Skip links

Academic Research

Christopher Jain Miller, PhD

Prof. Christopher Jain Miller, PhD

Vice President of Academic Affairs

Christopher Jain Miller, PhD

Professor, Arihanta Academy
Phd in the Study of Religion, University of California, Davis

Dr. Miller holds master’s degrees in Theological Studies and the Study of Religion, as well as a doctorate in the Study of Religion. Combining critical and yet community-engaged methods, he passionately engages in ethnographic and theological research seeking to address some of society’s most pressing concerns in light of Jain and yogic principles. These concerns include interconnected issues like climate change, animal rights, food and social justice.

At Arihanta Academy, Dr. Miller’s current research focuses on two primary areas: applied Jain studies and modern yoga studies. In the field of applied Jain studies, he has published and is currently working on articles pertaining to Jain veganism and Karma theory as well as Jain contemplative practice, and has recently compiled a thematic, full-length course workbook that applies Jain principles to many common issues of daily life.

In the field of modern yoga studies, Dr. Miller is currently finishing a book manuscript that is a critical ethnographic project exploring the ways in which yoga practices are transformed in their interaction with particular cultural logics around the world. In this project, Dr. Miller specifically engages in interdisciplinary research that brings the field of modern yoga studies into dialogue with the fields of food studies, ethnomusicology and pollution studies.

Dr. Miller has published a number of peer-reviewed articles in the fields of Jain studies and modern yoga studies, and is the co-editor of the volume Beacons of Dharma: Spiritual Exemplars for the Modern Age (Lexington 2019). 

Cogen Bohanec, PhD

Assistant Professor , Arihanta Academy
PhD in Historical and Cultural Studies of Religion (Hindu Emphasis), MA in Buddhist Studies, IBS/GTU

Dr. Bohanec’s scholarship focuses on the comparative philosophies between major dharma traditions (Jain dharma, Buddhism, Hinduism), within these traditions, and in dialogue with Western theoretical frameworks. He specializes in Sanskrit and Indian literature but has engaged in textual work in texts in a variety of languages such as Pali, Gujarati, Hindi, Bengali and Ardhamāgadhī. By employing methods of textual hermeneutics, philology, literary criticism, and translation, Dr. Bohanec seeks to nuance the academic understanding of dharma traditions by employing the lexicon of Western philosophy in a way that is vigilant against the possibility of distorting these traditions, yet renders them more accessible to the Western milieu. During his time at Arihanta Academy, Dr. Bohanec has engaged in extensive research to develop curriculum and corresponding manuscripts that will soon bear publications. The first of these, “Jain Yoga Philosophy: Peacebuilding and Contemplative Practice,” is a philosophical engagement with various Jain yoga texts (e.g. Yoga-bindu, Yoga-dṛṣṭi-samuccaya, and the Yoga-śāstra). This work brings various philosophical fields of inquiry (metaphysics, epistemology, logic, psychology, and ethics) into dialogue with similar categories of thought in the broader field of dharmic yoga texts from the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. In the process, the book proposes a model of interfaith dialogue and peacebuilding and asserts the Jain tradition’s rightful place in the broader academic field of contemplative studies.

A second manuscript that Dr. Bohanec has developed which corresponds to his curriculum at Arihanta is titled, “Jain Pragmatism in the Ātma-Siddhi Śāstra.” This text engages in a dialogue with Western philosophical pragmatism, particularly as articulated by William James. In the Ātma-siddhi, Śrīmad Rajchandra invokes a number of themes that resonate with the evidentialist claims of a pragmatic maxim (the evidence and meaning of a proposition can be found in the result of its engagement). James has specifically argued in favor of an ontological pluralism in his attempt to synthesize the dialectical tension between empiricism and rationalism. His way of framing the discussion has great potential to lend conceptual and linguist constructions to the understanding of a similar Jain ontological pluralism and dialectical logic. While there are a number of dissimilarities between James and Śrīmad Rajchandra’s teaching, the illuminating process of dialogue between these views unfolds with a translation and scholastic analyses on the Ātma-siddha by Dr. Bohanec, and in consultation with Nitya-kram commentary by Pujyashri Brahmachariji.

Professor Cogen Bohanec, PhD

Asst. Prof. Cogen Bohanec, PhD