Feb. 8, 2012
Professor John E. Cort, Ph.D., a scholar of Asian and Comparative Religions in the Department of Religion, and chair of International Studies Program at Denison University will be visiting Shawnee State University at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at Clark Memorial Library's Flohr Lecture Hall.
Cort's research combines fieldwork and historical-textual studies. His area of specialization is the Jain religious tradition, on which he is the author of two books and numerous articles. Cort lived in India for seven years and he has degrees in South Asian Studies from the University of Wisconsin (B.A., 1974; M.A., 1982), and in the Study of Religion from Harvard University (A.M., 1984; Ph.D., 1989).
Before entering graduate school, he worked as a community organizer on issues of disarmament and social justice in Washington, D.C. He also enjoys translating poetry from several Indian languages into American English.
In his talk, Cort will analyze the interaction among the Indian Jain spiritual tradition of ahimsa, and the American Christian and secular traditions of nonviolent social action.
"Nonviolence as a strategy for either advancing a person toward spiritual liberation of advancing a community toward social justice has arisen in several cultures in the past three millennia," Cort said. "As a result of the increased interconnectivity in the world in the past century, through those processes we call globalization, previously separate philosophies and practices of nonviolence are now meeting and influencing each other."