2008-03 Editors’ Visit To London (3)

Published: 04.04.2008
Updated: 29.11.2012

6th-7th March 2008
Brunei Gallery Lecture Theater

Jaina Art & Architecture
10th Jaina Studies Workshop at SOAS

We took a short rest as time of the Annual Jain Lecture at Brunei Gallery Theatre was near and we had planned to arrive early enough for installing the video camera conveniently. At 18:00 sharp the evening session started.


Dr. Peter Flügel welcomed the audience and opened the event by reading his “Letter from the Chair” of the Newsletter of the Centre of Jaina Studies, Issue 3, March 2008. Peter Flügel and Janet Leigh Foster from San Francisco were editors of the newsletter, Janet Leigh Foster also was responsible for its design.


The Jnanabharati International Awards for the years 2005 and 2006 were given to two senior scholars from Germany, for the year 2005 to Professor Emeritus Willem Bollée of the University of Heidelberg, for the year 2006 to Professor Emeritus Klaus Bruhn of the Free University of Berlin. Both were honoured as stalwarts of Prakrit studies.

HereNow4U sincerely compliments both awardees. 

The initiative of Dr. Anne Vallely of the University of Ottawa for organising a panel on Jain studies at the AAR and other meaningful research projects were appreciated. The first print version of Vol. 1-3 of the online International Journal of Jaina Studies and other remarkable publications were also mentioned.

Prof. Olle Qvarnström from Lund University, Sweden, then gave his welcome speech. Thereafter SOAS Honorary President Prof. Clifford Wright awarded Jaina Essay Prize 2006-7 to Annie Rowling for her essay on “Is the Philosophy of Non-Absolutism only partly or absolutely true?” and Hugh St Aubyn for his ISP on “Sallekhana: its place within the Jain religious tradition and the context of its status as voluntary death or suicide”.


Nicholas Barnard from Victoria and Albert Museum London then addressed the audience.


Prof. Tiwari from Benares Hindu University, India, gave the 8th Annual Jain Lecture on “New Approach to the Study of Jaina Art and Architecture”. Unlike the lectures of the workshop, the Annual Jain Lecture is scheduled 90 minutes. All workshop lectures are limited to 30 minutes. The time limit was maintained by changing chairpersons. Their duty was to inform all lecturers when 5 minutes out of 30 were left.


For us, not being specialists and not yet having studied the many books of Prof. Tiwari on the subject, the Annual Jain Lecture was highly informative. Prof. Tiwari takes Jaina Art and Architecture for an integral part of collective Indian Culture. He expressed the hope for future researches keeping this holistic concept in mind.

Time flew away, and we really wondered when Prof. Tiwari’s lecture was over. 80 minutes had passed all in a sudden. We not only enjoyed the presence of a specialist from India presenting his view to the audience, but also enjoyed the questions thereafter. The majority of the audience consisted of experts of the subject from 3 continents.


The following 90 minutes people got together and exchanged their views in a reception at Brunei Gallery Suite. We just report on a choice of encounters, as covering the many animated discussions would go beyond the scope of this report.


Prof. Nalini Balbir from Nouvelle Sorbonne Paris exchanged views full of vigor and spirit with Dipl.-Ing. Gerd Mevissen of Freie Universität Berlin. Both of them were among the lecturers of the next day. We know Gerd Mevissen since many years; Prof. Klaus Bruhn once had acquainted us.


When we met the eve before with Prof. Tiwari, he wanted to know how Prof. Bruhn is doing. Professor Bruhn’s book on Deogarh still is a benchmark in research on Jaina Art. Prof Tiwari was smiling when we told him that Prof. Bruhn is working like usual. Prof. Tiwari nodded smilingly, “That’s how I know him. I remember my stay in Berlin with him, about 10 years ago.”


Dr. Robert del Bontà and Janet Foster, both from San Francisco, joked about their actual meeting in London and small talked on jetlag and how to fly comfortably. 

We got to know Mr. Manish Mehta from the Jain Society of Greater Detroit, USA, and had inspiring talks with Nicholas Barnard from Victoria & Albert Museum London and Mr. Raju Sobhag Shah, since many years a weekly volunteer to V & A Museum.


We were happy to meet again with Dr. Atul Shah who in 2007 had released his book “Celebrating Diversity”, and with Mr. Devendra Shah from Oshwal Society UK.


Slowly all started feeling hungry, and departure for dinner seemed quite a necessity. Dinner was reserved in an Italian restaurant in walking distance from SOAS Brunei Gallery. It was an atmosphere filled with discussions and laughter nearly everybody enjoyed dinner. When we started for Indian YMCA, Prof. Babu, Prof. Tiwari, and Prof. Veluppillai joined us. We all knew that Indian YMCA was not far when we started walking. All cats are grey in the dark, and we had to ask a passer-by how to get there. It was just around the corner!

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Anne Vallely
  2. Atul Shah
  3. Benares
  4. Berlin
  5. Celebrating Diversity
  6. Centre Of Jaina Studies
  7. Deogarh
  8. Detroit
  9. Devendra
  10. Devendra Shah
  11. Freie Universität Berlin
  12. Gerd Mevissen
  13. Heidelberg
  14. HereNow4U
  15. International Journal of Jaina Studies
  16. JAINA
  17. Jain Society of Greater Detroit
  18. Jaina
  19. Jaina Art
  20. Jaina Studies Workshop At SOAS
  21. Janet Leigh Foster
  22. Klaus Bruhn
  23. London
  24. Lund
  25. Lund University
  26. Manish Mehta
  27. Nalini Balbir
  28. Non-absolutism
  29. Olle Qvarnström
  30. Oshwal
  31. Ottawa
  32. Peter Flügel
  33. Prakrit
  34. Prof. Bruhn
  35. Raju Sobhag Shah
  36. Robert del Bontà
  37. SOAS
  38. Victoria and Albert Museum
  39. Willem Bollée
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