Full-Time Faculty

Christopher Key Chapple, Ph.D.

Dr. Christopher Key Chapple is the Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. His research interests have focused on the renouncer religious traditions of India: Yoga, Jainism, and Buddhism. He has published several books with SUNY Press, including Karma and Creativity (1986), Nonviolence to Animals, Earth, and Self in Asian Traditions (1993), Reconciling Yogas (2003), and Yoga and the Luminous: Patanjali’s Spiritual Path to Freedom (2008).

He has also edited and co-authored several books on religion and ecology, including Ecological Prospects: Religious, Scientific, and Aesthetic Perspectives (1994, SUNY), Hinduism and Ecology (2000, with Mary Evelyn Tucker, Harvard), Jainism and Ecology (2002, Harvard), Yoga and Ecology (2009, Deepak Heritage), and In Praise of Mother Earth: The Prthivi Sukta of the Atharva Veda (2011, with O.P. Dwivedi, winner, translation prize, Dharma Academy of North America). He also is editor of the journal Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology (Brill).

Chris serves as an academic advisor for the International Summer School of Jain Studies and on the advisory boards for the Green Yoga Association (Oakland), the Forum on Religion and Ecology (Yale), and the Ahimsa Center (Pomona). In 2002 he established the first of several certificate programs in the study of Yoga at LMU’s Center for Religion and Spirituality and will direct LMU’s Master of Arts in Yoga Studies, which begins in the fall of 2013.

1980   Ph.D. Theology, Fordham University, U.S.A.
           History of Religions Program Dissertation: “The Concept of Will in the Yogavasistha

1978   MA Fordham University, U.S.A.
           Thesis: “Tson Kha Pa and the Synthesis of Buddhism in Tibet”

1976   B.A. State University of New York at Stony Brook, U.S.A.
           Comparative Literature and Religious Studies (summa cum laude)


Additional Full-Time Faculty will be announced soon


Part-Time Faculty

John Casey, Ph.D.

Dr. John Thomas Casey completed his graduate studies in Asian and Comparative Philosophy at the University of Hawai’i in 1996 and has taught courses in World Religions, Buddhism, and Sanskrit studies at numerous colleges in Southern California since 2000, including Loyola Marymount University, UCLA, UC Irvine, and presently at Chapman University.

He has taught many courses for the LMU Yoga Philosophy certificate program since its inception in 2002, including Sanskrit language and textual studies of the Yoga Sutra, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, and Samkhya Karika. In recent years, he has been tapped as a philosophy instructor for Yoga teacher training programs and has conducted a variety of workshops and seminars through yoga studios and other private venues. Since 1998, Dr. Casey has sojourned to northern India and the Himalayas seven times as a teacher, student, pilgrim, and guide.

1996    Ph.D. University of Hawaii
            Asian and Comparative Philosophy

            B.A. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)


Jason Birch, Ph.D.

Dr. Jason Birch has been dedicated to the study of Sanskrit and the practice of Yoga since 1996.  As a scholar of Yoga, his special interest is in the Medieval Yoga traditions of India, particularly the Sanskrit texts of Hatha Yoga and the Raja Yoga that stemmed from Tantric Shaivism.  As a teacher of Yoga, he calls upon the fruits of his academic research and his own personal practice, to demonstrate and advise on the wellbeing attained by the practice of Yoga.

Inspired by his study of Classical Latin, Jason undertook to learn Sanskrit and in 2001, he completed a Bachelor of Arts at The University of Sydney, which included the study of Hindu and Buddhist Sanskrit texts, Hindi, Pali and elementary Tibetan, as well as courses on Classical and Modern Hinduism, Buddhism and the Six Schools of Indian Philosophy.

He was most recently awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy in Oriental Studies (Sanskrit) at Oxford University under the Supervision of Professor Alexis Sanderson.  His thesis is a critical edition, translation and study of a Sanskrit Yoga text called the Amanaska Yoga. This project has involved extensive fieldwork in India, where he visited 20 libraries in 12 Indian cities and collected over 150 manuscripts of the Amanaska Yoga and related texts.

He has written an article on Jain Yoga for the book 'Yoga in Practice' to be published in 2011 by the University of Chicago Press, and another article 'The Meaning of 'Hatha' in Early Hatha Yoga' published in 2011 by the Journal of the American Oriental Society. Jason has also co-authored a book about the practice of Yoga, entitled “Yoga and Spirit; The Hammer and Anvil” (self-published 2007). 

In his professional life, Jason╩╝s greatest responsibilities have been as a senior teacher for Como Shambhala (Singapore), and as director of a Yoga school in Sydney where he taught Yoga classes and courses for the doctors, nurses and staff of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.  Through this experience, Jason has acquired a keen interest in Public Health and has assisted a wide variety of people, including individuals requiring post-operative care, cancer patients, pregnant women and the elderly, and organizations, such as the Cancer Council, the ABC, Law firms and Banks.

Jason has been invited to lecture on the history, theory and practice of Yoga on various Yoga Teacher Training courses in Sydney, Singapore, Japan and Bali. 

Jason aspires to be an outstanding scholar and teacher of Yoga, who is skilled in Sanskrit, textual criticism and Indological research, with a specialized knowledge of the Shaiva Tantras and the history of Medieval India.  Ultimately, his academic standing will enable him to bring together scholars, doctors, Yoga teachers and practitioners in the task of verifying, developing and disseminating the benefits of Yoga to society at large. 

            Ph.D. Oxford University
            Oriental Studies (Sanskrit)

            B.A. University of Sydney 


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