By Paul Dundas
The Indian faith of Jainism, whose important guiding principle consists of non-violence to all creatures, is likely one of the world's oldest and least-understood faiths. Dundas appears at Jainism in its social and doctrinal context, explaining its historical past, sects, scriptures and formality, and describing how the Jains have, over 2500 years, outlined themselves as a special spiritual group. This revised and extended version takes account of latest examine into Jainism.
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Extra resources for The Jains (2nd Edition) (The Library of Religious Beliefs and Practices)
Many of its themes are found again and again, though the emphasis upon reason as the key descriptor of the human being will soon be less dominant. Likewise, his third student production, an article for the Modern Review of Calcutta entitled "Karma and Free Will," argues, against the critics, that the concept of karma and rebirth is not fatalistic as charged, but emphasizes the importance of reason in ethical action. Karma, he says, teaches us that every deed establishes a habit or propensity, weakening the power of reason.
R. Mehendiratta, Director of the Page viii American Institute of Indian Studies in New Delhi, Dr. P. Venugopala Rao, Administrative Officer of the American Institute of Indian Studies in Madras, and V. R. Nambiar, Associate Director, and Krishna Deva, Consultant, of the American Institute of Indian Studies in Varanasi. I fear I have forgotten other Indian friends. I know that they will graciously accept my regret. Of course, the errors of this volume are my own. I am also grateful for the support of my colleagues at the University of Kansas, but this volume is dedicated to my close Indian friends, Mr.
32 But though Radhakrishnan would agree with Christian critics in their criticism of many practices of his tradition, calling them "paralysing superstitions" for example,33 it was not long before his response turned from a negative emotion toward his religious background as he saw it to a positive and defensive one toward the tradition as he defined it. Accepting "Hinduism" or "the Hindu religion" as a reified entity as did the critics, Radhakrishnan's attitude was reversed by the work of Swami Vivekananda (18631902), whose definition of this reified "Hinduism" would have a lasting impact in India and abroad.