Jim Ryan

May 16, 2022

A Deep History of the California Institute of Integral Studies

A Discussion with Jim Ryan

New Books Network 2022

This installment of the EWP podcast will conclude our double episode feature on Haridas Chaudhuri and the roots of the California Institute of Integral Studies. This episode features a talk by Jim Ryan, who started teaching at CIIS in 1981, and became core faculty in 1986. He is the former Director of the Asian and Comparative Studies program in the Philosophy and Religion department. Jim takes us on a deep historical and cultural journey, recounting Haridas Chaudhuri coming from Kolkata to San Francisco with the dream of cultivating East-West dialogue and how he established the California Institute of Asian Studies- later becoming the California Institute of Integral Studies. He also speaks of the origins of the East-West Psychology department in those early days of the institution.

Jim Ryan received his Ph.D. (1985) in South Asian Literature (Tamil) from the University of California, Berkeley. He began teaching at CIIS in 1981, and became core faculty in 1986. He is the former Director of the Asian and Comparative Studies program in the Philosophy and Religion department.

Jim's general interests are in the culture, history, and philosophies of India. He is specifically interested in the various forms of Hindu tantra, particularly the Kashmir Shaiva traditions, the tradition of Sri Aurobindo, and the "modernized" tantra of Haridas Chaudhuri.

A secondary interest is in Jainism and the historical interplay between the non-theistic philosophical traditions and Hinduism.

He is currently working with G. Vijayavenugopal on the third volume of his complete translation of Cīvakacintāmai: The Hero Cīvaka, the Gem that Fulfills All Wishes, by Tiruttakkatēvar, the first time this highly revered 9th century Tamil epic has been translated into any language.

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Hosted by Stephen Julich (EWP adjunct faculty, program manager) and Jonathan Kay (PhD student, EWP assistant)

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Stephen Julich and Jonathan Kay

Stephen Julich has worked as an adjunct instructor in History and Anthropology at the City College of New York, as a lecturer in Jungian Studies at the University of Philosophical Research in Los Angeles, and as an adjunct instructor at the California Institute of Integral Studies where he has taught classes on ensouled writing and Western Esotericism.

Jonathan Kay is a professional musician, and is currently a PhD student in the department of East-West Psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco under the mentorship of Dr. Debashish Banerji.

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