Claremont, CA (PressExposure) August 16, 2012 -- The first annual Claremont International Jain Conference--Bioethics: Religious and Spiritual Approaches--to be held at Claremont Lincoln University on August 24th and 25th, will have the perspectives of all major faiths represented in the diverse body of its numerous participants. More than twenty presentations are scheduled for the two-day period, including a look at genetic testing and reproductive technologies from a Jewish vantage point; diagnosis of brain death and jurisprudence in Islam; conscience and consciousness from a Christian position; Hindu dharma in the modern medicalfield; reincarnation and near death experiences in Buddhism; and voluntary death by fasting (Sallekhana)in Jainism.
The conference seeks to bring the resources of Jainism, of the dharma traditions of India, and of the world's religious and spiritual traditions in general, to bear on the most difficult bioethical questions of our day. Its broad aim is to address such questions as: when does life begin, and when does it end? When is the quality of life so compromised that doctors should cease further interventions? What is informed consent? What constraints should apply to research on human subjects? And how can the sanctity of life be preserved?
Claremont Lincoln University is co-sponsoring the event with its local, national, and international Jain partners (the Jain Center of Southern California, the Federation of Jain Associations in North America, and the International School for Jain Studies), making the conference a rare joining of those who follow the tenets of this ancient tradition in practice, and those who contemplate it through speculative scholastics, at the international level.
In addition to having diversity in religious difference, and bringing Jain practice and scholarship together within the international purview, the conference will also have speakers coming from incredibly varied walks of occupational life; rabbis, independent researchers, authors, a president of a religious network, a talk show producer, a surgeon, a cardiologist, a former scientist, a neurologist, professors, students, and Jain nuns will all constitute the diverse body of this unique conference.
The Bioethics Conference will be the pilot conference for the Jain Studies Program at Claremont Lincoln University--one of a handful of programs on Jainism that exist in the entire US--which opened last fall, at the inauguration ceremony of the newly founded university. The diversity seen along the different lines of the conference manifests the vision of Claremont Lincoln University, which aims to educate its student body in an interdisciplinary, multicultural, and multireligious milieu.