Purushottama Bilimoria et al., "Contemplative Studies and Jainism: Meditation, Prayer, and Veneration" (Routledge, 2023)


Contemplative Studies and Jainism: Meditation, Prayer, and Veneration (Routledge, 2023) is one of the first wide-ranging academic surveys of the major types and categories of Jain praxis. It covers a breadth of scholarly viewpoints that reflect both the variegation in terms of spiritual practices within the Jain traditions as well as the Jain hermeneutical perspectives, which are employed in understanding its rich diversity.

The volume illustrates a complex and nuanced understanding of the multifaceted category of Jain religious thought and practice. It offers a rare intrareligious dialogue within Jain traditions and at the same time, significantly broadens and enriches the field of Contemplative Studies to include an ancient, ascetic, non-theistic tradition. Meditation, yoga, ritual, prayer are common to all Indic spiritual traditions. By investigating these diverse, yet overlapping, categories one might obtain a sophisticated understanding of religious traditions that originally emerged in South Asia. Essays in this book demonstrate how these forms of praxis in Jainism, and the philosophies that anchor those practices, are interrelated, and when brought into dialogue, help to foster new tools for understanding a complex and variegated tradition such as Jain Dharma.

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Raj Balkaran

Raj Balkaran is a scholar of Sanskrit narrative texts. He teaches at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and at his own virtual School of Indian Wisdom. For information see rajbalkaran.com.

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