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The Jains (The Library of Religious Beliefs and Practices) [Paperback]

Paul Dundas
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

4 July 2002 0415266068 978-0415266062 2
The Indian religion of Jainism, whose central tenet involves non-violence to all creatures, is one of the world's oldest and least-understood faiths. Dundas looks at Jainism in its social and doctrinal context, explaining its history, sects, scriptures and ritual, and describing how the Jains have, over 2500 years, defined themselves as a unique religious community. This revised and expanded edition takes account of new research into Jainism.

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The Jains (The Library of Religious Beliefs and Practices) + The Anthropology of Religion: An Introduction + An Introduction to Hinduism
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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (4 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415266068
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415266062
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.3 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 429,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Paul Dundas is senior lecturer in Sanskrit in the School of Asian Studies, University of Edinburgh, specialising in middle Indo-Aryan philology and the Jain religion. He is the author of The Sattasai and its Commentators

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
According to tradition, the great medieval Svetambara Jain scholar-monk Haribhadra was in his early years a learned brahman who boasted that he would become the pupil of anyone whose teachings he could not controvert. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction 2 Nov 2003
By A Customer
This work has become the standard introduction to the academic study of Jainism. It is highly readable and I recommend it, not just to students of religion, but to anyone interested in the Jains. It opens up this little understood but fascinating religion to anyone interested. In fact, the books that I have read in this series from the publisher are all excellent.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of The Jains 25 Aug 2003
By A Customer
As a Jain layperson who has very limited knowledge or understanding of the religion it allowed me to have a sense of overall awareness about what Jainism is about. Although it did become very detailed in some parts, overall was easy to follow and understand. It showed that Jainism is a very complex religion with many different apsects to it. It was able to highlight the differences between the different sects that exist in todays society.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Difficult but thorough read 7 Aug 2004
By J. M. Shah - Published on
This book gets really detailed, and it's hard to keep track of some of the histories and nuances in philosophy. Nonetheless, my mother was amazed at how completely the author covered Jainism, and I'm learning alot myself (we're both Jain).
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine text on Jainism 5 Mar 2006
By John W - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author does a very thorough job introducing the reader to Jainism, its history, its sacred days, its customs and its sects. Indian language vocabulary is also well-explained (mostly Sanskrit). The one thing grossly lacking in this book is citation of scripture. As I recall, there may be a sentence or two of Jain scripture in the entire book. It has long been my belief that the best way to learn about the beliefs of any religion is through its own source text(s). The author does state that there is no definitive canon of Jain scripture, but the book could have been made about 25% larger through some reasonable scriptural selection, or, alternatively, 25% of the existing content could have been cut to provide the reader some feel for Jain scripture. This is the only negative critcism that I have to offer. Aside from this one criticism, this is an excellent book and I recommend it highly.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but not Easy 16 May 2009
By Will Jerom - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Paul Dundas has produced some serious and valuable scholarship on Jainism. Academics wishing a deeper appreciation and understanding of Jainism than most introductions can give will like Dundas' work. Beginners will find it hard to digest. Dundas has successfully and critically presented a broad account of Jain beliefs and history. The strength of the book -- its thoroughness and density --also may be a deterrent to the new reader.
The Jains, a small religious group believing in an immortal soul, are indigenous to India, and affirm many of the ideas of their Hindu counterparts, but are critical of other Hindu doctrines. Jains do not have a traditional place for "God" or "Gods", but do for the omniscient Fordmakers. Dundas work in portraying the Jains will have lasting value.
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