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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Kaivalya and Mokṣa

(6,796 words)

Author(s): Dundas, Paul
From a sociological perspective, Jainism can be viewed as a cultural system encoding the procedures of a complex mode of life in which the ideology of the path to freedom from rebirth ( mokṣa) represents a realm of value functioning in unresolved tension with another, complementary realm of value, that which privileges living in the world in a state of moral and material well-being (Cort, 2001). No doubt this understanding of Jainism is valid for a substantial part of the tradition’s past. However, the significance of the realm…
Date: 2019-04-15

Karman and Liberation

(11,675 words)

Author(s): Wiley, Kristi L.
The bondage of the jīva (conventionally rendered as “soul” but more accurately to be understood as “sentient, nonmaterial existent” or “sentient principle”) in the cycle of death and rebirth ( saṃsāra) through association with karman is one of the central doctrines of Jainism. This process of unseen residual effects of actions bearing fruit sometime in the future has been explained in greater detail in Jainism than in other South Asian religious traditions. This level of detail may be related to the assertion that karman is a type of matter ( pudgala; on the development of this theor…
Date: 2019-04-15