Jains In The World: Religious Values And Ideology In India

Book Summary


This book presents a detailed fieldwork-based study of the ancient Indian religion of Jainism. Drawing on field research in northern Gujarat and on the study of both ancient Sanskrit and Prakrit and modern vernacular Jain religious literature, John Cort provides a rounded portrait of the religion as it is practiced today. Cort begins by looking at the institutional structures that make up Jain society and by examining the major facets of Jain practice. Separate chapters present descriptions of temple worship and the connected Jain understandings of divinity, interactions between laity and monks and nuns, ascetic and dietary practices, and the many festivals and observances that make up the Jain calendar year. The portrait of the Jains that emerges in this book is significantly different from those found in earlier text-based studies that failed to portray the lived experience of Jainism. Cort's own interpretation of Jainism focuses on a distinction between two realms of value. One is the clearly defined religious ideology that is at the core of mendicant practice and ideal lay practice, and whose goal is liberation. The other, less clearly delineated because it stems from everyday ethics and religious imagination, is the realm of wellbeing. Cort demonstrates that this informal, unarticulated concept is the necessary complement to the formal ideology and is no less authentically Jain. Shedding new light on Jainism and highlighting the interaction between formal religious ideology and implicitly enunciated values, this highly original study will be of enormous value to both scholars and students in the fields of religious and cultural studies. "There is no doubt that the wealth of new data and ideas offered in this exquisite book provides the deepest insights yet into the contemporary religious world of Jain laity. It will serve for some time as a paradigmatic monograph for future empirical studies of Jain religious life." --Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies "Jains in the World is a significant and welcome ethnography of contemporary Jains in western India by the most prominent scholar of Jainism in North America. This book is a must for scholars of South Asian religions and will provide scholars of Hindu traditions fine grounding both in a central dialectic of Jain thought and in contemporary Jain praxis." --International Journal of Hindu Studies "A valuable addition to the literature on Jainism as a living faith. Since it has the additional merits of being clearly written, attractively illustrated, and free of unnecessary theoretical baggage, it should serve as a good introduction to this tradition for college students." --Journal of theAmerican Oriental Society "A must-read for understanding, by and large, the ritual world of the Jains. He has succeeded in proving that the concept of well-being is as central to the Jains' moral universe as their more entrenched pursuit of the goal of liberation of soul from karmic bondage."--History of Religions "An essential read for students and scholars of Jainism. . . . it identifies and defines a realm of value in Jainism strongly alluded to by recent scholarship, but which, until now, had not been explicitly stated. For this reason Jains in the World will doubtless prove to be a fundamental turning point in the development of Jaina studies."-- The Journal of Religion This book presents a detailed fieldwork-based study of the ancient Indian religion of Jainism. Drawing on field research in northern Gujarat and on the study of both ancient Sanskrit and Prakrit and modern vernacular Jain religious literature, John Cort provides a rounded portrait of the religion as it is practiced today.

Book Details


Book Name Jains In The World: Religious Values And Ideology In India
Author John E. Cort
Publisher Oxford University Press, Usa (Mar 2001)
ISBN 9780195132342
Pages 288
Language English
Price 2310
 
 

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