Brianne Donaldson

Picture of Brianne Donaldson
Associate Professor, Philosophy and Religious Studies and Shri Parshvanath Presidential Chair in Jain Studies
School of Humanities
Ph.D., Claremont School of Theology, 2013, Religion: Process Studies
M.A., Claremont School of Theology, 2013, Religion
M.A., Anabaptist Mennonite Seminary, 2007, Ethics and Theology
B.A., Goshen College, 2005, Philosophy and Religion
Phone: (909) 244-6490
University of California, Irvine
56 Humanities Instructional Building
Mail Code: 4555
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
South Asian Religions and Philosophy, especially the Jain tradition, Ethics/Bioethics, Critical Animal Studies, Whitehead's Process-relational Philosophy
2016–2019 Bhagwaan Mahavir/Chao Family Foundation Fellow in Jain Studies, Rice University
Research Abstract
My overall interest is in exploring non-anthropocentric ontologies—whether religious, secular, or scientific—to develop experimental ethical practices that extend beyond a narrow view of human, personhood, and species. I aim to use my work and teaching to lessen, and end, animal exploitation.

My current projects include:
(1) Multispecies knowing in philosophy, religions, and science
(2) Jain identity and (medical) ethics in diaspora
(3) The nonviolent telos of Whitehead's process-relational philosophy
(4) The relation of "Right to Rescue" to Animal Rights
Awards and Honors
2023 Helen Crovetto Award For Excellence in the Study of New Religious Movements
with Ties to South Asia (Nova Religio Journal)
Insistent Life: Principles for Bioethics in the Jain Tradition [co-authored with Ana Bajželj] (University of California Press, 2021).

Creaturely Cosmologies: Why Metaphysics Matters for Animal and Planetary Liberation (Lexington Books, 2015); *A comparative study of Jain and Process metaphysics and ethics
Knowing Life: The Ethics of Multispecies Epistemologies, ed. Brianne Donaldson (Routledge, forthcoming 2024)

Feeling Animal Death: Being Host to Ghosts, ed. Brianne Donaldson and Ashley King (Rowman and Littlefield International, 2019).

The Future of Meat Without Animals, ed. Brianne Donaldson and Christopher Carter (Rowman and Littlefield International, 2016).

Beyond the Bifurcation of Nature: A Common World for Animals and the Environment, ed. Brianne Donaldson (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2014).
"Unifying, Globalizing, and Reinterpreting “Practical Nonviolence” through the Covid-19 Pandemic Response of North American Jains," Nova Religio 26.3 (2023): 52–79.

"Jain Medical Professionals’ 'Reflexive Ethical Orientation': Adaptive Nonviolence, Multiple Sources of Knowledge, and Concern for Five-Sensed Beings," Religions 13 (2022): 1123.

“Transmitting Jainism in U.S. Pathshala Temple Education Part 1: Implicit Goals, Curriculum as ‘Text,’ and Authority of Teachers, Family, and Self.” Transnational Asia 2 (1), no. 2, 1-45.

“Transmitting Jainism in U.S. Pathshala Temple Education Part 2: Navigating Non-Jain Contexts, Cultivating Identity Markers and Networks, and Analyzing Truth Claims.” Transnational Asia 2 (1), no. 3, 1-41. 

“Bioethics and Jainism: From Ahimsa to an Applied Ethics of Carefulness.” Religions 10.4 (2019) (Special Issue: Jainism Studies): 1-19.

“On the Medical Doctrines in the Tandulaveyaliya: 2. Teachings of Anatomy,” by Colette Caillat, French to English translation. International Journal for Jaina Studies 15.1 (2019): 1-12.

“On the Medical Doctrines in the Tandulaveyaliya: 1. Teachings of Embryology,” by Colette Caillat, French to English translation. International Journal for Jaina Studies 14.1 (2018): 1-14.

“Salvaging Shame, Saving Ourselves: The Productive Role of Shame for Animals and Marginalized Life” [co-authored with student Isaac Willis] Journal for Critical Animal Studies 14.3 (2017): 4-25.

“From Ancient Vegetarianism to Contemporary Advocacy: When Religious Folks Decide that Animals Are No Longer Edible,” Journal of Religious Studies and Theology 35.2 (2016): 143-160.

“Oxytocin Responses After Dog and Cat Interactions Depend on Pet Ownership and Affects Interpersonal Trust,” Brianne Donaldson, Ben Curry, Moana Vercoe, Matthew Fillipo, and Paul J. Zak. Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin 3.2 (2015): 56-71.

“Bad with Names: Replacing 'Animal' with Whitehead’s Insistent Particularity of Bodies,” Process Studies Journal 42.2 (2014): 181-199.

"Discourse First, Cages Second: A New Locus for Animal Liberation,” Between the Species: A Journal for the Study of Philosophy and Animals 13.10 (2010): 204–22.
“Nonviolence and Jainism: Variable Practices of an Ultimate Principle,” in Nonviolence and the World’s Religions, ed. Jeffery D. Long and Michael G. Long (Routledge, 2021).

“Jainism and Darwin: Evolution Beyond Orthodoxy,” in Asian Religious Responses to Darwinism, ed. C. McKenzie Brown (Springer, 2020).

“Witness at the Slaughterhouse: Seeking Conflicting Propositions for Alternate Futures [in Whitehead, Jainism, and Nietzsche,” Propositions in the Making: Experiments in a Whiteheadian Laboratory, ed. Roland Faber, Michael Halewood, and Andrew Davis (Lexington Books, 2019)

“Environmental Rites: Plants and Animals in Jain Rituals of Repentance,” Nonviolence as a Way of Life: History, Theory, and Practice, ed. Predrag Cicovacki (New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 2017).

“Exploiting Fantasy: Žižek and Overconformity in Animal Agriculture, Meatless Meat, and Animal Ethics,” The Future of Meat Without Animals, ed. Brianne Donaldson and Christopher Carter (Rowman and Littlefield International, 2016).

“Zones of Conviviality in Multi-religious Education: Tagore and Whitehead’s Experiential Religious Naturalism,” Living Traditions and Universal Conviviality: Prospects and Challenges for Peace in Multireligious Communities, ed. Santiago Slabodsky and Roland Faber (Lexington Books, 2016).

“Immortality and Omniscience: Conceptual Bridges to Reworlding in Process and Jainism,” Beyond the Bifurcation of Nature: A Common World for Animals and the Environment, ed. Brianne Donaldson (New York: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014).

“Does Whitehead Have a Theory of Mourning?: A Response to Judith Butler’s Inquiry,” Beyond Superlatives: Regenerating Whitehead's Philosophy of Experience, ed. Hollis Phelps, J. R. Hustwit, and Roland Faber (New York: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014).

“They Will Know We Are Process Thinkers By Our…: Finding Whitehead’s Ecological Ethic Through the Lens of Ecofeminism and Jainism,” Polydoxy: Theologies of the Manifold, ed. Catherine Keller and Laurel Schneider (New York: Routledge Press, 2010).

“Animals and Humanity in the World: Job 38-39” Celebration of Wisdom: Life and Meaning in Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, ed. Steven Schweitzer (Elkhart: Institute of Mennonite Studies, 2009).
Religious Violence Today: Faith and Conflict in the Modern World, ed. Michael Jerryson. (Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio, 2019).
Jain vegetarian diet

Encyclopedia of Indian Religions: Buddhism and Jainism, ed. K. T. S. Sarao and Jeffery Long (New York: Springer, 2017).
Namokara mantra

Lexikon of Human-Animal Relations, ed. Arianna Ferrari and Klaus Petrus (Bielefeld Germany: Transcript, 2015).
Animals and Jainism (p. 184-186)

Global Guide to Animal Protection, ed. Andrew Linzey (Champaign IL: University of Illinois Press, 2013).
Animal Courses in Academia (p. 273-274)
2010 Advanced Research Fellowship, International School for Jain Studies in India
2011 Center for Jain Studies at Claremont School of Theology, Uberoi Foundation
2012 American Academy of Religion (AAR) Project Grant: The Jain Response to the Partition of India, 1947
2013 Teaching for Peace, International School for Jain Studies
2017 Summer Research Grant: Social Dimensions of Midwest Industrial Pork Production, Rice University
2022 UC Humanities Research Initiative (conference grant: Knowing Life, Multispecies Ethics)
2022 Spalding Trust (conference Grant: Knowing Life, Multispecies Ethics)
2023 SET Foundations Grant from Templeton Foundation for course design Philosophy of Science and Religions (co-led with doctoral student Adam Chin)
Professional Societies
American Society of Bioethics and Humanities
American Academy of Religion
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