Cover image for The Jains
The Jains
Dundas, Paul, 1952-
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
London ; New York : Routledge, 2002.
Physical Description:
xii, 354 pages ; 22 cm.
Subject Term:


Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BL1351.3 .D86 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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The Indian religion of Jainism, whose central tenet involves non-violence to all creatures, is one of the world's oldest and least-understood faiths. Dundas looks at Jainism in its social and doctrinal context, explaining its history, sects, scriptures and ritual, and describing how the Jains have, over 2500 years, defined themselves as a unique religious community. This revised and expanded edition takes account of new research into Jainism.

Author Notes

Paul Dundas is senior lecturer in Sanskrit in the School of Asian Studies, University of Edinburgh, specialising in middle Indo-Aryan philology and the Jain religion. He is the author of The Sattasai and its Commentators

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Marking a new level of accomplishment in study of the Jains, this book introduces, surveys, and summarizes international scholarship on a religious tradition that originated in India and today has six million followers there. Jainism is similar to Buddhism but did not expand beyond India in the same way. Dundas offers lively and wise interpretations, descriptive detail, and apt references. He skillfully relates ancient texts to history and contemporary religious concerns. His book awakens curiosity about seemingly esoteric and enigmatic topics, then develops it into appreciation of their significance in relation to more familiar areas of knowledge. The most useful single work on the subject written in English to date, it is recommended to orient the beginner to study of the Jains, and as a reliable handbook for the advanced student and specialist. It would be complemented by E. Fischer and J. Jain's two-volume Jaina Iconography (Leiden, 1978), The Assembly of Listeners: Jains in Society, ed. by M. Carrithers and C. Humphrey (CH, Apr'92), and P. Jaini's Gender and Salvation (1991).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. xi
Preface to the Second Editionp. xiii
A Note on Transliteration and Pronunciationp. xiv
Introductionp. 1
1 The Fordmakersp. 12
2 The Digambaras and the Śvetāmbarasp. 45
3 Scripturesp. 60
4 Doctrinep. 86
5 History: from Early Times to the Late Medieval Periodp. 112
6 The Asceticp. 150
7 The Lay Personp. 187
8 Jain Relativism and Attitudes Towards Hinduism and Buddhismp. 227
9 Recent Developmentsp. 245
Glossaryp. 277
Notesp. 281
Sources in Sanskrit and Prākritp. 307
Bibliography of Secondary Sourcesp. 311
Indexp. 336