James Marcel Hegarty is Professor of Sanskrit and Indian Religions at Cardiff University. He is fascinated by the history of religions in South Asia. He has written on Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh and Christian traditions in the region. In particular, he is interested in how religious texts, and especially religious stories, are used by South Asians to communicate and negotiate their understanding of themselves and the world around them. This includes not just what we ordinarily associate with religion, such as ideas of god or gods, or the nature of the good life, but also other forms of knowledge, such as the way in which the past is understood, or political life, or language itself.