCR from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he taught Sikh studies, Punjabi language and Religions of India for thirteen years. He combines a command of classical and colloquial Punjabi and Hindi languages (including a working knowledge of Sanskrit) and a sound knowledge of traditional Sikh learning, manuscripts in archaic forms of Gurmukhi script and Indian religious traditions, with a mastery of contemporary issues in textual studies, canonicity, hermeneutics, literary theory, and history of religions. His work on the Adi Granth (sacred Sikh scripture) and early Sikh history is widely noted. His most recent monograph, Life and Work of Guru Arjan, was on the “Best Sellers List” in India (The Tribune, August 6, 2006)

The Dr. Jasbir Singh Saini Endowed Chair in Sikh and Punjabi Studies is the result of a generous contribution given by the Saini Foundation, the Sikh Foundation and by a number of individuals and the University. It honors the memory of the late Dr. Jasbir Singh Saini, who was a cardiologist in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Pashaura Singh has been appointed to the Chair and is a leading scholar and teacher whose work in the field of Adi Granth studies is internationally acclaimed. For more information on the Endowed Chair, please visit the following website: The Dr. Jasbir Singh Saini Endowed Chair

Former Institution

University of Michigan


PhD Religious Studies 1991, University of Toronto

MA Religious Studies 1987, University of Calgary

MA Religious Studies 1973, Punjabi University


Postdoctoral Fellowship awarded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC), 1991-93.
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC) Doctoral Fellowships for three academic years, University of Toronto, Canada, 1988-91.
Gold Medal in M.A. for standing `First in the order of Merit in the University,’ Punjabi University, Patiala, India, 1973.

Research Area

Textual Criticism: Canon Formation and Hermeneutics, Historical Analysis: Historically-grounded critical method based upon contextual depth, Sikh Studies: Religion, History and Society, Indian Studies: Religion in Modern India, Punjabi Language: Modern and classical/scriptural (Sacred Language of the Sikhs)



The Guru Granth Sahib: Canon, Meaning, and Authority (Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2000).

The Bhagats of the Guru Granth Sahib: Sikh Self-Definition and the Bhagat Bani (Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2003).

Life and Work of Guru Arjan: History, Memory and Biography in the Sikh Tradition (Oxford University Press, New Delhi), 2006.

Edited Books

The Transmission of Sikh Heritage in the Diaspora, co-editor with N. Gerald Barrier, (Manohar Publishers & Distributors, New Delhi) 1996.

Sikh Identity: Continuity and Change, co-editor with N. Gerald Barrier, (Manohar Publishers & Distributors, New Delhi), 1999.

Sikhism and History, Co-editor with N. Gerald Barrier, (Oxford University Press, New Delhi), 2004.

Sikhism in Global Context (Oxford University Press, USA), 2012.

Re-Imagining South Asian Religions, co-editor with Michael Hawley, (Brill, Leiden), 2012.

The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies, co-editor with Louis E. Fenech, (Oxford University Press, USA), 2014.