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Victorious Ones: Jain Images of Perfection

Phyllis Granoff (Editor)
Synopsis Jainism is one of India's three classical religions, along with Buddhism and Hinduism. Though older than Buddhism by a generation, the two religions arose and first spread in Northeastern India and have much in common. Both Buddhism and Jainism aim to offer practitioners a path to follow that leads from the painful cycle of endless rebirths to Liberation from all suffering. Both religions also rejected many of the practices and ideas of early Hinduism, particularly its core ritual of a sacrifice that involved the killing of animals, preaching instead a doctrine of nonviolence. Today, nonviolence, the commitment to an ethic that regards all life, animal and human, as inviolate, continue to be the heart of Jain practice and belief.

With essays by leading scholars of Asian religions and art, this catalog illuminates the core ideas of Jainism and the founding figures of Jainism, the Jinas, "Conquerors" or Tirthankaras, and the various spaces they sanctify. The Jinas, having achieved liberation and escaped from the world in which we live, are nonetheless considered to remain accessible to us as objects of our devotion. They are accessible to their worshippers through their teachings and their images, although some Jainas reject image worship. Images of the Jinas and temples are said to exist throughout the vast reaches of the cosmos. We see them carefully depicted on painted maps of the Jain universe. Closer to home they are worshipped at famous pilgrimage sites and in private domestic shrines. This publication brings together sculptures and paintings of the Jinas, depictions of many kinds of Jain sacred spaces, as well as illustrated manuscripts of Jain sacred texts. Many of the objects discussed and illustrated here have never before been published.
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About the author

Phyllis Granoff

Dr. Koichi Shinohara and Dr. Phyllis Granoff teach in the Department of Religious Studies at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. With support from the social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada they have been conducting research on religious biographies in India and China.

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Bibliographic information

Title Victorious Ones: Jain Images of Perfection
Format Hardcover
Date published: 19.10.2009
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9780944142820
length Map;188 Colour Plates.