Active and accomplished scholars engaging with students

Prof. Pankaj Jain

Prof. Pankaj Jain

PhD in Religious Studies from University of Iowa; M.A in Religious Studies from Columbia University; B.E in Computer Science from Karnataka University.


Professor Pankaj Jain is an internationally recognized academic leader in Sustainability, Jain Studies, Film Studies, and Diaspora Studies. He is the Head of the Department of Humanities & Languages and the Chair of The India Centre at FLAME University. Earlier, he was the founding co-chair of India Initiatives Group and Associate Professor in the Departments of Philosophy & Religion and Anthropology at the University of North Texas, a tier-1 American university. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa and an M.A. from Columbia University (both in Religious Studies). His B.E. was in Computer Science from Karnatak University, India. Prof. Jain has over twenty-five years of work experience in both academia and industry.

He is currently working on his fourth monograph, Modern Jainism: A Historical Approach, co-editing the Encyclopedia of Hinduism and a volume on Indian and Western Philosophical Concepts in Religion. In addition, he compiled Jains and Hindus' history in America for his third monograph, Dharma in America: A Short History of Hindu-Jain Diaspora. He is also the author of the award-winning Dharma and Ecology of Hindu Communities: Sustenance and Sustainability and Science and Socio-Religious Revolution in India: Moving the Mountains.

His articles and quotes have appeared in several academic journals and on the Huffington Post, Washington Post, Economic Times, Times of India, Speaking Tree, and Patheos. In addition, Dr. Jain is widely quoted in various American and Indian media outlets. In July 2020, the New York Times interviewed him, and in 2019 Morgan Freeman interviewed him for the section on Jainism in the National Geographic series The Story of God. He is a recipient of the Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship for Environmental Leadership and Wenner-Gren Grant, among many other grants. In addition, he was nominated for the Sustainability Leadership Award from Memnosyne Institute.

He tweets at @ProfPankajJain, and his podcast #DiscoverIndia is on Spotify, Apple, Google, YouTube, Gaana, and other platforms.



  • Jain, Pankaj. Dharma in America: A Short History of Hindu-Jain Diaspora. London, England: Routledge, 2019. 

    • Reviewed in The International Journal of Hindu Studies, Nidan, Journal of Diaspora Studies, and New Books Network.

  • Jain, Pankaj. Science and Socio-Religious Revolution in India: Moving the Mountains. London, England: Routledge, 2016. 

    • Reviewed in The International Journal of Hindu Studies, Worldviews, Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture, and The British Journal for the History of Science.

  • Jain, Pankaj. Dharma and Ecology of Hindu Communities: Sustenance and Sustainability. Farnham, Surrey, England: Ashgate, 2011. London, England: Routledge, 2016.

    • Winner of the 2012 DANAM Award and 2011 Uberoi Foundation Award. Reviewed in the Journal of Asian StudiesInternational Journal of Dharma StudiesEnvironmental Values, Food, Culture & Society, International Journal of Hindu Studies, Oxford Journal of Hindu Studies, Journal of Hindu Christian Studies, Philosophy East & West, Religious Studies ReviewSophia, and Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, & Ecology. Also reviewed in Asia Times and IndiaFacts and cited in LA TimesSwarajya, and Indian Express.

Edited Journal, Volume, and Encyclopedia

  • Jain, Pankaj, Section Editor. Encyclopedia of Indian Religions. (Forthcoming, Springer).

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Hinduism and Materiality,” Nidan: International Journal of Indian Studies, vol. 23, 2011.

Refereed Journal Articles

  • Sharma, Shikha and Pankaj Jain. “Encountering Asceticism: A Hindu nun in Jogan vis-à-vis a Buddhist monk in Trishagni,” in Journal of Visual Anthropology, 33.5, pp 466-473.

  • Tyagi, Jyoti and Pankaj Jain. “Do Bigha Zamin: A Realistic Wonder of Indian Cinema,” in Journal of Visual Anthropology, 33.5, pp. 459-465.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Climate Engineering from Hindu-Jain Perspectives,” in Zygon, Volume 54, Issue 4, December 2019, pages 826-836. DOI:10.1111/zygo.12568.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Sara Jahan Hamara: Indian Films and their Portrayal of Foreign Locations,” in Journal of Visual Anthropology, 32:3-4, 2019, pp. 343-352. DOI: 10.1080/08949468.2019.1637686.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Taking Philosophy Back: A Call from the Great Wall of China.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 7, no. 9 (2018): 60-64.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Practicing Ahimsa: Nonviolence Toward Humans, Animals, and Earth,” in American Academy of Religion's Spotlight on Theological Education, March 2013.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Reinterpreting Yajña as Vedic Sacrifice,” in Brahmavidya: Adyar Library Bulletin, vol.74-75, 2011, pp. 161-178.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “From Padosi to My Name is Khan: Portrayal of Hindu Muslim Relations in South Asian Films,” in Journal of Visual Anthropology, 24.1, 2011, pp. 345-363.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Such a Long Journey: Portrayal of Parsi Community in Films,” in Journal of Visual Anthropology, 24.1, 2011, pp. 384-390.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Jainism, Dharma, and Environmental Ethics,” in Union Seminary Quarterly Review, 61.12011, pp. 121-135.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Bishnoi: An Eco-Theological ‘New Religious Movement’ in the Indian Desert,” in Journal of Vaishnava Studies, 18.2, 2010, pp. 109-122.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Virtue Ethics of Boot Polish and Dosti vis-à-vis Slumdog Millionaire,” in Journal of Visual Anthropology, 23.1, 2010, pp. 44-50, DOI: 10.1080/08949460903368911.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “From Kil-Arni to Anthony: Portrayal of Christians in Indian Films,” in Journal of Visual Anthropology, 23.1, 2010, pp. 13-19, DOI: 10.1080/08949460903368887.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Renunciation and Non-renunciation in Indian Films,” in Religion Compass, 4(3), 2010, pp. 157-165.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Dharmic Ecology: Perspectives from the Swadhyaya Practitioners,” in Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology, 13.3, 2009, pp. 305-320.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Indic Traditions and Ecology,” in Religious Studies Review, 35.2, 2009, pp. 99-104.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Indology and Marxist Hermeneutics,” in Journal of South and Southeast Asian Association for the Study of Culture and Religion, May 2009, vol. 3, pp. 127-136.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Jainism: An Evaluation with Hinduism and Buddhism,” in Jinamanjari, 39.1, 2009, pp. 64-82.

Chapters in Edited Books

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Jain Dharma as Virtue Ethics for Sustainability,” in Sustainability Volume, Oxford University Press, edited by Jason Kawall (accepted and forthcoming).

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Modern Hindu Dharma and Environmentalism,” in The Oxford History of Hinduism: Modern Hinduism, Edited by Torkel BrekkeOxford University Press, 2019, pp. 261-274.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Bhumika,” in Moksha Pahud, translated by Munishree Pranmya Sagar, 2019.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Foreword,” in Religion: Thy Relevance, edited by Veenus Jain, Jupiter Publications Consortium, 2017.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Dharma of Sustainability, Sustainability of Dharma: A Hindu Energy Ethics” in Light for a New DayInterfaith Essays on Energy Ethics. November 2016.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Dharma for the Earth, Water, and Agriculture” in Religion and Sustainable Agriculture: World’s Spiritual Traditions and Food Ethics, edited by Todd LeVasseur, Pramod Parajuli, and Norman Wirzba. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2016, pp. 139-152.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Bovine Dharma: Nonhuman Animals and the Swadhyaya Parivar,” in Rethinking the Nonhuman: Asian Perspectives on Animal Ethics, edited by Neil Dalal and Chloe Taylor. London, England: Routledge, 2014, pp. 169-178.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Earth, Water, and Dharmic Ecology: Perspectives from the Svadhyaya Practitioners,” in Classical and Contemporary Issues in Indian Studies: Essays in Honour of Trichur S. Rukmani, edited by Pratap Penumala and Jonathan Duquette. New Delhi: DK Printworld, 2013, pp. 343-359.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Cows and Dharmic Ecology: Perspectives from the Hindu ‘Bovine Activists’,” in Issues in Ethics and Animal Rights, edited by Manish A. Vyas. Delhi: Regency Publications, 2011, pp. 178-188.

  • Jain, Pankaj. "Householders and Renouncers: The Holistic Combination in Indian Thought," in Studies in Vedanta, edited by P. George Victor and V.V.S. Saibaba, New Delhi: D. K. Printworld, 2006, pp. 165-180.

Encyclopedia and Bibliographic Articles

  • Jain, Pankaj, and Christopher Chapple. “Ecology in Hinduism,” in Oxford Bibliographies, 2017. Jain, Pankaj. “Ecology (Jainism),” in Encyclopedia of Indian Religions: Buddhism and Jainism, edited by Jeffery D. Long, Springer, 2017.

  • Jain, Pankaj, and George James. “Environmental Ethics: Indian Perspectives” in Ethics, Science, Technology, and Engineering: A Global Resource, 2nd ed., edited by J. Britt Holbrook and Carl Mitcham, volume 2: 119-121. Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, 2015.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Swadhyaya Movement and Pandurang Shastri Athavale,” in Encyclopedia of Hinduism, edited by Knut A. Jacobsen, Brill, 2013, pp. 659-663.

Articles in Popular Press

  • Jain, Pankaj, and George Yancy. “Jainism and Death” in The New York Times (forthcoming).

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Conservative Ideas for Conservation of Mother Earth,” in The Daily Caller, Oct 25, 2018.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Mahavir Ki Ahimsa Main Hai Paryavaran Sankat Ka Hal,” in Dainik Bhaskar, Mar 29, 2018.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Shashvat Manviya Mulya Apnana Hee Adhunikta,” in Dainik Bhaskar, Mar 19, 2018.

  • Natarajan, Ananth, and Pankaj Jain. “India in Ancient Times did have its form of Democracy and Republics-Uthiramerur and Self Governance,” in MyIndMakers.com, Mar 7, 2018.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Dharmic Mulyon Ne Dee Hai Tikau Vikas Ki Avadharana,” in Dainik Bhaskar Feb 6, 2018.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Controversies do not diminish the great role played by many spiritual gurus,” in The Hindu, Oct 12, 2017.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Relevance of Dharma,” in Huffington Post, Jun 2017.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Roots of the Sand Storms are in America!” in Huffington Post, Aug 2016.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Masala Aesthetics of Indian Films and Culture,” in Huffington Post, Mar 2016. Jain, Pankaj. “Banning Violence against Cows and Humans,” in Huffington Post, Oct. 2015.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “For the Love of Music,” in Times of India’s Speaking Tree, Nov 24, 2013.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Turning Temples in North America Green,” in India Abroad, vol. 43, issue 18, Feb 1, 2013, p. A39.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Jain Dharma goes beyond ‘Religion,” in HuffingtonPost.com, November 28, 2011.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “A Survey of Texas-based places of worship for Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs,” on Pluralism.org, August 1, 2011.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Hinduism and Modernity,” in HuffingtonPost.com, August 1, 2011

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Dharmic Method to Save the Planet,” in HuffingtonPost.com, May 12, 2011.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “The Cosmic Questions behind the Cosmic Dance of Obama-Raja on Newsweek,” in Washington Post – On Faith, November 29, 2010.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Irony and the ‘Yoga Wars,’” in Washington Post – On Faith, December 12, 2010

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Ten Hindu Teachings on the Environment,” GreenFaith.com, November 10, 2010.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Bollywood and Beyond: Hinduism Changing the World,” on Patheos.com, June 28, 2010.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Swadhyaya’s Dharmic Ecology,” in Forum on Religion and Ecology Newsletter, May 1, 2010.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “Better Banswara, Mediocre Mumbai: Musings from my India Trip,” in Saathee, issue 130, February 2009.

  • Jain, Pankaj. “From Emic/Etic to Ethic: Issue of Insider/Outsider in South Asian Studies,” in Newsletter of Association for Asian Studies, May 1, 2005.

Book Reviews

  • Sen, Sudipta. Ganges: The Many Pasts of an Indian River. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019, in International Journal of Hindu Studies, 24.2.

  • Doron, Assa, and Robin Jeffrey. Waste of a Nation: Garbage and Growth in India. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2018, in Asian Ethnology, Jan 2019, p. 433-435.

  • Haberman, David. People Trees: Worship of Trees in Northern India. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, in The Journal of Religion, 95.4, 2015.

  • Sanford, A. Whitney. Growing Stories from India: Religion and the Fate of Agriculture. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2012, in Food, Culture, and Society, 16.3, pp. 524-525, 2013.

  • Srinivas, Tulasi. Winged Faith: Rethinking Globalization and Religious Pluralism through the Sathya Sai Movement. New York: Columbia University Press, 2010, in Religious Studies Review 37.3, pp. 235, 2011.

  • Fortier, Jana. Kings of the Forest: The Cultural Resilience of Himalayan Hunter-Gatherers.

  • Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2009, in Religious Studies Review, 36.4, pp. 309-310, 2010.

  • Giri, Ananta Kumar. Self-Development and Social Transformations?: The Vision and Practice of the Self-Study Mobilization of Swadhyaya. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2009, in Religious Studies Review, 36.2, pp. 167-168, 2010.

  • Jacobsen, Knut A, ed. Theory and Practice of Yoga: Essays in Honour of Gerald James Larson. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 2005, in Alternative Spirituality and Religion Review, 1.2, pp. 193- 194, 2010.

  • Emma Tomalin. Bio-Divinity and Bio-Diversity: The Limits to Religious Environmentalism. Farnham, England: Ashgate, 2009, in Worldviews: Environment, Culture, Religion, 14.2-3, pp. 301- 302, 2010.

  • Heidi Pauwels, ed. Indian Literature and Popular Cinema: Recasting Classics, London, England: Routledge, 2009, in Religious Studies Review, 36.1, p. 97, 2010.

  • Bhaskar Sarkar. Mourning the Nation: Indian Cinema in the Wake of Partition, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009, in the Journal of Asian Studies, 70.1, pp. 292-293, 2010

  • Bhaskar, Ira, and Richard Allen. Islamicate Cultures of Bombay Cinema, New Delhi: Tulika Books, 2009, in Religious Studies Review, 35.4, p. 300, 2009.

  • Ann Gold. In the Time of Trees and Sorrows: Nature, Power, and Memory in Rajasthan, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2002, in Studies in Religion/ Sciences Religieuses, 36.3, 2007.

  • Arvind Sharma. Advaita Vedanta: An Introduction, New Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass, 2004, in Religious Studies Review, 31.1, 2005.