Hometown: Chennai, India
Education: BA English, Women’s Christian College; MA, MPhil English, Stella Maris College; MA Theology, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary-Hamilton
Maria seeks to explore the interface between theology and literature. She is particularly interested in literary criticism and aesthetic theory that are shaped by Christian epistemology, rather than atheological views of knowledge or meaning. She hopes to use her training to encourage dialogue on theological art and aesthetics in secular, academic spaces.
While at St Andrews, Maria also hopes to further her study of the Inklings, who have been instrumental in shaping her own appreciation of art and theology. She is especially interested in the Inklings’ discussions of myth and fairy-stories. Maria has noted that a love of myth and fantasy often unites readers with surprisingly divergent beliefs, and finding such common ground is especially important to her, given her experience of the diverse, multicultural landscape of India.
Cats. Maria’s love for cats is at least as profound as her love for Tolkien, and she often contemplates abandoning her academic career to become the proprietress of a cat-shelter. Her ancillary interests include dogs, musicals, teaching, dance, Pan-Asian cuisine, and being a perennial source of comic relief to her friends.