Establishment of a Chair for Study of Jainism at University of California


August 12, 2015 was both a unique and a historic day in the establishment of three Academic Chairs. On this day, the Jains, Sikhs and Hindu brothers and sisters in Los Angele, USA area came together to establish not one but 3 Chairs at University of California at Irvine (suburb of Los Angeles). The 3 chairs are; Shri Parshvanath Presidential Chair in Jain Studies, Dhankaur Sahota Presidential Chair in Sikh Studies and Swami Vivekananda –DCF Presidential Chair in Modern India Studies. ( See the attachment for details of the event).

Please note that the signing ceremonies for all the 3 chairs took place at the Jain Center of Southern California temple building; a first of its kind. This is truly a practical application of anekantvaad.

With the establishment of these 3 chairs plus one already done and working to have 1 or 2 more chairs established, we feel, University of California at Irvine will develop into an eminent Center for Indic Studies.

With the establishment of this funded Chair in Jain Studies, the wings of academic studies in Jainism in North America are now covering several places. To name just a few are at: Florida International University in Miami, Florida. Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, California, Rutgers University in Brunswick, New Jersey, Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and several more.

These are our new temples of learning or gnan mandirs. Hopefully, in coming years, we will see many more places offering teaching, study and research in Jainism. Jain community is very proud of this significant milestone.

Dr. Sulekh C. Jain
Houston, Texas, USA

UCI Chair Media Release