10th Annual DANAM Conference 2012

Published: 29.11.2012
Updated: 30.11.2012

Dharma Academy of North America

10th Annual DANAM Conference 2012
November 16-19, 2012 Chicago, Illinois
McCormick Place Convention Center

Jain Center Chicago and ISJS Greets DANAM and AAR Scholars

November 16 - 20, 2012

Jain Center Chicago

DANAM (Dharma Academy of North America)

is an independent, non-political, donation-based non-profit organization of Virginia, with a focus on constructive presentation of Dharma traditions in the North American context. A Three-day conference was organized in conjugation with the AAR in Chicago on the Dharma traditions i.e., Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. The prime objective is to develop scholarship and interpret these traditions in respect to the global era.

November 16, Session One

Theme: The Contemporary Transmission of Jain Dharma

Presider: Anne Vallely, University of Ottawa

Respondent: Jeffery D. Long, Elizabethtown College

Four papers were presented in the first session following the theme on the contemporary transmission of Jain Dharma. The first session started with a very brief welcome and introductory speech by the President, DANAM, Dr. Adarsh Deepak. This was followed by a brief welcome from the Chairman, DANAM Dr. Rajinder Gandhi. As the session started, Anne Vallely introduced each speaker and their topic of presentation.


1. Shivani Bothra, Florida International University
The Anuvrat Movement: View of the Jain Diaspora of North America

2. Samani Unnata Pragya, Jain Vishva Bharati and Florida International University
Fasting, a Double Edged Sword: Spiritual Fasting, Engaged Fasting and Coercive Fasting

3. Alexis Reichert, University of Ottawa
Veerayatan: The Transmission of a Reformed Message

4. Sherry Fohr, Converse College
The Transmission of Jainism through Narratives

This was followed by the observation and detailed remarks made by the respondent, Dr. Jeffery Long. The session was then open for question - answer and discussion with the audience. Prof. Christopher Chapple also provided detailed comments followed by one question for each presenter. Among the audience were renowned Jain scholars like Kristi L. Wiley, the author of Historical Dictionary of Jainism. Samani Chaitanya Pragya, Professor Florida International University, Ramdas Lamb, University of Hawai’I, to name a few.

American Academy of Religion
November 17-20, 2012 Chicago, Illinois
McCormick Place Convention Center

Religion in South Asian Section and Jain Studies Group
Theme: Jains, Muslims, Christians: Interrogating Religious Borders in Sultanate, Mughal and Colonial India

Presider: Whitney Kelting, Northeastern University
Respondent: Peter Gottschalk, Wesleyan University

1. Steven M. Vose, University of Pennsylvania
Jain Encounters with the Delhi Sultanate in the Early Fourteenth Century: Jinprabhusuri in the Court of Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq

2. Audrey Truschke, Columbia University
Negotiating Religious Differences in the Mughal World: Jain Defense against the Charge of Atheism

3. Mitch Numark, California State University, Sacramento
The British Discovery of Jainism in the Nineteenth Century: Scottish Missionaries, the “Jain Religion” and the Jains of Bombay

4. John E. Cort, Denison University
Defending Jainism against Christian Missionaries in Colonial Gujrat


November 19 Jain Studies Group

Theme: Escaping the World: Women Renouncers among Jains A Roundtable Discussion

Presider: Prof. Dr. John Cort, Denison University
Panelists: Manisha Sethi, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
Anne Vallely, University of Ottawa
Sherry Fohr, Converse College
M. Whitney Kelting, Northeastern University

November 18 - Welcome Dinner hosted by the Jain Community of Chicago at the Chicago Jain Center for the scholars, participants and alumni ISSJS.

The Jain community arranged a bus, which escorted the scholars from McCormick Convention Center to the Chicago Jain Center. Two ISJS representatives Dr. Sulekh Jain and Subash Jain were also present to welcome their esteemed guests. The 33 mile long, bus-ride provided the scholars with an opportunity to know each other, and continue engaging in the intellectual post conference discussions. The bus stopped outside the architecturally beautiful Jain temple and the center. The enthusiastic Jain community greeted all the guests in a traditional Indian way by putting tilak on the forehead. Soon after welcome was the Aarti of the Tirthankaras. Many renowned scholars participated in Aarti along with the Jain members. Following the Aarti, was a guided tour of the Jain center.  During the tour, we learned about the history, growth and expansion of the Chicago Jain center. It was impressive to know that 450 students join the Sunday school every alternate Sunday.

Scholars Participating in the Evening Aarti at the Jain Center

Meeting and Greeting

This was followed by a grand Vegan dinner put together by the Jain community.  During dinner, Sulekh Jain introduced scholars like Christopher Chapple, Whitney Kelting, Kristi L. Wiley, Tom Helton, Ramdass Lamba and Steve Vose to name a few. Sulekh Jain also introduced many ISSJS alumni. Later the mike was passed for each guest to introduce oneself briefly.

Following the dinner, Prof. Chapple introduced Prof. Whitney and invited her to deliver a talk.

Prof. Whitney Kelting has been conducting on-going field research with a community of Jains in Maharashtra, India. Her primary areas of research are religions of South Asia, ritual theory, gender studies and cultural studies.

Prof. Kelting expressed her gratitude towards the Jain community for a very warm welcome. In addition to this, she traced her memory back to her first visit of the Chicago Jain Center. She then briefly talked about her research experiences of temples in Pune, Maharashtra. She was honored with a shawl and a memento as a symbol of gratitude from the Jain community.

In the last, Dr. Sulekh Jain introduced some Jain members of Chicago for their contribution, scholars who are associated with ISJS from its initiation and ISSJS alumni.  He finally concluded the evening program with some words of appreciation for the entire Jain community of Chicago.

The scholars were taken back in the same bus.

Professor Whitney Kelting addressing the Jain community and the scholars of Dharma Traditions

Traditional honoring by the Jain Community and ISJS

Dr. Sulekh Jain expressing a few words on this occasion

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Aarti
  2. Anne Vallely
  3. Anuvrat
  4. Anuvrat Movement
  5. Audrey Truschke
  6. Bombay
  7. Buddhism
  8. Chaitanya
  9. Chicago
  10. Christopher Chapple
  11. DANAM
  12. Delhi
  13. Dharma
  14. Dharma Academy of North America
  15. Fasting
  16. Florida International University
  17. Hinduism
  18. Historical Dictionary Of Jainism
  19. ISJS
  20. ISSJS
  21. Jain Center Chicago
  22. Jain Dharma
  23. Jain Temple
  24. Jain Vishva Bharati
  25. Jainism
  26. Jeffery D. Long
  27. Jeffery Long
  28. John Cort
  29. John E. Cort
  30. Kristi L. Wiley
  31. Maharashtra
  32. New Delhi
  33. Ottawa
  34. Pragya
  35. Pune
  36. Samani
  37. Samani Chaitanya Pragya
  38. Samani Unnata Pragya
  39. Sherry Fohr
  40. Shivani Bothra
  41. Sikhism
  42. Steven M. Vose
  43. Sulekh Jain
  44. Tilak
  45. Tirthankaras
  46. Veerayatan
  47. Vegan
  48. Whitney Kelting
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