WCP 2008 - International Roundtable: 'The Role of Jainism in Evolving a New Paradigm of Philosophy'

Posted: 01.05.2008
Updated on: 02.07.2015

World Congress of Philosophy “Rethinking Philosophy Today”, Seoul, South Korea, July 30 to August 5, 2008

Cordial Invitation
For

International Roundtable:

'The Role of Jainism in Evolving a New Paradigm of Philosophy'

It gives us immense pleasure to inform you that with the blessings and inspiration of His Holiness Acharya Shree Mahaprajna and under the guidance of the Hon'ble Vice Chancellor of JVBU, Jain Vishva Bharati is going to organize an international round-table on the theme “The Role of Jainism in Evolving a New Paradigm of Philosophy” in the World Congress of Philosophy to be held on the subject of “Rethinking Philosophy Today”, in Seoul, South Korea from July 30 to August 5, 2008.

H.H. Acharya Shri Mahaprajna, a living legend of Jain philosophy, whose spiritual influence is felt around the globe, will bless the round table indirectly. His Holiness has not only presented a new paradigm of Jain philosophy in its true sense but also working hard for the welfare of humanity.

The aim and objective with detailed brochure of the round-table is given below..

Hoping to meet you at Seoul, Korea on July 30, 2008.

Surendra Kumar Choraria
President
Jain Vishva Bharati, Ladnun

Dr Samani Chaitany Pragya
Co-ordinator, Roundtable
Jain Vishva Bharati University, Ladnun


 I. The Theme for Roundtable Discussion:

The Role of Jainism in Evolving a New Paradigm of Philosophy

At the present juncture of time humanity is passing through turmoil and facing a crisis, which is manifold and multi-dimensional. Humanity is stationed at a crossroad and is in a fix. On the one hand there are marvels of science and technology that are bewitching and bewildering, on the other, there are value-erosions, moral degeneration, and different types of deprivations leading to tensions, strife and sufferings. The ratiocinative human mind is faced with a dilemma as to how to respond to the present scenario. There is no doubt about the tremendous material progress but has it been able to usher in the aspired peace and the desired prosperity at the physical, mental and spiritual levels? A large number of people are abject poverty-stricken. Some people do have enormous means of material and mental comforts but do they also not feel the evanescence of all this? The crux of the situation is that the present-day distracted humanity is suffering from exhaustion of spirit and languishing in the narrow and rigid confinements of ego-centricism, parochialism and disastrous materialistic consumerism. So long as one is entangled in the labyrinth of materialism one does not feel the pinch of it. But the moment one gets out of it one is exhausted and lost. It is a paradoxical feeling of having and not having, of likes and dislikes, of seeking and shunning.

Besides this the problems arising due to Globalization are also compelling the thinkers of today to seek for new philosophy of life and the world.  In today’s world members of remote clans have now become our immediate neighbors, in both actual and virtual realities. With the emergence of such a global society arises the increasing need for a global ethics and intercultural dialogue. Traditional ethical systems were developed primarily to deal with human relationships within a particular ethnic, religious and cultural group. In this global society, however, we are more and more interacting with people of different ideals, ideas, cultures, religions and customs. The new paradigm of philosophy in the form of Global ethics of mutuality and interdependence, of reciprocity and Inter-culturality can enable us to deal with such entirely new set of interpersonal relationships in an appropriate way.

The ideas of global ethics, inter-cultural dialogue, equality and peaceful co-existence unfold themselves in the compassionate, rational and symbiotic Jain ethics of tolerance, inter-connectivity and reciprocity, and in the basic non-absolutistic postulates which preserve unity and diversity without undermining the identity of either of the two. The Jain tradition is an important tributary of this mainstream idea which found sanctuary in the heritage of India and which appears as the motif in the mosaic of Indian culture. Its meditation technique is also peculiar and scientific to bring human hearts close to each other.

Our religious or philosophical traditions are diverse but, as with the natural environment, we are discovering the global interdependence of human hearts and minds. We are required to participate in the modern experience of interfaith exchange, which marks a new phase in the human quest to discover our full humanity. To achieve this goal Jainism has given the principles like Ahimsa (global Non-violence), Anekanta (Multi-dimensional approach to truth), Syadvada (contextual and situational approach to reality and knowledge) and Iccha-parimana (Limitation of wants and possessions) to share with the world. Each of the principles has power to give new shape to present ways of living and thinking and bring people of different cultures, traditions, philosophies, ideologies, and values under one umbrella without removing their particular identity. I believe this is the purpose for organizing the World Congress of Philosophy of 2008.

Today, in the time of crises of diverse type, Jainism can play an important role to evolve a new paradigm of philosophy, which can fulfill the contemporary needs and aspirations and can show a bright and beneficial path of progress to the world. With this hope and expectation a Roundtable is proposed.

Let the participants in the XXII World Congress of Philosophy (WCP 2008) effectively deliberate over the theme of “Rethinking Philosophy Today” and evolve practicable solutions to the global problems and let the contribution of Jainism be a part of that noble enterprise.

Draft Program:

This round-table will be approximately of two hours. The selected speakers would present their papers. Each speaker will be getting 10 minutes to present the gist of his/her innovative ideas and further 5 minutes for discussion on the topic presented. While considering the new paradigm of philosophy from Jain perspective the following areas are to be covered:

  • New model for individual and collective life
  • New model for social organization
  • New model for scientific and technological policies.
  • New model for environmental protection
  • New model for international order and globalization
  • New model for political governance
  • New model for economic order
  • New model for moral and spiritual progress.

The paper of the international roundtable is to be invited by the end of April 2008.

II. About Jain Vishva Bharati:

Jain Vishva Bharati (JVB) Ladnun, a center of education, literature, culture, social service, meditation and spirituality which was founded in 1970 under the inspiration of late Acharya Tulsi, the saint and scholar. In 1991, the Government of India notified JVBI as Deemed to be University under Section 3 of University Grant Commission Act, 1956. The University continues to enjoy the patronage of Jain Vishva Bharati in its campus. Late Acharya Tulsi was the first constitutional Anushasta (moral and spiritual disciplinarian) of the University. Acharya Mahaprajna is its present Anushasta.

The Jain Vishva Bharati University endeavours to promote, practice and propagate the high ideas of Anekant, Ahimsa, Tolerance and Peaceful co-existence for the weal of the mankind.

The main objective of the University is to provide instruction & training and conduct research & experimentation in the field of oriental learning, shraman culture and other related fields. It aims at working out a synthesis of the spiritual heritage of ancient Jain scriptures with modern touch.

Even though Ladnun is located in arid zone, the campus is full of greenery with parks and gardens. The environment is free from pollution and noise, ideal for studies, research and meditation.

III. About the Department:

Jainology has one of the richest heritages of learning and culture, with a tradition of tolerance, catholicity and synthesis. The Department of Jainology and Comparative Study has come into being as project even before recognition of JVBU as a Deemed to be University. After recognition it has completed its 15 years of glorious achievements. It has produced more then 100 PG students. The number of the students of the department who have qualified NET (National Eligibility Test for Lectureship) is also matter of pride. The department has also the unique distinction of being the first in producing the scholars who are serving the academic institutions of repute in different capacities at national and international levels. The regular M.Phil/Ph.D. programme was ushered in 1996.

The Department is proud to have produced so far 14 M.Phil., 50 Ph.D. & 1 D.Litt.  Holders.

As major academic exercise national seminars, international summer schools, workshops, educational tours are being held for enhancing Jain and comparative studies. The writing, editing, translations of the Jain philosophical texts are being done by the department.

IV. Paper Submission:

  1. The paper of the presentation should reach to the co-coordinator by the end of April.
  2. The participation of delegates will be subjected to writing a paper on any one of the models or sub-themes of their choice and submitting the same by the stipulated date. The presentation of paper in the round-table will, however, be limited to only the selected ones.
  3. The length of the paper should not be a more then 10-12 page on A4 size paper, with one and half spacing, and font size12. Soft copy of full paper should also be submitted in the form of CD.

V. Participants:

Limited number of distinguished scholars who are already informed would be speakers in the roundtable.

VI. Accommodation:

The Hon'ble participants will be provided free and modest accommodation facility within the campus of Soongsil University at dormitory from evening of 29th July 2008 to August 5th. The World Congress of Philosophy on "Rethinking Philosophy Today" and proposed Roundtable will be held at the venue of Seoul National University.

The delegates are requested to intimate clearly and positively the date and time of their arrival, to the Coordinator by 15th of July 2008 by post or email.

Soongsil University Dormitory:

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Location:

This older student dormitory is located within the campus of Soongsil University; one can walk to the location of the pre-Congress conference.

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Facilities:

Multiple room occupancy with a public bathroom and shower on every floor.

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Cost: 

No room charge; a one-time administrative charge of about KRW 50,000 ($54); bedding to be purchased on site; further necessities reasonably charged reasonably.

VII. Transportation:

From the airport to Soongsil University

  1.  At the 4A or 10B bus stops at Incheon Airport take airport limousine bus to Gangnam Express Bus Terminal or Central City (final bus stop).  Buses leave every 10 minutes; approximately 60 minutes to destination; bus fare: 13,000 won or approx US$14.00.

  2. Then from Gangnam Express Bus Terminal subway station, take the subway line No. 7 bound for Onsu and get off at the Soongsil University Station. Also it is convenient to take a Taxi; average fare approximately KRW10,000 or US$11.00.

From Soongsil University to the World Congress of Philosophy at Seoul National University

  1. There is direct bus service from the front of Soongsil University to Seoul University. You may reach there within 30 minutes.
  2. The organizing committee is planning a shuttle bus service between Soongsil University and Seoul University for which there will be additional fare.

VIII. For the Contact Information:

Dr Samani Chaitany Pragya,
Associate Professor & Head,
Dept. of Jainology and Comparative
Religion & Philosophy, JVBI Ladnun
341306, Rajasthan.

E-mail: c.pragya(at)rediffmail.com


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