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Jaina Rituals of Death: History, Doctrine and Practice
Published by Routledge
In this book, the author presents recent, somewhat unexpected, findings on the thriving cult of bone relic stupas and the ritual role of the materiality of the dead amongst contemporary Jains. Based on extensive fieldwork in India, clear evidence is offered for the ubiquity of bone relic stupas and relic veneration across the Jain sectarian spectrum, although classical Jain doctrine rejects the worship of material objects. The unique analysis applied in this book juxtaposes field-based ethnographic materials with textual analysis. Additionally, the author adds a broad comparative scope by systematically comparing Jain textual sources with the relevant sources from the Brahmanical and Buddhist traditions. This groundbreaking work will significantly reshape the field of Jain studies and its relationship with other South Asian religious traditions. It also offers is a major contribution to the history of religions.
1. Introduction 2. Structure and evolution of Jaina mortuary rituals 3. History and doctrine of the Terapanth 4. The death of Acarya Tulsi 5. Funerary rites and ceremonies 6. Stupa veneration 7. Conclusion: death, relics and power
Peter Flugel is Lecturer and Chair of the Centre of Jaina Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is the General Editor of the Routledge Advances in Jaina Studies Series, and of the first book in the series, Studies in Jaina History and Culture published by Routledge in 2006. His latest publication is Jaina Scriptures and Philosophy, co-edited with Olle Qvarnstroem, also published by Routledge (2015).
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