Catalogue


Jains in the world : religious values and ideology in India /
John E. Cort.
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2001.
description
xii, 267 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0195132343 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2001.
isbn
0195132343 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
4029459
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2001-09-01:
Both in India and abroad, Jainism is frequently depicted as a religion of extreme asceticism, due to a radical rejection of worldly values. Drawing from field research and from a range of Jain writings in Sanskrit, Prakrit, and modern vernacular languages, Cort (Denison Univ.) argues that the explicitly expressed Jain ideology of liberation is and has been in constant interaction with an implicitly expressed value that the author terms "wellbeing," encoding a range of concepts including prosperity, satisfaction, luck, wealth, auspiciousness, and harmony. In well-written, accessible chapters, Cort examines Jain institutional structures, temple worship, lay and monastic dietary and ascetic practices, and major festivals and observances of the Jain religious year, analyzing the ways in which Jains negotiate the relationship between radical renunciation and worldly well-being. In its commitment to presenting Jainism as a lived religious tradition, Cort's book belongs with a growing body of contemporary scholarship (e.g., Lawrence Babb's Absent Lord, CH Jan'97; Paul Dundas's The Jains, CH Apr'93; James Laidlaw's Riches and Renunciation, CH Sep'96; and Robert Zydenbos's The Concept of Divinity in Jainism, 1993) that corrects the metaphysical and soteriological emphases of an earlier generation of scholars. Particularly suitable for academic collections with holdings in (South) Asian or religious studies. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates and above. L. S. Desmond Central Michigan University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A must-read for understanding, by and large, the ritual world of the Jains. He has succeeded in proving that the concept of well-being is as central to the Jains' moral universe as their more entrenched pursuit of the goal of liberation of soul from karmic bondage."--History ofReligions
"A must-read for understanding, by and large, the ritual world of theJains. He has succeeded in proving that the concept of well-being is as centralto the Jains' moral universe as their more entrenched pursuit of the goal ofliberation of soul from karmic bondage."--History of Religions
"An authentic, detailed and penetrating explanation of the way the Jains of Patam practice their religion. John Cort's profound dedication and commitment to his subject is clearly evident on every page of this book. His sympathetic and keenly observed analysis of Jain principles will be ofenormous help to future scholars and students of Islam."-Jain Spirit
"An authentic, detailed and penetrating explanation of the way the Jainsof Patam practice their religion. John Cort's profound dedication and commitmentto his subject is clearly evident on every page of this book. His sympatheticand keenly observed analysis of Jain principles will be of enormous help tofuture scholars and students of Islam."-Jain Spirit
"An essential read for students and scholars of Jainism. . . . it identifies and defines a realm of value in Jainism strongly alluded to by recent scholarship, but which, until now, had not been explicitly stated. For this reason Jains of the World will doubtless prove to be a fundamentalturning point in the development of Jaina studies."-- The Journal of Religion
"An essential read for students and scholars of Jainism. . . . itidentifies and defines a realm of value in Jainism strongly alluded to by recentscholarship, but which, until now, had not been explicitly stated. For thisreason Jains of the World will doubtless prove to be a fundamental turningpoint in the development of Jaina studies."-- The Journal of Religion
"A study that does full justice to the integration of a regional Jain religious culture in multiple dimensions. This fine book immediately takes its place among the very best and most important existing studies of Jains and Jainism." -The Journal of the American Academy of Religion
"A study that does full justice to the integration of a regional Jainreligious culture in multiple dimensions. Ths fine book immediately takes itsplace among the very best and most important existing studies of Jains andJainism." -The Journal of the American Academy of Religion
"A valuable addition to the literature on Jainism as a living faith. Since it has the additional merits of being clearly written, attractively illustrated, and free of unnecessary theoretical baggage, it should serve as a good introduction to this tradition for college students." --Journal ofthe American Oriental Society
"Jains in the World is a significant and welcome ethnography pf contemporary Jains in western India by the most prominent scholar of Jainism in North America. This book is a must for scholars of South Asian religions and will provide scholars of Hindu traditions fine grounding both in acentral dialectic of Jain thought and in contemporary Jain praxis." --International Journal of Hindu Studies
"There is no doubt that the wealth of new data and ideas offered in this exquisite book provides the deepest insights yet into the contemporary religious world of Jain. It will serve for some time as a paradigmatic monograph for future empirical studies of Jain religious life." --Bulletin of theSchool of Oriental and African Studies "Jains in the Worldis a significant and welcome ethnography of contemporary Jains in western India by the most prominent scholar of Jainism in North America. This book is a must for scholars of South Asian religions and will provide scholars of Hindu traditions fine grounding both in a central dialectic of Jain thought and in contemporary Jain praxis." --International Journal of Hindu Studies "A valuable addition to the literature on Jainism as a living faith. Since it has the additional merits of being clearly written, attractively illustrated, and free of unnecessary theoretical baggage, it should serve as a good introduction to this tradition for college students." --Journal of theAmerican Oriental Society "A must-read for understanding, by and large, the ritual world of the Jains. He has succeeded in proving that the concept of well-being is as central to the Jains' moral universe as their more entrenched pursuit of the goal of liberation of soul from karmic bondage."--History of Religions "An essential read for students and scholars of Jainism. . . . it identifies and defines a realm of value in Jainism strongly alluded to by recent scholarship, but which, until now, had not been explicitly stated. For this reasonJains of the Worldwill doubtless prove to be a fundamental turning point in the development of Jaina studies."--The Journal of Religion
"There is no doubt that the wealth of new data and ideas offered in this exquisite book provides the deepest insights yet into the contemporary religious world of Jain liaty. It will serve for some time as a paradigmatic monograph for future empirical studies of Jain religious life."--Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
"There is no doubt that the wealth of new data and ideas offered in this exquisite book provides the deepest insights yet into the contemporary religious world of Jain liaty. It will serve for some time as a paradigmatic monograph for future empirical studies of Jain religious life." --Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies "Jains in the World is a significant and welcome ethnography pf contemporary Jains in western India by the most prominent scholar of Jainism in North America. This book is a must for scholars of South Asian religions and will provide scholars of Hindu traditions fine grounding both in a central dialectic of Jain thought and in contemporary Jain praxis." --International Journal of Hindu Studies "A valuable addition to the literature on Jainism as a living faith. Since it has the additional merits of being clearly written, attractively illustrated, and free of unnecessary theoretical baggage, it should serve as a good introduction to this tradition for college students." --Journal of the American Oriental Society "A must-read for understanding, by and large, the ritual world of the Jains. He has succeeded in proving that the concept of well-being is as central to the Jains' moral universe as their more entrenched pursuit of the goal of liberation of soul from karmic bondage."--History of Religions "An essential read for students and scholars of Jainism. . . . it identifies and defines a realm of value in Jainism strongly alluded to by recent scholarship, but which, until now, had not been explicitly stated. For this reason Jains of the World will doubtless prove to be a fundamental turning point in the development of Jaina studies."-- The Journal of Religion
"There is no doubt that the wealth of new data and ideas offered in this exquisite book provides the deepest insights yet into the contemporary religious world of Jain liaty. It will serve for some time as a paradigmatic monograph for future empirical studies of Jain religious life." -- Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies " Jains in the World is a significant and welcome ethnography pf contemporary Jains in western India by the most prominent scholar of Jainism in North America. This book is a must for scholars of South Asian religions and will provide scholars of Hindu traditions fine grounding both in a central dialectic of Jain thought and in contemporary Jain praxis." --International Journal of Hindu Studies "A valuable addition to the literature on Jainism as a living faith. Since it has the additional merits of being clearly written, attractively illustrated, and free of unnecessary theoretical baggage, it should serve as a good introduction to this tradition for college students." -- Journal of the American Oriental Society "A must-read for understanding, by and large, the ritual world of the Jains. He has succeeded in proving that the concept of well-being is as central to the Jains' moral universe as their more entrenched pursuit of the goal of liberation of soul from karmic bondage."-- History of Religions "An essential read for students and scholars of Jainism. . . . it identifies and defines a realm of value in Jainism strongly alluded to by recent scholarship, but which, until now, had not been explicitly stated. For this reason Jains of the World will doubtless prove to be a fundamental turning point in the development of Jaina studies."-- The Journal of Religion
The scholarship is impressive ... this is a well-researched and interesting volume
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 2001
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Based on field research in northern Gujarat as well as on the study of both ancient Sanskrit and modern vernacular religious literature, John Cort gives a rounded portrait of how the religion of Jainism is practised today.
Long Description
"There is no doubt that the wealth of new data and ideas offered in this exquisite book provides the deepest insights yet into the contemporary religious world of Jain laity. It will serve for some time as a paradigmatic monograph for future empirical studies of Jain religious life." --Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies "Jains in the World is a significant and welcome ethnography of contemporary Jains in western India by the most prominent scholar of Jainism in North America. This book is a must for scholars of South Asian religions and will provide scholars of Hindu traditions fine grounding both in a central dialectic of Jain thought and in contemporary Jain praxis." --International Journal of Hindu Studies "A valuable addition to the literature on Jainism as a living faith. Since it has the additional merits of being clearly written, attractively illustrated, and free of unnecessary theoretical baggage, it should serve as a good introduction to this tradition for college students." --Journal of the American Oriental Society "A must-read for understanding, by and large, the ritual world of the Jains. He has succeeded in proving that the concept of well-being is as central to the Jains' moral universe as their more entrenched pursuit of the goal of liberation of soul from karmic bondage."--History of Religions "An essential read for students and scholars of Jainism. . . . it identifies and defines a realm of value in Jainism strongly alluded to by recent scholarship, but which, until now, had not been explicitly stated. For this reason Jains in the World will doubtless prove to be a fundamental turning point in the development of Jaina studies."-- The Journal of Religion This book presents a detailed fieldwork-based study of the ancient Indian religion of Jainism. Drawing on field research in northern Gujarat and on the study of both ancient Sanskrit and Prakrit and modern vernacular Jain religious literature, John Cort provides a rounded portrait of the religion as it is practiced today.
Long Description
This book presents a detailed fieldwork-based study of the ancient Indian religion of Jainism. Drawing on field research in northern Gujarat and on the study of both ancient Sanskrit and Prakrit and modern vernacular Jain religious literature, John Cort provides a rounded portrait of the religion as it is practised today. Cort begins by looking at the institutional structures that make up Jain society and by examining the major facets of Jain practice. Separate chapters present descriptions of temple worship and the connected Jain understandings of divinity, interactions between laity and monks and nuns, ascetic and dietary practices, and the many festivals and observances that make up the Jain calendar year. The portrait of the Jains that emerges in this book is significantly different from those found in earlier text-based studies that failed to portray the lived experience of Jainism. Cort's own interpretation of Jainism focuses on a distinction between two realms of value. One is the clearly defined religious ideology that is at the core of mendicant practice and ideal lay practice, and whose goal is liberation. The other, less clearly delineated because it stems from everyday ethics and religious imagination, is the realm of wellbeing. Cort demonstrates that this informal, unarticulated concept is the necessary complement to the formal ideology and is no less authentically Jain. Shedding new light on Jainism and highlighting the interaction between formal religious ideology and implicitly enunciated values, this highly original study will be of enormous value to both scholars and students in the fields of religious and cultural studies.
Main Description
"There is no doubt that the wealth of new data and ideas offered in this exquisite book provides the deepest insights yet into the contemporary religious world of Jain laity. It will serve for some time as a paradigmatic monograph for future empirical studies of Jain religious life." --Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies "Jains in the Worldis a significant and welcome ethnography of contemporary Jains in western India by the most prominent scholar of Jainism in North America. This book is a must for scholars of South Asian religions and will provide scholars of Hindu traditions fine grounding both in a central dialectic of Jain thought and in contemporary Jain praxis." --International Journal of Hindu Studies "A valuable addition to the literature on Jainism as a living faith. Since it has the additional merits of being clearly written, attractively illustrated, and free of unnecessary theoretical baggage, it should serve as a good introduction to this tradition for college students." --Journal of theAmerican Oriental Society "A must-read for understanding, by and large, the ritual world of the Jains. He has succeeded in proving that the concept of well-being is as central to the Jains' moral universe as their more entrenched pursuit of the goal of liberation of soul from karmic bondage."--History of Religions "An essential read for students and scholars of Jainism. . . . it identifies and defines a realm of value in Jainism strongly alluded to by recent scholarship, but which, until now, had not been explicitly stated. For this reasonJains in the Worldwill doubtless prove to be a fundamental turning point in the development of Jaina studies."--The Journal of Religion This book presents a detailed fieldwork-based study of the ancient Indian religion of Jainism. Drawing on field research in northern Gujarat and on the study of both ancient Sanskrit and Prakrit and modern vernacular Jain religious literature, John Cort provides a rounded portrait of the religion as it is practiced today.
Main Description
This book offers an illuminating portrait of the ancient Indian religionof Jainism. Based on field research in northern Gujarat as well as on the studyof ancient Sanskrit and modern vernacular Jain religious literature, John Cortdiscusses the major facets of Jain practice-the annual festivals, ascetic anddietary practices, interactions between laity and monks and nuns, and templeworship.
Main Description
This book presents a detailed fieldwork-based study of the ancient Indian religion of Jainism. Drawing on field research in northern Gujarat and on the study of both ancient Sanskrit and Prakrit and modern vernacular Jain religious literature, John Cort provides a rounded portrait of thereligion as it is practiced today. Cort begins by looking at the institutional structures that make up Jain society and by examining the major facets of Jain practice. Separate chapters present descriptions of temple worship and the connected Jain understandings of divinity, interactions between laity and monks and nuns, ascetic anddietary practices, and the many festivals and observances that make up the Jain calendar year. The portrait of the Jains that emerges in this book is significantly different from those found in earlier text-based studies that failed to portray the lived experience of Jainism. Cort's owninterpretation of Jainism focuses on a distinction between two realms of value. One is the clearly defined religious ideology that is at the core of mendicant practice and ideal lay practice, and whose goal is liberation. The other, less clearly delineated because it stems from everyday ethics andreligious imagination, is the realm of wellbeing. Cort demonstrates that this informal, unarticulated concept is the necessary complement to the formal ideology and is no less authentically Jain. Shedding new light on Jainism and highlighting the interaction between formal religious ideology and implicitly enunciated values, this highly original study will be of enormous value to both scholars and students in the fields of religious and cultural studies.
Main Description
This book presents a detailed fieldwork-based study of the ancient Indian religion of Jainism. Drawing on field research in northern Gujarat and on the study of both ancient Sanskrit and Prakrit and modern vernacular Jain religious literature, John Cort provides a rounded portrait of the religion as it is practiced today. Cort begins by looking at the institutional structures that make up Jain society and by examining the major facets of Jain practice. Separate chapters present descriptions of temple worship and the connected Jain understandings of divinity, interactions between laity and monks and nuns, ascetic and dietary practices, and the many festivals and observances that make up the Jain calendar year. The portrait of the Jains that emerges in this book is significantly different from those found in earlier text-based studies that failed to portray the lived experience of Jainism. Cort's own interpretation of Jainism focuses on a distinction between two realms of value. One is the clearly defined religious ideology that is at the core of mendicant practice and ideal lay practice, and whose goal is liberation. The other, less clearly delineated because it stems from everyday ethics and religious imagination, is the realm of wellbeing. Cort demonstrates that this informal, unarticulated concept is the necessary complement to the formal ideology and is no less authentically Jain. Shedding new light on Jainism and highlighting the interaction between formal religious ideology and implicitly enunciated values, this highly original study will be of enormous value to both scholars and students in the fields of religious and cultural studies.
Table of Contents
Note on Language, Transliteration, and Names
Hymn to Pancasar Parsvanath
Introduction: On the Occasion of the Blessed Installation of the Lordp. 3
The Ideology of the Path to Liberationp. 16
Jains and Jainism in Patanp. 31
Going to the Temple: How to Worship Godp. 61
Gifting and Grace: Patterns of Lay-Mendicant Interactionp. 100
Holy Asceticismp. 118
Remembrance and Celebration: The Jain Religious Yearp. 142
Ideologies and Realms of Valuep. 186
Hymn to Pancasar Parsvanathp. 203
Glossaryp. 205
Notesp. 211
Bibliographyp. 237
Indexp. 257
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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