Visit To SOAS London

Posted: 30.09.2005
Updated on: 04.03.2008

SOAS London has launched a Centre of Jaina Studies in 2004 before the 4th Annual Jain lecture. During the authors 2005 visit to London for Pratishtha Mahotsav & Paryushan, she had a closer look on the campus and some facilities.

It was a sunny day at the end of August 2005. Although courses had not yet started again, the atmosphere was filled with academic talks and planning of projects to be realised.

The newcomers were inspecting their institution of study, as well as imprinting the locations where their courses would take place. At noon, due to nice summer weather, everybody enjoyed outside the feeling to be a part of it.

After a nice invitation for lunch at his favorite vegetarian Indian restaurant, Dr. Peter Flügel, who chairs the Centre for Jaina Studies, showed some facilities of SOAS to the author. They had already met one of the last days of Pratishtha Mahotsav at Potters Bar. They are in contact since 1998, when Dr. Flügel's research article in German language on the origin of Terapanth Svetambara Jain tradition [Zum Ursprung der Terapanth Svetambara Jain Tradition] was published in Edition 1 of HereNow4U.

The four storey SOAS Library is qualitatively as impressing as quantitatively. Its well managed website provides fast access to needed informations on availability of books for fruitful studies.

Dr. Flügel was a profilic guide, knowing well the best views on the library from the most elevated level. Over 5000 square meters are not enough to store the vast inventory of the library; plans for upgrading the area are already about to be realised.

Editor Karuna Jain's special interest was directed towards the section concerning Jainism. The broad choice of Digamber and Svetamber scriptures is amazing, but not surprising.

By chance, a meeting in the staircase with the librarian Nicholas Martland of the library's Asia section, could be used for making further appointment. Their cooperation concerning books on Jainology is highly important for the facilities of in-depth studies.

In the library, a nice encounter was finalising this informative visit. Dr. Prakash A. Shah, lecturer in law at Queen Mary, University of London, was there to check the bibliography of his course. He had got his PhD from SOAS. He met with Editor Karuna Jain also at the Pratishtha Mahotsav.

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