INDIANAPOLIS -- Andrea Jain, an associate professor of religious studies in the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, has been appointed editor of the prestigious Journal of the American Academy of Religion.
With around 9,000 members, the American Academy of Religion is the largest organization of religious studies scholars in the world, and its quarterly journal is the most prestigious in the field.
Jain is a leading scholar of South Asian religions and yoga studies. Her 2014 book, "Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture," was published by Oxford University Press and is a top seller in the field of comparative religions. She has co-chaired the Yoga in Theory and Practice unit of the American Academy of Religion, and her work is featured regularly in newspapers, magazines and the scholarly blog Religion Dispatches.
"Since arriving at IUPUI, professor Jain has exemplified the religious studies department's commitments to research excellence and public engagement," said David Craig, chair of the IUPUI religious studies department. "She is an ideal choice to lead the Journal of the American Academy of Religion in new scholarly directions and to ensure its broader public relevance for understanding the importance of diverse religions to social, political and economic events and the lives of individuals and communities around the globe."
Jain joined the faculty in the School of Liberal Arts in 2010 after receiving her Ph.D. from Rice University. Her areas of interest include contemporary spirituality and the history of modern yoga; the yoga industry's relationship to capitalism and consumer culture; the intersections of gender, sexuality and yoga; religion and politics in contemporary society; and methods and theories in the study of religion.
"I am honored to serve as editor of such an important journal and look forward to helping share the work of colleagues around the world while fostering important conversations," Jain said. "I am also grateful to work with so many talented scholars at IUPUI, all of whom have made our department a valuable asset to the campus and to the field of religious studies."
The IUPUI religious studies department will serve as the journal's editorial office, which is also noteworthy for IUPUI, the School of Liberal Arts and the department.
The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research at IUPUI has allowed release time for Jain's work as editor, while the Office of the Vice President for Research at Indiana University is contributing funding for two IU Bloomington graduate students to serve as editorial assistants.
"These collaborative investments are foundational to the first-rate humanities scholarship recognized by professor Jain's selection as editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion," said Thomas J. Davis, dean of the School of Liberal Arts. "The journal will continue to be a key publication in religious studies, and we're delighted that IUPUI will have such a significant role."
A celebration of Jain's appointment, in conjunction with Indiana Humanities, will take place from 4 to 5 p.m. Oct. 10 in Room 409 of the IUPUI Campus Center. IUPUI Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Kathy Johnson will speak along with Davis, while Jain will speak about her vision for the journal and for humanities research at IUPUI.