Dr. Mikaela Chase Named To Wisconsin–Madison’s Śrī Anantnāth Chair In Jain Studies
India-West Staff Reporter
MADISON, WI – The Department of Asian Languages and Cultures in the College of Letters and Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison announced that on August 21, Dr. Mikaela Chase will be the inaugural Śrī Anantnāth Chair in Jain Studies.
This Chair, the first of its kind at the University of Wisconsin, is dedicated to advancing the academic study of the Jain religion, a tradition that has profoundly influenced the religious, ethical, and political spheres of South Asia for over three millennia.
Dr. Chase’s appointment follows her completion of the Bhagwan Munisuvrata Swami Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Religion at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Her doctoral degree was earned from Johns Hopkins University, where she studied under anthropologist, Professor Veena Das. Throughout her academic career, Chase has been deeply engaged in exploring Jain perspectives and practices surrounding the ethical approach to transitioning from life to death, investigating the intricate insights, complexities, and challenges that such a profound transition entails, a press statement said.
The university said that with Chase, an exceptional anthropologist, joining their academic community, it anticipates enriching engagements with students on key aspects of the Jain religion during the upcoming academic year. Themes such as nonviolence (ahiṃsā), non-attachment (aparigraha), and indeterminacy (anekāntavāda) will be explored, providing students with invaluable insights into this ancient tradition.
The establishment of the Śrī Anantnāth Chair in Jain Studies was made possible by the notable generosity of a group of visionary donors, led by Jasvant and Meera Modi, Prem and Sandhya Jain, Harshad and Raksha Shah, Bipin and Rekha Shah, and Sulekh Jain.