International School for Jain Studies (ISJS) and Atlanta Jain Sangh Meet & Greet the Jain Academics in North America.

Posted: 12.11.2010

International Summer School for Jain Studies


International School for Jain Studies (ISJS) and Atlanta Jain Sangh Meet & Greet the Jain Academics in North America.

On Friday, October 29, 2010, the Houston based International School for Jain Studies (ISJS) and Atlanta Jain Sangh hosted the first Meet and Greet event in Atlanta of nearly 40 Jain academics (representing a large # of universities in North America) who were in town to attend the AAR (American Academy of Religions) and DANAM (Dharma Academy of North America) conferences. All the guests were taken in a bus to the beautiful and serene Atlanta Jain temple where they were received in traditional welcome ceremony by Madhuben Sheth (President Atlanta Jain Sangh) and several prominent members of the Jain community. The guests were escorted to a guided tour of the spacious temple and later to an Arti and Mangal Divo. Many guests asked questions, admired the ornate design and took pictures. One Professor; Hanna Kim of Adelphi University took videos and pictures of the Jain temple to show to her world religion class.

After the tour and the Arti, the guests were taken to a nearby Jain restaurant where they were served with Sit down Jain bhojan. Dr. Mahendra Dosi, Mrs. Madhuben Sheth, and Prof Jagdish Sheth of Emory University (all of Atlanta Jain Sangh) in their welcoming remarks extended their warm welcome and emphasized the importance of Jain academic education in universities and colleges in North America. Dr. Sulekh Jain of Houston and Chairman of ISJS Governing Council, and Prof. Christopher Chapple of Loyola Marymount University and a member of the ISJS Academic Council explained the significance of ISJS program and how this program during its short span of six years has been instrumental in providing Jain academic education to nearly 190 students and faculty from 22 universities so far. Dr. Pankaj Jain (University of North Texas), Prof. Subhash Jain (University of Iowa) and Mr. Dilip Shah (Past JAINA President) extended their own welcome and distributed a complete set of 9 very informative and academic books and pamphlets to each attendee.

During the 4 day conference of AAR and DANAM, following ten papers on various aspects of Jainism were presented by ISJS alumni and others.


DANAM: Friday, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm; Prof. Anne Vallely, University of Ottawa, Presiding;

Theme: The Feminine in Jainism;
Nika Kuchuk, University of Ottawa; From Icon to Temple: The Embodied Presence of Goddess Padamavati. Christian Haskett, Washington & Lee University; The Visual Vocabulary of Passionless Performance and the Categories of Jain and Women.
Bradley Boileau, University of Ottawa; Between the Veil and the Vow: Ascetic Wifehood, Jain Sati, and the Devotional Cult of Rajulmata at Mount Girnar.
Sherry Fohr, Converse College: Indigenous Feminism in Shvetamber Jainism


Jain Studies Consultation: Monday, 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm; Prof. Anne E. Monius, Harvard University, Presiding;

Theme: Jain Bodily Practices and Representation of the Body.
Mari Jyvasjarvi, Harvard University: Adapting Ascetic Practices for the Female Body: The Case of Jain Monastic Texts.
Lisa Owen, University of North Texas: Monastic Bodies: The Roles of Portraiture in Ellora Jain Caves.
Anne Vallely, University of Ottawa: The Discursive and Phenomenological Body within Jainism.
M. Whitney Kelting, Northeastern University: Jinamatas: Pregnant with the Embodiments of Jainism


Yoga in Theory and Practice Consultation: Sunday, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm;

Theme: Mind in Modern Yoga, Andrea R. Jain, Rice University: When Mind is Prana: Mind in Jain Modern Yoga


Hinduism Group: Monday, 9:00 am - 11:30 am; Prof. Ramdas Lamb, University of Hawaii, Presiding;

Theme: Religion on the Ground: Village Hinduism in Practice
Pankaj Jain, University of North Texas; How Can We Cut God's Trees: Sacred Groves in Bhil Villages.

This Meet and Greet in Atlanta was sponsored by Dr. Mahendra Dosi and was coordinated by Prof. Christopher Chapple and Dr. Pankaj Jain.  Similar future events will be planned by ISJS at every annual AAR and DANAM conferences.

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