SOAS University of London

Centre of Jaina Studies

Cyclical time in India

Johannes Bronkorst
Johannes Bronkorst (Emeritus Professor, University of Lausanne)

Date: 13 June 2018Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 13 June 2018Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B111

Type of Event: Special Lecture


The classical religions of India — primarily Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism — think of time in terms of cycles that repeat themselves. Vedic literature, on the other hand, shows no awareness of this cyclical notion of time. The question is: where did it come from?

This lecture will present evidence to show, against a widespread misunderstanding, that the cyclic notion of time was common in the milieu to which Jainism and Buddhism originally belonged, and that it passed from there into the Brahmanical tradition. What is more, it will show that Brahmanism initially adopted this notion in a manner that was altogether different from what it became in the classical texts.

Organiser: SOAS Centre of Jaina Studies

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