Dr. Pankaj Jain Joins Leading Interfaith Environmental Coalition
October 1, 2010
On the anniversary of Gandhi’s birthday, GreenFaith is pleased to announce that Dr. Pankaj Jain has become GreenFaith’s Hindu and Jain Scholar in Residence, and will work with GreenFaith to strengthen Hindu and Jain environmental leadership nationwide. GreenFaith is a leading US interfaith environmental coalition that works with diverse religious communities to educate and equip them to be environmental leaders.
“Gandhi is an icon of sustainable living and an inspiration to millions of people globally,” said the Rev. Fletcher Harper, GreenFaith’s Executive Director. “On his birthday, we are thrilled to announce our partnership with Dr. Jain to engage Hindu and Jain communities in the United States on environmental issues.”
Dr. Jain is an Assistant Professor of Indian Religions and Ecology at the University of North Texas. He has taught Indian Films, Sanskrit, Hindi/Urdu languages and literatures at North Carolina State University, Rutgers, Kean University, Jersey City University, and at the University of Iowa. In his scholarship he connects the ancient Indic traditions of Hinduism and Jainism with contemporary issues – particularly the environment. He studied under Dr. Christopher Key Chapple, one of the world’s leading scholars on Indian religions and ecology.
“It is indeed a pleasure to be able to partner with GreenFaith to engage the Hindu and Jain communities on the environment,” said Dr. Jain. “Ancient Indic philosophy and religion can make important contributions to the development of a sustainable society. I look forward to helping educate and engage our communities on this vital issue.”
Dr. Jain has written “Ten Key Hindu Teachings on the Environment,” which is featured on GreenFaith’s website at www.greenfaith.org. In this essay, he lists the most significant Hindu teachings on the environment, citing Gandhi as an example of Hindu ecological values in action.
Jain will work with GreenFaith to identify US Hindu and Jain leaders concerned about the environment, and to connect them with GreenFaith’s innovative programs. The GreenFaith Fellowship Program is the world’s only comprehensive religious-environmental training program. Through retreats, monthly webinars, and extensive reading, Fellows receive education and training in eco-theology, “greening” the operation of religious institutions, environmental advocacy, and environmental justice. The GreenFaith Certification Program is the world’s first interfaith environmental certification program for houses of worship. During a 2-year process, participants ‘green’ their worship services, religious education programs, facilities, advocacy, and their member’s consumption habits. “GreenFaith’s programs present an important opportunity to the Hindu and Jain community,” said Dr. Jain. I look forward to connecting leaders of these communities with GreenFaith.”
“The Hindu and Jain communities an important part of the wider US religious community,” said Harper. “We all need their help in creating a world that treats the environment in a way that Gandhi would approve of.”
Founded in 1992, GreenFaith inspires, educates and mobilizes people of diverse religious backgrounds for environmental leadership. Visit www.greenfaith.org for more information.