Video ►12th Annual Jaina Lecture: Mahavira, Don Quixote And The History Of Ecological Ethics And Idealism

Published: 16.04.2013
Updated: 17.08.2015

14th Jaina Studies Workshop

Date: 22 March 2012 Time: 9:00 AM
Finished: 22 March 2012 Time: 5:00 PM
Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

12th Annual Jaina Lecture:

Mahavira, Don Quixote And The History Of Ecological Ethics And Idealism

Date: 21 March 2012

6pm - 7.30pm


The lecture was part of the symposium Biodiversity Conservation and Animal Rights: Religious and Philosophical Perspectives which takes place the following day on 22 March 2012.


Ancient and Medieval texts commending Jain forms of asceticism as a precursor of achieving ultimate liberation from attachments and desires, as well as reaching that unique state of omniscience characteristic of the 24 Jinas or Tirthankaras, is thematically and critically predicated upon the notion of ahimsa, non-violence (or non-interference). Mahāvīra (Vardhamana), 599-527 BCE, is most commonly cited by Jain scholars and adherents as a man whose more than 40 year odyssey best exemplifies an approach to ahiṃsā that lends great inspiration to all those who have sought to embrace similar ethical commitments in their own way, in their own time. The culturally-enshrined, community-driven Jain ethos of non-violence is by no means the end-all. India, ecologically speaking, is no less troubled and environmentally mired than most other regions across the planet. What true relevancy, then, do Mahāvīra and countless subsequent personalities and traditions - from Cervantes' ultimate dreamer, Don Quixote - to such original thinkers and vegetarians as poet Percy Shelley - offer today's global, environmental crises? Does the Jain position on nonviolence simply echo a hollow refrain, however inspired, or provide the true rudiments of some remedial and revolutionary framework for addressing 21st century biodiversity degradation? Dr Tobias will discuss his own deeply personal connection to Jain traditions in the context of today's all-out war being waged by the human species against the earth.


Jaina Studies Workshop At SOAS
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  1. Ahimsa
  2. Ahiṃsā
  3. Biodiversity
  4. JAINA
  5. Jaina
  6. Jaina Studies Workshop At SOAS
  7. Mahavira
  8. Mahāvīra
  9. Non-violence
  10. Nonviolence
  11. SOAS
  12. Tirthankaras
  13. Vardhamana
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