The Music and Poetics of Devotion in the Jain and Sikh Traditions


The Music and Poetics of the Jain and Sikh Traditions

February 25-27, 2016
Ahmanson Auditorium, Loyola Marymount University 
and Jain Center of Southern California

The devotional music of Jain Stavan and Sikh kirtan was explored in this two-day conference. The event included two concerts, bringing these distinctive musical styles into dialogue through direct experience. Many similarities can be found between these musico-poetic traditions including historic and geographical links to the 15th-17th c. Indian Bhakti milieu. The conference will discuss primary compositions that serve central functions in daily practice in both traditions. These pieces were written in the pada poetic form, in local dialects, utilizing alliteration and rhyme along with rasa to convey the emotive mood of the poetry. Commonly sung either solo or in community in the genre of folk music, modern as well as traditional styles will be discussed. Both traditions offer the practitioner a meditative experience, leading the mind toward an elevated state of consciousness. While each paper will be focused on either Jain or Sikh music, our hope is for this conference to spark productive interfaith dialogue and scholarly engagement of both traditions.

Brought to you by the Professorship of Jain and Sikh Studies in the Department of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University and sponsored by the Uberoi Foundation and the generous individuals from the Sikh and Jain communities.


Virchand Gandhi Lecture on Jain Temple Building Projects 
by Dr. Whitney Kelting
Thursday, February 25, 7:30-8:30pm, Ahmanson Auditorium, Loyola Marymount University
Conference: The Music and Poetics of Devotion in the Jain and Sikh Traditions 
Friday and Saturday, February 26 & 27, 9am-4pm, Ahmanson Auditorium, Loyola Marymount University
Concerts: The Music of Devotion in the Sikh and Jain Traditions
Friday, February 267-9pm, Ahmanson Auditorium, Loyola Marymount University
Saturday, February 277-9pm, Jain Center of Southern California
8072 Commonwealth Ave, Buena Park, CA 90621

Featured speakers

Dr. Whitney Kelting, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Dr. Francesca Cassio, Sardarni Harbans Kaur Chair in Sikh Musicology and Associate Professor of Music at Hofstra University, New York.
Dr. Ellen Gough, Assistant professor, Department of Religion, Emory College, Atlanta, Georgia
Dr. Nirinjan Khalsa, Clinical Professor Jain and Sikh Studies, Department of Theological Studies, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA
Dr. Charles Townsend, Lecturer in Religious Studies, Department of Religious Studies, University of California Riverside, Riverside, California
Dr. Bob Van der Linden, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Dr. Nikky-Guninder K. Singh, Crawford Family Professor of Religion, Colby College, Waterville, Maine
Bhai Baldeep Singh, 13th generation exponent of Sikh Kirtan, Anad Foundation, New Delhi, India
Sander Hens, Ph.D Candidate Jaina Studies, Ghent University, Belgium
Aleksandra Gordeeva, Ph.D Candidate Jain Studies, Religious Studies, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

Dr. Pashaura Singh, Professor & Jasbir Singh Saini Endowed Chair of Sikh and Punjabi Studies, Department of Religious Studies, University of California, Riverside, California
Dr. Christopher Chapple, Navin and Pratima Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology, Department of Theological Studies, and Director of Master of Arts in Yoga Studies, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA