SOAS - 10th Jaina Studies Workshop [01] Letter From The Chair

Posted: 11.03.2008
Updated on: 29.11.2012

Jaina Art & Architecture

10th Jaina Studies Workshop at SOAS

Organisers:

Peter Flügel (SOAS), Olle Qvarnstrom (Lund University) and Nicholas Barnard (V&A)

The conference is co-organised and co-sponsored by the Centre of Jai­na Studies at SOAS, the Centre for Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Lund (http://www.sasnet.lu.se/indrellund.html) and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (http://www.vam.ac.uk/).

 Thursday, 6th March 2008
Brunei Gallery Lecture Theater

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Letter from the Chair

Dear Friends,

This year we celebrate the 10th Jaina Studies Workshop at SOAS with a conference on Jaina Art & Architecture. The event is collaboratively funded by SOAS, the University of Lund, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and by generous contributions from inpidual members of the Jaina community who all wish to remain anonymous.

It is a pleasure to note that the annual Centre of Jaina Studies workshops have grown in popularity and have become a fixture for anyone interested in the latest research on the Jain traditions. Another notable recent development is the, still mod­est, revitalization of Prakrit Studies in Europe. At SOAS, the South Asia Department has revived its Prakrit teaching programme through the initiative of Dr Renate Sohnen-Thieme and Prof J. Clifford Wright, and last summer the first international Prakrit Summer School, organized by Drs Eva De Clercq, Anna Aurelia Esposito and Petteri Koskikallio of the Universities of Ghent, Wurzburg and Helsinki, was held in Rantasalmi in Finland. Dr Esposito of the University of Wurzburg is currently heading a project on The Transmission of Religious and Moral Contents in Jaina Narrative Literature, in Prakrit, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

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To strengthen the interest in Prakrit Studies, the National Institute of Prakrit Studies and Research at Sravanabelagola (Karnataka, India) offers annually the JnanabharatI International Awards. Professor Emeritus Willem Bollee of the University of Heidelberg and Professor Emeritus Klaus Bruhn of the Free University of Berlin were the winners of the awards for the years 2005 and 2006 respectively. Both are eminent stalwarts of Prakrit Studies, maintaining and inspiring this small but significant field of study during difficult times. Sociological research on contemporary Jain communities will be boosted through Dr Bindi Shah's successful bid for ESRC funding for a research project on the Role and Practice of Jainism among Young Jains in the UK and US; and through the initiatives of Dr Anne Vallely of the University of Ottawa, who in autumn of 2007 organised a well-received panel on Jain Studies at the Annual Conference of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and a Jaina Studies student forum in San Diego.

Amongst a number of notable new publications are the first print version of Vol. 1-3 of the online International Journal of Jaina Studies (IJJS), published by Hindi Granth Karyalay for the Centre of Jaina Studies, and the translations of Jaina Sanskrit texts published by the Clay Sanskrit Library. Regular updates on recent publications in Jaina Studies are published on the CoJS Website. This issue of the Jaina Studies Newsletter presents a number of reports on all of these activities, and further information on Jaina research, publishing and curatorial pursuits from all over the world. I am sure you will enjoy it.

Dr. Peter Flügel

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