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The Assembly of Listeners
Jains in Society


Michael Carrithers, Caroline Humphrey, K. R. Norman, Josephine Reynell, Christine M. Cottam Ellis, J. Howard M. Jones, N. K. Singhi, Paul Dundas, Padmanabh Jaini, Vilas Sangave, Marcus Banks
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  • Date Published: October 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521084802

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About the Authors
  • The Jains have exerted an influence on Indian Society and religion out of proportion with their relatively small numbers. The Assembly of Listeners: Jains in Society addresses the sociology of the Jains and discusses the notion of the 'community' based on religious affiliation in India. Topics covered include Jain ideals and identity; women in the Jains community; popular Jainism; Jain reform and Jain identity in the UK. This collection is an important theoretical addition to the study of Indian society, which has previously focused mainly on caste and class politics as the fundamental social units. With much recent fieldwork providing unique information on the ethnography of the Jains, this study will prove indispensable to any scholar interested in this little-known but highly influential social group.

    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: ' … not just a major contribution to the anthropology of Jainism, but also, indirectly, to the anthropology of South Asia's towns and cities.' Man

    Review of the hardback: ' … a volume whose imaginative conception and meticulous execution cannot fail to win one's respect.' Ethnos

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521084802
    • length: 348 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 151 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    List of contributors
    Introduction Michael Carrithers and Caroline Humphrey
    1. Jains as a community: a position paper Michael Carrithers and Caroline Humphrey
    Part I. Jain Ideals and Jain Identity:
    2. Jain ideals and Jain identity Michael Carrithers
    3. Somadeva Suri and the question of Jain canon K. R. Norman
    5. Women and the reproduction of the Jain community Josephine Reynell
    Part II. Local Jain Communities:
    6. Local Jain communities Caroline Humphrey
    7. The Jain merchant castes of Rasthan: some aspects of the management of social identity in a market town Christine M. Cottam Ellis
    8. Jain shopkeepers and moneylenders: rural informal credit networks in south Rajasthan J. Howard M. Jones
    9. A study of Jains in a Rajasthan town N. K. Singhi
    Part III. Jains In The Indian World:
    10. Jains in the Indian world Michael Carrithers
    11. The Digambara Jain warrior Paul Dundas
    12. Is there a popular Jainism? Padmanabh Jaini
    13. Fairs and miracles: at the boundaries of the Jain community in Rajasthan Caroline Humphrey
    Part IV. New Jain Institutions In India and Beyond:
    14. New Jain institutions in India and beyond Caroline Humphrey
    15. Reform movements among jains in modern India Vilas Sangave
    16. Orthodoxy and dissent: varieties of religious belief among immigrant Gujarati jains in Britain Marcus Banks
    17. The foundations of community among southern Digambar Jains: an essay on rhetoric and experience Michael Carrithers
    Conclusion Michael Carrithers and Caroline Humphrey
    Glossary and pronunciation
    Select bibliography

  • Editors

    Michael Carrithers, University of Cambridge

    Caroline Humphrey, University of London


    Michael Carrithers, Caroline Humphrey, K. R. Norman, Josephine Reynell, Christine M. Cottam Ellis, J. Howard M. Jones, N. K. Singhi, Paul Dundas, Padmanabh Jaini, Vilas Sangave, Marcus Banks

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