Jainism - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 31 pages of information about Jainism.
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JAINISM. Jainism is a South Asian religious tradition which takes its name from those (Sanskrit, Jaina; English, "Jain") who follow the teachings and example of authoritative teachers called Jina (conqueror). These teachers are also called "makers of the ford" (Sanskrit, tīrthaṃkara), signifying their construction of a community of monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen that provides the means to cross the ocean of rebirth. Jain tradition holds that twenty-four Jinas appear in succession throughout regular temporal movements in the course of eternity and communicate the unchanging doctrine of correct knowledge (samyagjñāna), correct faith (samyagdarśana), and correct behavior (samyagcāritra).

As a soteriology, Jainism teaches that enlightenment in the form of omniscience and subsequent freedom from rebirth can be attained by progressive renunciatory withdrawal—manifesting itself most markedly as nonviolence (ahiṃsā)—from physical and sensory interaction with the surrounding world, which is constituted at all...

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This section contains 8,166 words
(approx. 28 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Jainism Encyclopedia Article
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Jainism from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.