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Interfaith Assoc of Central Ohio Sponsoring Book Study on Jainism at Westerville Public Library

The Interfaith Association of Central Ohio is sponsoring a 4 week book study on the Indian religion of Jainism, offered at the Westerville Public Library on Thursday evenings, May 2, 9, 16 and 23 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul toward divine consciousness and liberation. Historians date the foundation of organized Jainism between the 9th and the 6th century BCE. Contemporary Jainism is a small, influential religious minority with 6 million followers in India, and growing immigrant communities in North America, Western Europe, the Far East and Australia. They have significantly influenced ethical, political and economic spheres in India. Jains have an ancient tradition of scholarship and a high degree of literacy for religious communities in India. Mahatma Gandhi’s peaceful, nonviolent philosophy was influenced by Jainism.

Participants in this program will read An Introduction- Jainism by Jeffery D. Long, and other resources that will help them glimpse the intricacies and beauty of this religious tradition. They will have specific reading assignments for each meeting and will be invited to highlight ideas or concepts to share with the group. The conversation will be free flowing and open-ended with participants learning from each other.

The co-chairs of the book study are T.J. Salgia and Rakesh S. Jain. Salgia, who lives in Galena, has edited and published many books such as Jainism, Past and Present; Jainism: Non-violence and Vegetarianism; Jain Funeral Practices & Observance; Jainism: A religion of non-violence, compassion, and reverence for all life. Dr. Salgia is the founding member and past president of the Federation of Jain Associations in North America. Rakesh S. Jain learned the basic practices of Jainism from his mother who instilled in him the practice of daily morning prayers. As an undergraduate student in Mumbai, India he realized that he barely knew anything about the fundamentals of Jainism. It was at this time that he came in touch with a true friend (his present day wife) and their joint exploration of Jainism increased his understanding over the years.

Registration cost for this 4 week study is $25 including the book. If you have your own copy of the book, the cost is $5. For more information or to register for these sessions, contact Skip Cornett, chair of the IACO Education Committee at 614.775.0787 or e mail him at More information on the Interfaith Association is available at their web page at