John E. Cort 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). He teaches our courses on religions of Asia, as well as comparative courses on issues such as environmentalism, art, human rights and nonviolence. He is also on the East Asian Studies, Environmental Studies and International Studies program committees.
John is a scholar of India, where he has lived for seven years over the past four decades. 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.
- REL-203, Religion and Art
- REL-205, Religion and Nature
- REL-215, Hinduism
- REL-216, Religions of China and Japan
- REL-233, Buddhism
- REL-240, Buddhism and Social Change
- REL-240, Human Rights, Indigenous Rights, Environmental Rights
- REL-300, Gandhi
Many of these courses cross-list with one or more of the East Asian Studies, Environmental Studies and International Studies programs.
John has supervised senior research, summer research, independent studies and directed studies in a number of areas, such as the following:
· Indigenous Peoples, Scheduled Tribes and Adivasis in India
· Local Food, Local Hunger, Local Agriculture and Local Churches in Granville
· Civil Society and Development in Rural Thailand
· Religion, Society and Culture in Bengal
· Contested Conceptions of "Sustainable Development" in Costa Rica
· Brownfields, Public Health, and Environmental Justice in Ohio
· Shrine Shinto
· Jodo Shinshu Buddhism in the United States, 1899-1945
· Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights and the Environment in the Global Economy
· Indigenous People, National Parks, and Multinational Oil
· Chan and Zen Buddhism
· Japanese Buddhism
· Religion, Art and Politics in Contemporary India
· Theravada Buddhism and Art in Southeast Asia
· Goddesses and Authority in Hinduism
· Women, Goddesses and Gender in India
· Community Gardens and Restorative Justice
· Sustainable Agriculture in U.S. and Japan
· Engaged Buddhism
John’s research focuses on the Jain traditions of South Asia. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in India. He is currently working on a book on Jain devotional texts and practices, with the working title of Naked Devotion. His research has been supported by grants from the American Institute of Indian Studies, American Philosophical Society, Asian Cultural Council, Freeman Foundation, Getty Foundation, Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
He is an elected member of the American Society for the Study of Religion. He is the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Indian Studies, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Council on Southern Asian Art. He served as co-chair of the Steering Committee of the Religion in South Asia Section of the American Academy of Religion in 2008-11.
He has written, edited and translated the following books and special journal issues:
· Framing the Jina: Narratives of Icons and Idols in Jain History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.
· (With Lawrence A. Babb and Michael W. Meister), Desert Temples: Sacred Centers of Rajasthan in Historical, Art-Historical and Social Contexts. Jaipur: Rawat, 2008.
· (Translator), Jagannātha Paṇḍitarāja, The Saving Waves of the Milk-White Gaṅgā. Calcutta: Writers Workshop, 2007.
· (Guest Editor), American Studies of the Jains. Jinamañjari 34:2 (October 2006).
· Jains in the World: Religious Values and Ideology in India. New York and Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2001. Paperback edition 2011.
· (Editor) Open Boundaries: Jain Communities and Cultures in Indian History. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998. Reprint Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications, 1999.
· (Editor) Kendall W. Folkert. Scripture and Community: Collected Essays on the Jains. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1993.
· (Translator) Bhartṛhari, An Old Tree Living by the River. Calcutta: Writers Workshop, 1983.
Recent and forthcoming articles include the following:
· "God Outside and God Inside: North Indian Digambar Jain Performance of Bhakti." Imre Bangha (ed.), Proceedings of the Tenth International Bhakti Conference: Early Modern Literatures in North India. New Delhi: Manohar, forthcoming.
· "God's Eyes: The Manufacture, Installation and Experience of External Eyes on Jain Icons." Corinne Dempsey and Tracy Pintchman (eds.), Sacred Matters: Material Religion in South Asian Traditions. Albany: SUNY Press, forthcoming.
· “Indology as Authoritative Knowledge: Jain Debates about Icons and History in Colonial India.” Michael Dodson and Brian A. Hatcher (eds.), Transcolonial Modernities. London: Routledge, forthcoming.
· "In Search of 'Hindu Fiction': The First 'American School' of Jain Studies.” Andrea Luithle-Hardenberg (ed.), Cooperation and Competition, Conflict and Contribution: The Jaina Community, British Expansion and Scholarship during the 19th and Early 20th Century. New Delhi: Manohar, forthcoming.
- “Jain Identity and the Public Sphere in Nineteenth-Century India.” Vasudha Dalmia and Martin Fuchs (eds.), Multiplicity and Monoliths: Religious Interactions in India, 18th-20th Centuries. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.
· "Making it Vernacular in Agra: The Practice of Translation by Seventeenth-century Digambar Jains." Francesca Orsini (ed.), Tellings Not Texts: Singing, Story-telling and Performance in North India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.
· "Situating Darśan: Seeing the Digambar Jina Icon in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century North India." International Journal of Hindu Studies, forthcoming.
· "Three Eighteenth-Century Jain Holī Songs of Bhūdhardās." J. R. Bhattacharyya (ed.), Professor Satya Ranjan Banerjee Felicitation Volume. Kolkata: Sanskrit Sahitya Parishad, forthcoming.
· “When Will I Meet Such a Guru? Images of the Yogi in Digambar Hymns.” Christopher Key Chapple and Olle Qvarnstöm (eds.), Jaina Yoga. London: Routledge, forthcoming.
· "The Goddesses of Sravana Belgola." Nalini Balbir (ed.), Svasti: Essays in Honour of Prof. Hampa Nagarajaiah for his 75th Birthday, 346-53. Krishnapuradoddi: K. S. Muddappa Smaraka Trust, 2010.
· "In Defense of Icons in Three Languages: The Iconophilic Writings of Yaśovijaya." International Journal of Jaina Studies (Online) 6:2 (2010), 1-45.
· (With Lawrence A. Babb and Michael W. Meister), "Desert Temples: Archaeology in Present Time." Pierfrancesco Callieri and Luca Colliva (eds.), South Asian Archaeology 2007: Proceedings of the 19th Meeting of the European Association of South Asian Archaeology in Ravenna, July 2007. Volume II: Historic Periods, 19-26. Oxford: Archaeopress, 2010.
· "World Renouncing Monks and World Celebrating Temples and Icons: The Ritual Culture of Temples and Icons in Jainism." Himanshu Prabha Ray (ed.), Archaeology and Text: The Temple in South Asia, 268-95. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2010.
· "Budhjan's Petition: Digambar Bhakti in Nineteenth-Century Jaipur." Jaina Studies: Newsletter of the Centre of Jaina Studies 4 (2009), 39-42.
· "Contemporary Jain Maṇḍala Rituals." Phyllis Granoff (ed.), Victorious Ones: Jain Images of Perfection, 140-57. New York: Rubin Museum of Art; and Ahmedabad: Mapin Publishing, 2009.
· "The Cosmic Man and the Human Condition." Phyllis Granoff (ed.), Victorious Ones: Jain Images of Perfection, 34-47. New York: Rubin Museum of Art; and Ahmedabad: Mapin Publishing, 2009.
· "An Epitome of Medieval Śvetāmbara Jain Literary Culture: A Review and Study of Jinaratnasūri's Līlāvatīsāra." International Journal of Jaina Studies (online) 5 (2009), 1-33.
· “Helen M. Johnson: The First American Woman Scholar of Sanskrit.” Journal of the Johnson Library and Museum 3 (2009), 31-47.
· "Devotees, Families and Tourists: Pilgrims and Shrines in Rajasthan." Carol Henderson and Maxine Weisgrau (eds.), Raj Rhapsodies: Tourism, Heritage and the Seduction of History, 165-81. Hampshire: Ashgate, 2007.
· "Dios como rey o asceta." Tr. Carlos Mayor. John Guy (ed.), La Escultura en los Templos Indios: El Arte de la Devoción, 171-79. Barcelona: Fundación "la Caixa," 2007.
· "A Fifteenth-Century Jain Mystic and His Contemporary Followers: Tāraṇ Taraṇ Svāmī and the Tāraṇ Svāmī Panth." Peter Flügel (ed.), Studies in Jaina History and Culture: Disputes and Dialogues, 263-311. London: Routledge, 2006.
· "Installing Absence? The Consecration of a Jain Image." Rupert Shepherd and Robert Maniura (eds.), Presence: The Inherence of the Prototype within Images and Other Objects, 71-86. London: Ashgate, 2006.
· "A Spell Against Snakes and Other Calamities: The Uvasaggaharaṃ Stotra Attributed to Bhadrabāhu Svāmī." Jinamañjari 34:2 (October 2006), 34-43.
· "Two Recent Documents of North Indian Jain Painting." American Council on Southern Asian Art Newsletter 66 (Fall/Winter 2006), 15-16.
· "Devotional Culture in Jainism: Mānatuṅga and His Bhaktāmara Stotra." James Blumenthal (ed.), Incompatible Visions: South Asian Religion and History in Culture; Essays in Honor of David M. Knipe, 93-115. Madison, WI: Center for South Asia, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2005.
· "Images: Images, Icons, Idols." Lindsay Jones (ed. in chief), Encyclopedia of Religion, Second Edition, Vol. 7, 4388-93. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005.