Religious Studies Program

The Cal Poly Philosophy Department houses a Religious Studies program with a wide variety of courses in GE and a Religious Studies minor.

Click to visit the website

Between the Species

Between the Species online journal logoAn online philosophy journal about the relationship between humans and animals.
Click to visit the website

Ethics Group

Cal Poly's Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group focuses on the implications and impact of emerging sciences and technologies.
Click to visit the website

Anya Foxen

Associate Professor
Religious Studies Program Director
Religious Studies Minor Advisor

Contact Information


  • Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, Religious Studies
  • M.A., University of California, Santa Barbara, Religious Studies
  • B.A., Rutgers University, English and French Literature

Professional Interests

  • American Metaphysical Religions
  • Western Esotericism
  • South Asian Yoga and Tantra
  • Modern Postural Yoga
  • Religion and Gender
  • Religion and Science

Courses Taught

  • RELS/WGQS 370: Religion, Gender, and Society
  • RELS 301: Religions of Asia
  • RELS 306: Hinduism
  • RELS 201: Religion, Dialogue, and Society
  • PHIL 361: Indian Philosophy

Selected Publications

  • Is This Yoga?: Concepts, Histories, and the Complexities of Modern Practice (New York: Routledge, 2021).
  • Inhaling Spirit: Harmonialism, Orientalism, and the Western Roots of Modern Yoga (New York: Oxford University Press, 2020).
  • Biography of a Yogi: Paramahansa Yogananda and the Origins of Modern Yoga (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017).
  • “Yogi Calisthenics: What the ‘non-Yoga’ Yogic Practice of Paramahansa Yogananda Can Tell Us About Religion.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 85.3 (2017): 494-526.
  • “Mind Within Matter: Science, the Occult, and the (Meta)physics of Ether and Akasha.” Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 51.2 (2016): 318-346.

Related Content