headshot photo of Dr. Sanjay Kumar

Dr. Sanjay Kumar

Instructor, Director of Contemplative Practice and Wellbeing
Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Department of Religious Studies
Office Location: Fish Interfaith Center 100D
Office Hours: T 2-4pm
Phone: (714) 628-2864
Northwestern University, Bachelor of Arts
Columbia University in the City of New York, Master of Arts
California Institute of Integral Studies, Ph.D.


Jay Kumar, Ph.D. is the inaugural Director of Contemplative Practices and Wellbeing at the Fish Interfaith Center and Instructor of Contemplative Studies in the Dept. of Religious Studies. His academic focus explores the emerging discipline of contemplative studies that integrates brain science, cognitive psychology, spirituality, and their application toward holistic health. His doctoral work was on the examination of cognitive metaphors for health and wholeness in the ancient Sanskrit text of the Rig Veda. He holds degrees from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in international political economy; completed advanced graduate studies at UCLA in ancient cultures, languages and cognitive linguistics; and received his BA at Northwestern University in political science. His recent book “Science of a Happy Brain: Thriving in the Age of Anger, Anxiety, and Addiction”based upon the Happiness course that he teaches at Chapman—advances the scientific and spiritual strategies of happiness for self and society. He is also the author of “Brain, Body & Being,” and is frequently featured in media stories focusing on the science and spirituality of happiness.

Check out Dr. Kumar's website!

Areas of Research

  • Contemplative Studies & Practices
  • Happiness Studies
  • Neurotheology
  • Social Health & Medicine
  • Eastern Religions & Spirituality
  • Science & Religion
  • Quantum Theory & Consciousness Studies
  • Religion, Politics & Culture
  • Social Ethics & Economics
  • Indo-European Languages & Linguistics (Sanskrit, Greek, Latin)
  • Religion, Cosmology & Ecology
  • Mindfulness & Yoga Studies

Courses Taught

  • Happiness: Exploring Its Spiritual & Rational Foundations
  • Health, Healing & Wholeness
  • Quantum Theory, Cosmology & Consciousness
  • Religions of India

Selected Publications:

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications