· PRIMARY OBJECTIVES
· UNIQUE FEATURE
(1) To establish a dedicated intellectual space for ongoing scholarship in constructive philosophical, theological, ethical, and epistemological engagement with these traditions through various publishing enterprises, the DANAM symposium at the AAR, and other projects.
(2) To define a new cultural and intellectual space that is being generated within the new formations developing through the encounter between the Dharma Traditions and Western thought, with special reference to the emerging Diasporas.
(3) To promote theological and philosophical reflection and reinterpretation by scholarship in the Dharma Traditions.
(4) To renew the historical dialogue and mutual exchange between the major Dharma traditions (Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, Sikh) through future joint efforts, DANAM Symposia panels and publishing projects that include scholarship on the diverse schools and systems of Dharma Traditions.
(5) To engender contemporary responses from Dharma Scholarship to new developments in the fields of science, technology, environment, ecology, gender relations, globalization, social practices, etc., by holding Thematic Symposia and an Annual Academic Meeting as an additional meeting of the American Academy of Religion (AAR).
(6) To create greater understanding between Dharma and other traditions by setting up standards (in print and other communications) for the accurate definition and usage in the English and other Dharmic language media of Sanskrit and other Dharmic terms ( such as, tathata, murthi, deva/devi, pratityasamutpada, etc.), that takes into account seriously the Dharma Traditions' historic and contemporary understanding and usage of these concepts.
(7) To cultivate new translations of English terms for which there might not be an exact equivalent in indigenous Dharmic languages such as Sanskrit, Tamil, Punjabi, Tibetan, etc. (e.g. hermeneutics, systematic theology, teleology, iconography, mysticism, etc).
(8) To generate quality educational products on Dharma Theology, Ethics, and Spiritual and Lifestyle Practices in multi-media (including print, photographic, video, movie, electronic, and web site formats) for those interested in the Dharma Traditions. To foster an academic area from which a new field that DANAM refers to as Dharma Studies may emerge.
(9) To develop the resources for a journal that publishes emerging fields and voices in interdisciplinary scholarship in Dharma traditions, to called the Journal of Dharma Studies.
(10) To sponsor enquiry into, and critical reflection upon the cultural, philosophical, religious, historical and political developments within these traditions in relationship to each other, to the politics of knowledge, and to the contemporary concerns of the present era.
DANAM is the first scholarly body in the West to have initiated and provided the intellectual space that allows scholars of Dharma Traditions to study, present, and publish work, taking into account the shared history, experience, and categories of these traditions in terms of both commonalities and divergences. This has permitted the development of projects and forthcoming publications that can create the pedagogical resources to study and teach these traditions in terms of their interconnected history and classifications (i.e. in terms of Dharma Studies), which, DANAM suggests, should lead to greater understanding of the Dharma traditions and the cultures that they have informed.