Indica Presents Talk on Dharma and Ecology by Dr. Pankaj Jain
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August 7, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Indic Academy presents Indic Talk on Dharma and Ecology by Dr. Pankaj Jain. In Indic religious traditions, a number of rituals and myths exist in which the environment is revered. Despite this nature worship in India, its natural resources are under heavy pressure with its growing economy and exploding population. This has led several scholars to raise questions about the role religious communities can play in environmentalism. Does nature worship inspire Hindus to act in an environmentally conscious way? This book explores the above questions with three communities, the Swadhyaya movement, the Bishnoi, and the Bhil communities. Presenting the texts of Bishnois, their environmental history, and their contemporary activism; investigating the Swadhyaya movement from an ecological perspective; and exploring the Bhil communities and their Sacred Groves, this book applies a non-Western hermeneutical model to interpret the religious traditions of Indic communities. With a foreword by Roger S Gottlieb.
Dr. Jain has published articles in journals such as Religious Studies Review, Worldviews, Religion Compass, Journal of Vaishnava Studies, Union Seminary Quarterly Review, and the Journal of Visual Anthropology. He also contributes to the Huffington Post, Washington Post’s forum On Faith, Patheos.com, and Times of India’s Speaking Tree.
Currently, he is editing the Hinduism section of the Encyclopedia of Indian Religions (Springer). His research has been supported by the Fulbright Fellowship and by the Wenner Gren Grant. His research and teaching interests include Hinduism, Jainism, Environmental Ethics, Indian films and Indian languages. Before joining UNT, he taught at North Carolina State University, Rutgers, Kean, and New Jersey City University. Interested in connecting ancient practices with contemporary issues, he is exploring the connections between religious traditions and sustainability in Hindu and Jain communities in India and the Indian diaspora.