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May 13
2024
5PM-6:30PM CET
5:00 pm - 5:45 pm
The Future of Jain Studies
45 mins
This panel considers the future of Jain Studies from particular methodological standpoints. The speakers emphasize the collaborative approach of European Jain Studies, demonstrating how their research, geographically situated within Europe, forms partnerships with collaborators across borders and institutions.

Christopher Miller will discuss, in dialogue with collaborators Cogen Bohanec (Arihanta Institute), Jonathan Dickstein (Arihanta Institute), and Venu Mehta (Claremont School of Theology), the methodology of Engaged Jain Studies from the forthcoming volume Engaged Jainism (Miller and Bohanec, SUNY 2025). He will feature the ways in which an Engaged Jain Studies methodology is necessary and useful while performing collaborative research projects with members of the Jain community and Jain institutions globally. The methods of Engaged Jain Studies create a research space where Jain and non-Jain ways of knowing can meet, collaborate, and, at times, experience irreconcilable frictions that generate productive research data and scholarly insights.

In dialogue with guests Mehool Sanghrajka (Institute of Jainology), Ana Bajželj (University of California Riverside), and Anil Mundra (Rutgers), Marie-Hélène Gorisse will first discuss the types of collaborations that develop between academic institutions, the Jain community, and other relevant partners such as social or artistic institutions. This will notably prompt us to focus on the question of the establishment and preservation of collections in Jain studies. She will then examine the growth of Jain philosophy as a discipline, presenting its current directions and challenges.

Together with guests and collaborators Manish Mehta (JAINA) and Yifan Zhang (Ghent University), Tine Vekemans will discuss studies on contemporary Jainism and Jainism outside of South Asia. As much of early Jain studies was of a philological nature, anthropological and sociological studies into Jain communities and practices are of a relatively recent date. Therefore, much is yet to be explored in order to balance interpretations based on doctrinal expectations on the one hand, and observations of the Jain tradition as it is experienced and performed by Jains on the other, and achieve a nuanced understanding of what Jainism was, is, and can be.
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