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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Gender and Women in Jainism

(11,708 words)

Author(s): Sethi, Manisha
Jain elders have envisaged society as a fourfold division ( caturvidhasaṅgha), comprising (1) female ascetics or mendicants and (2) female lay followers ( sādhvīs and śrāvikās, respectively), alongside (3) male ascetics or mendicants and (4) male householders ( sādhus [or munis] and śrāvakas, respectively). This foundational ideal then opens up two paths for Jain women: nunhood and wifehood.Sources such as the Kalpa Sūtra (an early Prakrit text considered canonical by the Śvetāmbara Mūrtipūjakas (“Icon Worshippers”), which contains a biography of Mahāvīra)…
Date: 2019-04-15