JERF ►My Plan for Speeding up Jain Studies and Research at FIU

Published: 08.04.2013
Updated: 15.10.2013

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Jain Education and Research Foundation


http://www.herenow4u.net/fileadmin/v3media/pics/organisations/JERF/Steven_M._Vose.jpgSteven M. Vose, who has joined recently the position of instructor under Bhagawan Mahavir Professorship for Jain Studies at FIU, is thinking to give a momentum to Jain studies and research going on at FIU. In reply to a question about his vision and future plans for Jain studies at FIU, he said:

"Developing the Jain Studies undergraduate and graduate certificate programs will be a process that will take some time. My plan for developing Jain Studies at FIU includes three aspects: First, I want to solidify the curricula for both the undergraduate and MA programs. I am in the process of applying to add Prakrit language courses to the curriculum, so that any MA student who wishes to come to FIU to study Jainism will see that there is scope to study Ardha-Magadhi, Maharashtri, Sauraseni, and all other Prakrits. I have also put together an undergraduate course on sacred images and architecture in South Asia that will have a substantial Jain component.

The second part of my plan includes drawing upon the faculty resources at FIU to increase the number of course offerings that includes a Jainism component. Prof. Manuel Gomez, our most recent Bhagwan Mahavir Fellow, recently presented at the Jain Temple about his research on Jain diamond merchants' strategies for conflict resolution. If he could turn his research into a unit on this style of conflict resolution in one of his classes at the law school, this would further our project of making Jain Studies available in any school or discipline that a student could conceivably pursue.

Third, I would like to increase the profile of our study abroad programs to India on campus. I would like to send roughly 20 students to India on either the ISSJS or JVBI programs each summer, and possibly add a December trip during the hiatus between semesters. This can only come by increasing our campus profile and by coordinating with our Study Abroad office to reach students who are looking for educational opportunities by taking full advantage of the "International" component of FIU.

In the longer term, I believe that we need to increase the diversity and range of holdings in the FIU library to facilitate research both in primary texts and in secondary scholarship. An increasing number of texts are available online but there is no replacement for physical books that students can stumble upon to discover avenues of research that they had never imagined—that was how I found my dissertation project. I would also like to add objects to our museum here at FIU by acquiring leaves of painted manuscripts, and various types of images from all over India. Any student wishing to understand Jain 'thought cannot miss the historical and social contexts in which these new ideas arose and gained currency. I strongly believe that to understand what Jainism has to contribute to the world, we have no greater measure for what its future contributions can be than what we can see in the past. Want to see ahimsa in action? Look no farther than the history of how Jains have put the philosophy of Jainism to everyday use."

Sources

JERF Newsletter 2012-04

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  1. Ahimsa
  2. Ardha-Magadhi
  3. Bhagwan Mahavir
  4. Discipline
  5. FIU
  6. ISSJS
  7. JERF
  8. JVBI
  9. Jain Education
  10. Jain Education and Research Foundation
  11. Jain Temple
  12. Jainism
  13. Mahavir
  14. Prakrit
  15. Steven M. Vose
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