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ISSJS Progress Report

Published: 03.03.2007
Updated: 02.07.2015


Briefly, I want to share with you a bag of goodies (good news). Lot is happening and very fast.
Here it is


  • In 2005 we had 7 participants
  • in 2006, we had 14 participants
  • in 2007, we will have 33+ participants.
    Wow. Prof. Anne Vallely (University of Ottawa, Canada) is bringing her entire class of 17 students (Ph.D, M.A and Undergrads) to next ISSJS along with herself.

This year, we will have participants from USA, Canada and Russia (Moscow State University) and may be (?) from Thailand
A preliminary breakdown of the Class of 2007 is

  • University of Ottawa Class 16 (5 PhD + 12 undergrad)
  • New Professors 4.
  • New PhD and other students 9
  • Returning Scholars (PhD students, Instructors and Professors) 4
  • Number of Universities represented 12 (8 US, 3 Canadian and 1 Russian)


We know that several Graduates of ISSJS Class of 2005 and 2006 are already offering regular courses in

  • Jainism at at least 7-8 universities and colleges
  • University of Ottawa, Canada
  • Eastern Connecticut State University
  • McGill University, Montréal, Canada
  • Alberta College
  • University of Hawaii, Honolulu
  • Windward Community College, Honolulu
  • University of Houston
  • Rice University


Several of the ISSJS Scholars are already writing research papers, chapter in books and arranging regular Academic sessions on Jainism at several Annual, regional and international conferences in USA and Canada like

  • AAR at San Diego where four ISSJS scholars shall be submitting their Papers
  • Canadian Society for the study of religion conference at Saskatchewan Canada in May by Nathan and Marcel.
  • Hope Fitz talks at Dartmouth and other universities on Ahinsa.


Dr. Shugan Jajn (India ISJS Director) and Prof. Chris Chapple (member of the ISSJS Academic Council) conducted one day teachers training workshop (in December 2006) in Delhi to the 2007 teaching Faculty, this is a great step in improving the quality of ISSJS teaching program in India.


As a result of this program, Dr. Shugan Jain has developed excellent and trusting relationship with US Embassy in India. Last year, US Embassy fully sponsored Dr. Priya Jains two week, fully paid visit to USA. This year we are in the process of finalizing the plans of one of our India faculty member to do the same. This way the Indian Scholars get broader exposure and also Jainism finds its rightful place along with other world religions


On January 19, 2006, Houston Radio KPFT invited Prof. Jill Carroll, Andrea Jain. both of Rice university (Andrea is ISSJS Alumni 2006) and Sulekh Jain to give a one hour talk on Jainism, its philosophy, Jain Diaspora in North America and also the ISSJS. It was a great show.

ISSJS Academic Director To The Academic Council


it is with much gratification and some relief, that we bring the recruitment phase of the ISSJS to a glorious end. It is not an easy task to spot a promising student, and then track him or her over time, until bonds are forged and commitments are made. The recruitment has gone well, but for it to be robust, we needed more leaders pitching in. The effort gone into this phase is lop-sided, with Anne Vallely doing much of the work. I feel quite confident that if we keep up the present momentum, and if all Council members become more engaged, next year we should have a class of 50 students, and from that take-off point, the program will grow exponentially. To be sure, we do not want growth at the price of quality, so we carefully monitor the latter. You can help by visiting the ISSJS, and checking the quality of the program while in session, and then making suggestions for improvement.

Please do your review, because, in a few years we are going to have a 500 member school. Visualize this possibility, and with our collective push, it will come to pass. Then, once Jain Distant Learning (JDL) is in place, the bells will really begin to sound. I can hear them now. If you too can hear Shugan ringing the bells for 500 students to come to class, let us know. If you do not hear the bells ring, you are too distant from the soul of the action. Shugan, go ahead and ring the bells, and each of us will shake your hand in joyful celebration.



Starting from scratch in 2005, by the end of 2007, we will have 42 international Scholars exposed to Jainism. This is a remarkable success story in such a short time. I am sure, not in distant future we all will be able to celebrate the 50th and the 100th Scholar who would have graduated from ISSJS.


Dr. Sulekh C. Jain, Director ISSJS Program, Houston, Texas, USA, 281 494 7656, 832 594 8005 (cell), http://www.jainstudies.org/
also appeared in Ahimsa Times 2007/02

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