CANCELLED - The 20th Annual Jaina Lecture

Key information

6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Brunei Gallery
Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

About this event



Professor Christine Chojnacki (University of Lyon)
Due to unforeseen cirsumstances, the event has been cancelled. We are looking to reschedule it for later in the year.

From the Telling of Stories to the Teaching of Jain Doctrine: Religious Discourses in long Medieval Narratives

To preserve and transmit their tradition, the Jainas have developed an abundant literature between the beginnings of our era and the turn of the 1st millennium. To begin with, they have the canon and its exegesis with various layers of commentaries in verse or in prose, in Sanskrit or in Prakrit. They have also at their disposal treasuries of short stories illustrating such or such point of the Jaina doctrine in keeping with the canonical tradition of examples and parables). But also, less obviously, they can draw on long narrative works written in a variety of languages and styles. Indeed, the latter category of works is better known for its literary refinements (complex structures, metric virtuosity, lexical richness) that monks display thanks to their intensive training in the art of writing. However, these works also contain long religious discourses teaching the virtues of Jainism (non-violence, non-theft, sincerity, and other Jain principles) that are integrated into the narrative but which, though integrated into the narration, have often be overlooked in adaptations as well as in literary studies insofar they were felt as an interruption in the narrative plot. However, these religious discourses seem to be one of the causes of the success of these texts, as is shown by the parallel effort to have them copied at gold prices at the same time as the canonical texts. One can explore, therefore, what role these works played in the transmission of the Jaina tradition and what reasons motivated their religious importance.

Organiser: Peter Flügel (SOAS Centre of Jaina Studies)

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Contact Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4893

Sponsor: Śravaṇabeḷagaḷa Maṭha and JivDaya Foundation