Graduate Theological Union
2017 Surjit Singh Lecture "A Jain-Inspired Approach to the Diversity of Worldviews”
As human beings committed to diverse worldviews, how do we learn to navigate the fact that our neighbors have beliefs and values that differ from ours? Is agreement necessary in order for there to be peace? Or is there a way for us to value difference without compromising on our own most deeply held beliefs? Are there certain beliefs that are incompatible with peaceful co-existence? In this lecture, Jeffery Long will explore a way to approach these difficult questions. Taking his inspiration from both Jain and Hindu traditions, Long will explore the limits of religious pluralism and the role of philosophy in articulating a way forward for conflicted humanity.
Jeffery D. Long is Professor of Religion and Asian Studies at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, where he has taught since receiving his doctoral degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School in the year 2000. He is the author of A Vision for Hinduism: Beyond Hindu Nationalism, Jainism: An Introduction, and the Historical Dictionary of Hinduism, as well as numerous articles and public presentations. A central theme of his work is religious pluralism and constructive interfaith engagement. He has previously given the inaugural Virchand Gandhi lecture in Jain Studies at Claremont University and guest lectured in the International Summer School for Jain Studies in New Delhi, India, as well as speaking at two Jain centers in New Jersey: Siddhachalam and Jain Vishva Bharati. Long is currently pursuing book projects on Indian philosophy, Hinduism in America, and the teachings of Swami Vivekananda. In addition to his scholarly work, he is also an active member of the Hindu community in North America, serving as a consultant to the Hindu American Foundation and active in his local temple in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania.