Brill's Encyclopedia of Jainism Online

Get access Subject: Asian Studies

Edited by: John E. Cort, Denison University, Paul Dundas, University of Edinburgh, Knut A. Jacobsen, University of Bergen, Kristi L. Wiley, University of California, Berkeley

Brill’s Encyclopedia of Jainism Online makes available up-to-date research on main aspects of the Jain traditions in original essays written by some of the world’s foremost scholars on Jainism. The encyclopedia is thematic and seeks to present a balanced and impartial view of Jainism with a focus on both historical and contemporary traditions and institutions. The articles address topics such as the human condition, pantheons, historical perspectives, regional cultures, renunciation, lay society, ritual, devotion, visual and material culture, time and space, literature, and philosophy and logic.

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Female Renouncers: Modern Perspectives

(7,503 words)

Author(s): Fohr, Sherry
There are now roughly four times more Jain nuns than monks, and there is textual and archeological evidence of strong orders of nuns throughout most of Jainism’s history (see Deo, 1956; Shāntā, 1997, ET: 1997; Flügel, 2006). This article endeavors to shed light on contemporary Jain nuns’ lives and preponderance in renunciation by weaving together two categories of modern perspectives (while trying to respect the variety within both these categories): (1) perspectives of contemporary Jains themse…
Date: 2019-04-15

Female Renouncers: Premodern Perspectives

(5,034 words)

Author(s): Jyväsjärvi Stuart, Mari
The institution of Jain female renouncers represents possibly the oldest women’s monastic tradition in the world that has continued to the present day. According to Jain tradition, the fourfold saṅgha has always included female renouncers, male renouncers, laywomen, and laymen. The numbers for the ascetic followers of the Tīrthaṅkaras given in canonical texts such as the Kalpa Sūtra – while not historically verifiable – show that female renouncers were always seen as an integral part of the tradition. The first Tīrthaṅkara, Ṛṣabha, is said to have had…
Date: 2019-04-15