SOAS University of London

Centre of Jaina Studies

18th Jaina Studies Workshop: Jainism and Science

20160319 Jainism and Science

Date: 19 March 2016Time: 9:00 AM

Finishes: 19 March 2016Time: 6:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Conference

The Jains have a distinctive attitude to science and knowledge. The Jain approach defines science as encompassing all forms of knowledge, including the physical sciences, the humanities and the spiritual journey.

The Jain concept of science is based on the rational pursuit of knowledge, uncluttered by dogma and seeking to peel away layers of preconception. Jain science aims to challenge views of reality that are false because they are ‘one-sided’. In Jainism, ‘the individual must ultimately find the truth for himself as no priest or scripture is believed to have the answers. These principles are intended to be self-verifying so that the follower discovers truths for himself rather like a research worker in a laboratory’ (Mardia 2002: 4–5). 

In the 18th Jaina Studies Workshop: Jainism and Science world renowned intellectuals and people from different professions will take part, exchange their expertise and share experience. 

Guests are also encouraged to attend the 16th Annual Jaina Lecture, 'Newly Discovered Jaina Mathematical Manuscripts and their Content' given by Anupam Jain (Government Degree College, Sanwer, Indore) on Friday, 18 March 2016.   



Time Event
9.00 Tea and Coffee
First Session: Evidence and Proof in Jaina Science & Philosophy
9.15 Muni Mahendra Kumar (Jain Vishva Bharati Institute, India, Skype)
The Enigma of Cosmogony
9.45 Marie-Hélène Gorisse (SOAS University of London, Ghent University, Belgium)
Scientific Knowledge in Jainism
10.15 Ana Bajželj (Polonsky Academy, The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, Israel)
Upakāra in Akalaṅka's Tattvārthavārtika
10.45 Tea & Coffee
Second Session: Jaina Theories of Time
11.15 Rajmal Jain (Kadi Sarva Vishvavidyalay, Ahmedabad) & Anupam Jain (Government Degree College, Sanwer, Indore)
Space and Time: In the Perspectives of Jainism and Science
11.45 Samaṇī Unnata Prajñā (SOAS & Jain Viśva Bhāratī Ladnun)
Jaina Doctrine of Timelessness
12.15 Catherine Morice-Singh (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3)
The Treatment of Series in the Gaṇitasārasaṃgraha of Mahāvīrācārya and its Connections to Jaina Cosmology
12.45 Group Photo
13.00 Lunch: Brunei Gallery Suite
Third Session: Jaina Mathematicians
14.00 Ratna Kumar Shah (Pune, India)
Jinabhadragaṇi Kṣamāśramaṇa: Computational Wizard of Sixth Century C.E.
14.30 Alessandra Petrocchi (University of Cambridge, UK)
Siṃhatilakasūri’s Mathematical Commentary (13th c. CE) on the Gaṇitatilaka
15.00 Johannes Bronkhorst (University of Lausanne, Switzerland)
Jaina versus Brahmanical Mathematicians
15.30 Tea & Coffee
Fourth Session: When Science Meets Fiction
16.00 Basile Leclère (Université de Lyon 3, France)
Architectural Science in Jain Poetry: Descriptions of Kumārapāla’s Temples 
16.30 Christine Chojnacki (University Lyon 3, France)
When Science Meets Fiction: On Technical Passages in Jain Medieval Novels
17.00 Peter Flügel (SOAS)
Jainism and Science: History and Ontology of the 'Soul'
Brief Break

Addressing the question:"Is Jaina philosophy compatible with the modern sciences?"

In the Chair: Shamil Chandaria (London)

Featuring:Johannes Bronkhorst (University of Lausanne), Kalyan Gangwal (Pune), Anupam Jain (Government Degree College, Sanwer, Indore), Laxmi Chandra Jain (Government Engineering College, Jabalpur), Mukul Shah (London), Ratnakumar Shah (Pune), Sanjeev Sogani (Gyan Sagar Science Foundation, New Delhi), Samani Unnata Pragya (SOAS & Jain Vishva Bharati Institute, Ladnun), And others (to be confirmed)

18.00 Final Remarks

Book of Abstracts

Jainism and Science: Book of abstracts (pdf; 237kb)  

Annual Jaina Lecture

Newly Discovered Jaina Mathematical Manuscripts and their Content with Anupam Jain (Government Degree College, Sanwer, Indore) on Friday, 18 March 2016.  Further details.  


Contact email:

Contact Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4892

Sponsor: GyanSagar Foundation, JivDaya Foundation and Anil and Lata Chandaria