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Understanding Jainism

Published: 24.04.2015
Updated: 13.07.2016


Jainism is Buddhism’s often overlooked cousin. As the only surviving examples of ancient India’s non-Vedic religious traditions, the two religions are often grouped together as ‘heterodoxies’, but this is to ignore deep differences between Jain and Buddhist beliefs and practices. Unlike Buddhism, Jainism has hardly spread beyond the Indian subcontinent but Jainism survives in India where it is a prominent element in the mix of Indian religions today.

As an introduction to Jainism as a religious tradition and way of life, this book pays due attention to Jainism’s history and doctrinal basics. However the author emphasises the ways in which formal Jain teachings are manifested in the practices of both laity and the monastic elite; explores the distinctive Jain systems of cosmographic and biological knowledge and describes how Jainism is woven into the social identities of Jain communities in modern India.


Introduction. 1: Charter; 2: In History; 3: Liberation’s Roadmap; 4: Strivers; 5:Supporters; 6: A Moral Cosmos; 7: Social Context. Afterword. Glossary. Bibliography. FurtherReading. Index.


Titles in Understanding Faith are intended as first readers for students of comparative religion and as basic source books of essential information about the major world faiths in the 21stcentury for those who seek to understand this aspect of influence on our lives today.

Series: Understanding Faith

Lawrence A. Babb

Paperback: xv + 182 pages
1st Edition: 23.04.2015

Dunedin Academic Press Ltd

Language: English
ISBN-10: 9781780460321
ISBN-13 978-1780460321
Product Dimensions: 216 x 138 mm, 8.5 x 1.1 x 5.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces


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  1. An Introduction to Jainism
  2. Buddhism
  3. Jainism
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