Gavin is a Professor of Hindu Studies and Comparative Religion in the Theology and Religion Faculty and academic director of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.
Gavin read Religious Studies and Social Anthropology at Lancaster University and taught at the universities of Wales (Lampeter) and Stirling before coming to Oxford. He was elected to membership of the British Academy in 2014. His research interests are in medieval Hindu texts (especially from the traditions of Shiva), comparative religion, and phenomenology. Two recent books are The Importance of Religion: Meaning and Action in Our Strange World (Oxford: Blackwell, 2013) and The Truth Within: A History of Inwardness in Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism (Oxford University Press, 2014). Developing from the comparative interests of these books, he is currently working on a project on religion and the philosophy of life as well as developing closer textual work on a Sanskrit text called the Netra Tantra. He is general series editor of the Oxford History of Hinduism. Gavin lives in Oxford and is married to a wonderful Chinese artist Kwan Kui.