This course examines the religious beliefs and practices of the Jains, a minority tradition in India that has had a profound impact on the religious, philosophical, artistic, and literary landscapes of South Asia. Beginning with the teachings of Lord Mahavira and the basic doctrines of Jainism, the course will consider the historical foundations of the Jain tradition through philosophical and doctrinal texts and the rich corpus of Jain narrative literature. The course highlights how Jains, alongside their better-known Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim counterparts, participated in and contributed to every major religious and philosophical innovation in South Asian history, including tantra, yoga, and bhakti devotionalism. The course will also focus on contemporary Jain life and religious practice, both monastic and lay, through examination of the religious lives of ascetics and Jain laity, ritual practices of temple worship and pilgrimage, as well as sectarian movements within the tradition and the emerging Jain interest in environmentalism. (Offered every other year.) Prerequisite: RELI 1330
4 credits
Upper Division