Anand Vaidya Professor San Jose State University
Anand Jayprakash Vaidya is a professor of philosophy at San Jose State University and occasionally directs the Center for Comparative Philosophy. He was trained as an analytic philosopher from 1996 – 2005. His 2005 dissertation, The Epistemology of Metaphysical Modality, was a critical study of how we know what is possible and necessary via conceivability. Anand works primarily in the areas of cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary philosophy of mind, epistemology, critical thinking, and ethics. His primary interest in this area is on Indo-Anglo-Analytic philosophy that engages cognitive science. He has taught many courses from Asian philosophy to ethical theory to logical theory. In addition to regularly teaching in his research areas, he also teaches business ethics, the philosophy of economics, and theories of justice. He is the co-editor of Business in Ethical Focus: An Anthology, 2nd Edition (Broadview Press, 2016). Visit Anand’s website to learn more.
Andrew Bridges
Andrew Bridges holds the Bhagwan Shantinath Lectureship and California State University, Fullerton, where he teaches the course “Non-Violence, Animal Rights and Diet in Jainism,” and helps to organize the annual Peace and Religion Symposium. He teaches in both the Religious Studies Department and Philosophy Department at Cal State Fullerton. His research interests include comparative epistemology, contemporary applications of Anekantavada, and ethics.
Andrew Dreitcer Dean and Professor Claremont School of Theology
Andrew Dreitcer, M.Div., Ph.D., is Dean of the Faculty, Professor of Spirituality, and Co-Director of the Center for Engaged Compassion at Claremont School of Theology. He founded a seminary program in spiritual direction, and served 15 years as a Presbyterian pastor. His applied research focuses on comparative explorations of how spiritual practices across religious traditions form lives of engaged compassion. Andrew has co-led workshops on compassion, healing, reconciliation, and restorative justice in Zimbabwe, the US, and the UK. He studied at Wabash College, Oxford, Yale, and GTU/UC Berkeley, spent a year at the ecumenical Christian monastery of Taizé, has been an advocate for children in the foster care system, and has helped lead restorative justice groups at San Quentin prison. His book Living Compassion -- Loving Like Jesus was named one of the “Best Books of 2017” by the website ‘Spirituality and Practice.’
Arpit Mehta Co-Founder and CEO of Data Intellect (DI) Director of Bioinformatics at NW Cancer Hospital New York
Arpit Mehta is Co-Founder and CEO of Data Intellect (DI) and Director of Bioinformatics at NW Cancer Hospital New York. He has over 18 publications in the field of Genomics, notably in Cancer and Covid-19 research. His research interest expands to application of Artificial intelligence in Genomics and Microbiome research and his company DI provides software development, consulting and data intelligence services around the globe. His mission is to skill youth living in rural parts of India with advanced IT skills and employ them. Arpit is an Advisory board member of Arihanta Academy and Young Jain Professionals (YJP) and has served on executive board of Young Jains of America(YJA), YJP and Jain Education Research Foundation (JERF). Arpit has given sessions on “Jainism and Science” and is highly motivated to understand concepts of Jainism in modern perspective.
Atul Shah Professor London School of Economics
Professor Atul K. Shah has a PhD from the London School of Economics and is author of ‘Inclusive and Sustainable Finance’ (Routledge 2022), 'Jainism and Ethical Finance' (with Aidan Rankin, Routledge 2017); The Politics of Financial Risk, Audit and Regulation (Routledge 2018) Reinventing Accounting and Finance Education (Routledge 2018), 'Celebrating Diversity' (2007) and 'Boardroom Diversity - The Opportunity' (2010). He is passionate about Business Ethics, Education Reform and Diversity. Dr. Shah has published a number of papers in international academic journals such as Accounting, Organisations and Society; Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal; European Accounting Review; Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance; Business Ethics - A European Review. Between 1995 and 1998, he published a series of papers predicting the global financial crisis, focusing in particular on derivatives and systemic risk, and regulatory arbitrage. His work has been profiled in BBC and Forbes and Dr. Shah is presently working on a series of projects around financial risk management, diverse ethics and regulation. He has Broadcast experience, with credits including BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service, Channel 4, Five Live, BBC Radio 2, Guardian and BBC Asian Network. Professor Shah also writes and comments for the Financial Times. In 2010 Professor Shah embarked on a historic 1500 mile Masala Tour of Britain, to showcase the depth and breadth of the diversity in Britain and help the country improve its cultural intelligence – this was featured in the Guardian. The tour was also widely covered on BBC radio nationally. He is also a top Business Ethics writer for The Conversation and his research on global accounting won the Best Paper award in 2019.
Ben Zenk Instructor University of Hawaii
Dr. Benjamin Zenk is Instructor of Management in the College of Business and Economics at the University of Hawaii at Hilo in the United States. There, he teaches critical thinking, business ethics, environmental ethics, and introductory business. Dr. Zenk also works with the university's department of philosophy where he has taught intro to philosophy, ethics, reasoning, symbolic logic, histories of Indian and Buddhist philosophy, and comparative philosophy. He received his PhD in philosophy from the University Hawaii at Manoa in 2018 on the topic of cross-cultural philosophical disagreement. Prior to this, he received an M.A. in philosophy from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Loyola Marymount University (LMU). Dr. Zenk utilizes a broad array of cross-cultural and interdisciplinary materials in his business and management courses, stemming from his studies of world philosophy, logic, and ethics, as well as both German and Sanskrit language and literature. His work has led to many months of language and cultural research and study in both Germany and India.
Christopher Chapple Doshi Professor Loyola Marymount University
Christopher Key Chapple is Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology and Director of the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies at Loyola Marymount University. He has published more than twenty books including Living Liberation: Meditations on the Elements in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain Yogas (SUNY Press, 2021).
Christopher Jain Miller Vice President of Academic Affairs Arihanta Academy
Christopher Jain Miller, the co-founder and Vice President of Academic Affairs of Arihanta Academy, completed his Ph.D. in the study of Religion at the University of California, Davis. His current research focuses on applied Jain dharma and the ways by which Jain principles can be lived in daily life, as well as transnational yoga’s entanglements with other cultures around the world. Christopher is the author of a number of articles and book chapters concerned with Jain dharma, Jain veganism, and the history and practice of modern yoga. He is a co-editor of the volume Beacons of Dharma: Spiritual Exemplars for the Modern Age (Lexington 2019) and is the academic advisor for the global Jain Vegan Initiative to promote a vegan lifestyle in light of the Jain principles of non-violence, compassion, and karma.
Cogen Bohanec Assistant Professor Arihanta Academy
Cogen Bohanec currently holds the position of Assistant Professor in Jain Studies at Arihanta Academy, and he has taught numerous classes on South Asian Culture & Religions and Sanskrit language at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley. Dr. Bohanec specializes in comparative dharma traditions, philosophy of religion, and Sanskrit language and literature, and has numerous publications in those areas. He has a PhD in “Historical and Cultural Studies of Religion” with an emphasis in Hindu Studies from GTU, where his research emphasized ancient Indian languages, literature, and philosophical systems. He also holds an MA in Buddhist Studies from the Institute of Buddhist Studies at GTU where his research primarily involved translations of Pāli Buddhist scriptures in conversation with the philology of the Hindu Upaniṣads.
Corinna May Lhoir PhD student Universität Hamburg
Corinna Lhoir, M.A., is a PhD student of classical Indology and a contract lecturer for Beginner’s Sanskrit and Origins of Yoga at Universität Hamburg as well as an entrepreneur with her own online learning platform with focus on studies of yoga and Sanskrit (“”). She holds a B.A. in Languages and Cultures of India and Tibet with focus on classical Indology from Universität Hamburg and a M.A. in Traditions of Yoga and Meditation from SOAS, University of London. She is also currently enrolled in a M.A. program on Oriental Languages and Cultures India at Ghent University in Belgium, where her studies focus on Jainism.
Jeffery Long Professor of Religion, Philosophy, and Asian Studies Elizabethtown College
Jeffery D. Long is Professor of Religion, Philosophy, and Asian Studies at Elizabethtown College, in Pennsylvania, where he has taught since receiving his doctoral degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School in the year 2000. He has authored many articles and several books, including Hinduism in America: A Convergence of Worlds (2020), the Historical Dictionary of Hinduism (first and second editions, 2011 and 2020), Jainism: An Introduction (2009), and, with Michael Long, Nonviolence in the World’s Religions: A Concise Introduction (2021). In 2021, he received the Ranck Award for Research Excellence from Elizabethtown College, and in 2022, he received an Ahimsa Award from the International Ahimsa Foundation, for his work to promote nonviolence through his scholarship. He has spoken at a variety of prestigious venues, including three talks at the United Nations. He is the editor of the Lexington Books series Explorations in Indic Traditions: Ethical, Philosophical, and Theological.
Joey Tuminello Assistant Professor McNeese State University
Joey Tuminello is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA, USA, and a Program Coordinator for the nonprofit organizations Farm Forward and Better Food Foundation. His research focuses on the intersection of animal, environmental, and food philosophies through the lenses of hermeneutics, pragmatism, and Jainism.
Jonathan Dickstein Assistant Professor Carleton College
Jonathan Dickstein is the Visiting Assistant Professor of Asian Religions at Carleton College. He received a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2022. Jonathan's areas of research include religion and ecology, comparative ethics, and South Asian religions.
Lee Anne McIlroy Chair of the ESL department Cerritos College
Lee Anne McIlroy was named the Bhagavan Kunthunath Endowed Scholar of Jain Thought Leadership at Cerritos College for the 2021-2022 academic year where she is currently the chair of the ESL department and the Student Learning Outcomes coordinator. She holds degrees in Linguistics from UCLA and CSULB and is currently a doctoral student at the American College of Education where her research focuses on addressing the impact of linguistic colonialism in international education. In addition to her work in higher education in California, Lee Anne also works as a language specialist and researcher in East Africa.
Lynna Dhanani
Lynna Dhanani obtained her doctorate at Yale University and joined the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Davis in the Fall of 2020 as an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies. Her research explores the confluence of interreligious polemics, philosophical debate, devotional themes, and poetics in the Sanskrit hymns of the celebrated twelfth-century Svetambara Jain Hemacandra, court pandit to two Hindu kings of medieval Gujarat. Having dedicated herself to the study of multiple Indian religions for more than two decades, Lynna has a wide range of interests, including Jainism, Sanskrit and Prakrit language and literature, medieval Indian alchemical traditions, yoga and tantra, Indian devotional movements, Indian philosophy, and especially South Asian religious art.
Malay Patel Associate Professor Sandip University
Malay R. Patel is an Associate Professor in Management and currently serving at Sandip University, Nashik, India. He is presently pursuing his second Ph.D. from the University of Warsaw, Poland his thesis topic is “Modern reformation in Jainism in Gujarat in 19th Century.” Dr. Patel holds his first doctorate degree in Business Studies from Sardar Patel University, Gujarat. He also had a short stint of 3 years working as an Associate Dean in a Law college. Dr. Patel is armed with two master’s degrees: M.Sc. in Paints & Polymer Sciences and MBA with Marketing and Human Resource Management specialization. In addition to his regular qualification, His research interests are Jainism, ancient Indian philosophy, jurisprudence, entrepreneurship, and innovations. He has a knack for management case writing and teaching. Many of his management cases and research are published in national and international journals.
Manoj Jain Faculty Rollins School of Public Health Emory University
Manoj Jain, MD MPH, is a physician and writer. Dr. Jain writes regularly for the Washington Post and has been interviewed by CNN and National Public Radio. He is faculty at Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. He teaches meditation, and has co-moderated a White House Roundtable Discussion about Complementary Therapies in Rehabilitation, alongside Dean Ornish and mindfulness pioneer Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. He has written a children's book titled: Mahavira: The Hero of Nonviolence, Jain Food Book and contributed to the Jain Way of Life book.
Narendra Bhandari Distinguished Professor of Jain Philosophy JAIN University, Bangalore
Prof. Narendra  Bhandari  is a space scientist and has worked with Indian Space Research organization on India’s first mission to Moon. He is the  founder  President of Jain Academy of Scholars and  Science and Spirituality Research Institute, Ahmedabad. He  has published and edited several books on Jain philosophy, establishing its scientific foundation.
Nitin Shah Professor of Anesthesiology & Critical Care Loma Linda University
Dr. Nitin Shah is Professor of Anesthesiology & Critical Care at Loma Linda University. He is also Chairman of the Academic Liaison Committee of JAINA (Federation of Jain Associations in North America) and was past President of the Jain Center of Southern California. Dr. Shah is the founding President of Anekant Community Center, has taught students in Jain Pathshala for 20 years. He believes in Sallekhana and has written a paper on the topic.
Parveen Jain CEO Arihanta Academy
Parveen Jain, PhD, the founder, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Arihanta Academy and a resident of the Silicon Valley, enjoys life after an exciting corporate career of over thirty years as a founder and chief executive of multiple technology companies, including a senior executive role at McAfee, the cyber security company. Parveen has always cherished philanthropy and has held leadership roles in various non-profit organizations. He has been a long-time trustee of the International Mahavira Jain Mission, where he has been deeply involved with the growth of Siddhachalam, the first Jain tīrtha outside of India, from its founding. He led the team to build Jain Temple in the San Francisco Bay Area, has served as chairman and president of Jain Center of Northern California, and continues to be an active advisor. Previously, he was a founding director of the Sunnyvale Hindu Temple, served as a trustee of the American Foundation for the Blind and was a founding team member of the South Asian Heart Center. Currently, besides other non-profits, Parveen serves as a founding director of Stanford Center for Asian Health Research and Education (Stanford-CARE). In addition, he enjoys mentoring bright entrepreneurs and serves on the boards of several technology companies. Besides the philanthropic and mentoring activities, Parveen joyously spends time with his grandkids, self-studies, and writing. He is the author of the book An Introduction to Jain Philosophy. Parveen is most passionate about furthering the initiatives inspired by Ācārya Sushil Kumar in the service of Jain tradition: promoting the message of nonviolence, creating Jain educational platforms, and applying Jain principles to everyday life among the growing global Jain community, for current and future generations.
Philip Clayton Ingraham Chair Claremont School of Theology
Philip Clayton is president of the Institute for Ecological Civilization, which works internationally to support the transition toward a sustainable civilization, developing collaborations among government, business, and policy leaders. He also chairs the board of the Institute for the Postmodern Development of China, which supports environmental policies and practices in China. Dr. Clayton holds the Ingraham Chair at Claremont School of Theology. He is the author or editor of some 26 books, most recently What Is Ecological Civilization? and The New Possible: Visions of Our World Beyond Crisis. A former Senior Fulbright Fellow and Humboldt Professor, Clayton founded and directs the PhD program in comparative theologies and philosophies. A graduate of Yale University, he has taught at Williams College and the California State University, as well as holding guest professorships at the University of Munich, the University of Cambridge, and Harvard University. See also
Pratik Bhansali Jain Vegan Initiative
Pratik Bhansali has a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. He thinks taking a stand against any form of discrimination is something that forms basic decency. This stand should encompass all animals – humans and non-humans, and being a vegan is a mere logical consequence of this stand. He also sees the interconnections between all forms of oppression and their links with animals and their rights.
Raj Shah Global Health & Sustainability Novartis
Raj Shah works in Global Health & Sustainability at Novartis whilst also pursuing a Masters in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick. During his time at Warwick, he helped setup one of the fastest-growing, multi-disciplinary, student-run conferences in the UK. Raj is passionate about entrepreneurship and is an advisor at Kaiku, an AI-driven scouting platform for early-stage venture funds. As a Swiss citizen with a multi-cultural background, Raj is committed to promoting Jain values in the western world.
Rita Sherma Director Center for Dharma Studies
Rita D. Sherma is founding Director and Associate Professor at the Center for Dharma Studies; Core Doctoral Faculty; Department Chair of Theology & Ethics; and Co-Chair of Sustainability 360 Initiative at GTU, Berkeley, CA. Formerly, she was the Swami Vivekananda Visiting Professor in Hindu Studies at USC, Los Angeles. She holds an MA in Women’s Studies in Religion, and a PhD in Theology & Ethics from Claremont Graduate University, CA. Sherma is co-founder of the American Academy of Religion’s Hinduism Program Unit. She is the founding Vice President of DANAM (Dharma Academy of North America)—a scholarly society for research on Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain religious & interreligious studies—and serves as Vice President of the Society for Hindu-Christian Studies. Dr. Sherma has authored/edited/co-edited numerous books and is the founding Editor-in-Chief of "Journal of Dharma Studies." She serves on the Editorial Board of "Reading Religion" Journal (an AAR publication), serves as Advisor to the Parliament of the World’s Religions Climate Action-sponsored Faith for the Earth online & print project, as well as on the Advisory Board of the Yale Forum for Religion and Ecology. Her pedagogical approach goes beyond encounters in the classroom to create collaborations with her students in research, writing, publications, and sponsoring students' leadership in their disciplines.
Ruchika Chitrabhanu Interior Designer, Mumbai
"Born and raised in a Jain family, Ruchika has always had a deep interest in the philosophy of Jainism. She pursued her Master’s in Philosophy, majoring in Jainism. Inspired by Gurudev Chitrabhanu and Smt. Pramoda Chitrabhanu, Ruchika has been a vegan for over sixteen years. She is the co-founder of Ahimsafest, India’s largest vegan festival and founder of The Earthen One that raises awareness about animal compassion and the benefits of following a vegan lifestyle through events and festivals. By profession, Ruchika is an interior designer and lives in Mumbai with her family."
Saathvik Devarakonda Independent Researcher Hindu College
Saathvik Devarakonda is an independent researcher pursuing B.A. Philosophy (Hons) at the Hindu College, University of Delhi. A fervid thinker, he wishes to drive, debate for, formulate for and resonate the dialogue of change for social good. He is currently the Founding-President of Hindu’s Office of International Programs, and the Sub-Editor of the Falsafa Undergraduate Journal of the Department of Philosophy at Hindu College. A budding academician, he is a published researcher and an environmentalist.
Samani Shashi Pragya Associate Professor Jain Vishva Bharati University
Samani Shashi Pragya is Associate Professor in the Department of Jainology at Jain Vishva Bharati University in Ladnun.
Shivani Bothra Bhagwaan Mahavir/Chao Family Foundation postdoctoral fellow in Jain studies Rice University
Shivani Bothra served as the Bhagwaan Mahavir/Chao Family Foundation postdoctoral fellow in Jain studies at Rice University. Bothra explores the migration of Jain communities within India and to the US. Her research focuses on religious education, curricula, and gender roles, with particular emphasis on religious education of children whose families strive to maintain Jain culture outside the homeland. She also examines shifts from traditional to contemporary Jain religious education in response to the forces at play when Jain communities relocate.
Steven Vose
Steven M. Vose (PhD, South Asia Studies, University of Pennsylvania, USA) is a historian of Śvetāmbara Jain communities of western India. His first book, Reimagining Jainism in Islamic India: Jain Intellectual Culture in the Delhi Sultanate, forthcoming on Routledge, focuses on Jain intellectual exchanges with the Delhi Sultanate and the transformations to Jain praxis that resulted from these interactions. The book won the Edward C. Dimock, Jr. Book Prize in the Indian Humanities from the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS). He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of Colorado, Denver, where he holds the Bhagwan Suparshvanatha Professorship in Jain Studies.
Subhash Jain Professor Emeritus The University of Iowa
Subhash C. Jain is Professor Emeritus at The University of Iowa. He did his Ph. D. in Mechanics and Hydraulics from The University of Iowa in 1971. He served as a faculty member in the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department of The University of Iowa from 1971 to 2003. After his retirement in 2003 he became interested in delving into the karma doctrine. He received in 2019 another Ph. D. on the karma doctrine in the Department of Jainology, University of Madras, Chennai, India. He has published three books "Rebirth of the Karma Doctrine", “Karma Doctrine and Rebirth in Jainism: A Logical Perspective” and “The Path to Inner Peace: Mastering Karma” and several papers in the Jain journals and magazines. He was born in India in a family that practiced Jainism and continued to do so after coming to the US in 1967. He can be reached by phone at (319) 777-9639, by email at, or by mail at 109 Prairie Hill Ln, Iowa City, IA 52246.
Sushama Parekh Principal Engineer Moog Inc
Sushama Parekh is a member of Jain Center of California for the past 30 yrs supporting Jain Center activities in various capacities. She has been teaching Pathshala to youth for the past 20+ yrs. She was an Adjunct Professor at Claremont School of Theology that offers a Graduate Program in Jain Studies from 2015-2020. She is a member of JAINA Academic Liaison Committee promoting Jain studies at academic institutions in North America. She has been working in Aerospace Industries for the past 40 years supporting various Management and Executive roles. She is currently working at Moog Inc, as Principal Engineer, responsible for Research and Development of innovative Motion Control technologies used in Commercial and Military Aircrafts.
Tine Vekemans Professor Ghent University
Professor Tine Vekemans holds the Ācārya Mahāprajña Chair for Jain Studies at Ghent University. Additionally, she is a postdoctoral research fellow funded by Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO). Her approach to Jain studies combines ethnography with textual study, but always starts from practices and experiences of contemporary Jains. Over the past decade, her research touched upon diverse aspects of modern Jainism, including Jain migration history, changing lay-mendicant relations, Jainism in the digital age, and processes of knowledge transfer within the Jain diaspora.
Yifan Singharaja Ph.D. student Renmin University of China
Yifan Zhang is a Ph.D. student in Religious Studies at Renmin University of China and Indian Culture and Languages at Ghent University. The proposed title of his doctoral project is "The Jains in Contemporary Southeast Asia: Their distinctiveness and identities."