Jain professorship at University of North Texas (UNT) "will help to fortify the religion program and provide UNT with distinction", James said.
"Not every university includes information about Jainism as part of its courses, but there's a long legacy of the influence of Jainism throughout history. The religion's idea of nonviolence was extremely influential on Gandhi and also Martin Luther King, who adopted Gandhi's actions during the civil rights movement," he said.
David Holdeman, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, said many faculty members and students in the college and at UNT are interested in cultural and social issues pertaining to India.
"We hope that the Jain professorship will help to foster additional discussion not only of Jainism in particular but also of Indian religion and culture more generally. We are excited and grateful to be able to launch this new professorship," Holdeman said.
The Jain Education and Research Foundation established the first Jain professorship in the US in 2010 at Florida International University.
James, who joined the UNT faculty in 1983, has included information about Jainism in the courses on South Asian philosophy and world religions that he teaches in the Department of Philosophy and Religion.
He also studies environmental movements in India and has travelled extensively to the nation for his research. The central tenet of Jainism is non-violence and love toward all living beings, with non-violence, non-absolutism and non-possessiveness as the three main principles.
Click here for more Education News
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Get the latest election news, live updates and election schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on ndtv.com/elections. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates from each of the 543 parliamentary seats for the 2019 Indian general elections.