Posted: 19.04.2016
By Dr. Peter Flügel
Depiction of the council of Valabhī in the memorial temple Valabhīpura Tīrtha, 2010. Photo: Peter Flügel Śvetāmbara Jaina mendicants peregrinate in small groups from village to village without much contact with other members of their own order. Gatherings for special purposes or general assemblies are held only sporadically, when matters of common concern are to be resolved. An exception is the...
Posted: 06.03.2016
By Dr. Peter Flügel
ESSENCE OF RIGHT BELIEF The Loṅkāgaccha tradition still exists today in small pockets in Gujarāt. Yet, the contemporary followers of the Loṅkāgaccha remember nothing of Loṅkā or his teachings anymore, and have only the vaguest idea of the recent history of their tradition. Not even Loṅkā's name is mentioned in their few idiosyncratic rituals. With two negligible exceptions, most of the modern texts...
Posted: 05.03.2016
By Dr. Peter Flügel
The Unknown Loṅkā Tradition and the Cultural Unconscious In the last two decades, the main focus of Jaina research has shifted from the effectively a-historical exploration of the language, content and form of the Śvetāmbara canon in particular, to the historical and anthropological investigation of "strategies of transmission" of tradition, including "canonisation" and "transformation" (Bruhn 1987:...
Posted: 04.03.2016
By Dr. Peter Flügel
LOṄKĀ'S THIRTY-FOUR PROCLAMATIONS The second manuscript, No. 4121, contains only one text, Luṅkā nī Huṇḍī 34 Bol (=LH), Loṅkā's list of thirty-four assertions, which gives thirty-three examples from the commentaries for significant deviations from the scriptures under the label of apavāda, or exception. The statements No. 1-25 criticise various points of the Niśītha Cūrṇī, which cannot be...
Posted: 03.03.2016
By Dr. Peter Flügel
Part 3: 2.2 The Conversion of the Merchant Banārasīdās A brief glance at the description of the 'conversion' of the seventeenth century merchant and mystic Banārasīdās from Śaivism (the religion of the kings) to Jainism (the religion of his ancestors) in the Ardhakathānaka shall, finally, help to illustrate the pervasiveness of conceptions like those implicit in the Śālibhadracarita. There are...
Posted: 02.03.2016
By Dr. Peter Flügel
Part 2: 2 Two Stories We have seen so far that conversion is presented in medieval Jain stories as a general narrative motif employed by Jain ascetics to influence their audience and to stimulate real conversion experiences. In order to demonstrate the applicability of our theory, I now turn to the analysis of two cases of biographical narratives whose plots focus on the interaction between kings and...
Posted: 01.03.2016
By Dr. Peter Flügel
Part 1 Worshipping the Ideal King On the Social Implications of Jaina Conversion Stories Peter Flügel The differences between history, hagiology and mythology are deliberately blurred in Jaina (Jain) literature. Not only biographies and universal histories, the caritras and purāṇas, and monastic chronicles and genealogies, the sthavirāvalīs, paṭṭāvalīs and gurvāvalīs, mix or combine...
Posted: 19.02.2016
By Dr. Peter Flügel
— VIII — In this essay, I proposed a theoretical interpretation of syncretic processes as forms of symbolic communication, broadly following Habermas' analyses of systematically distorted and latent strategic action, predicated on the work of Grice and sociolinguists such as Hymes, Gumperz, Fishman and Brown and Levinson. The advantage of this perspective, compared to classical hermeneutics, is that social...
Posted: 19.02.2016
By Dr. Peter Flügel
— VII — Although Jain ascetics use the vernacular of their local followers, and reject the Brāhmaṇical idea of the intrinsic sacredness of certain words (MDhŚ 4.256), they do maintain a clear distinction between religious and non-religious ways of USING a given language, that is, the intrinsic structural (not metaphysical) features, intentions and functions of an expression. In accordance with their basic...
Posted: 18.02.2016
By Dr. Peter Flügel
— V — Any empirical analysis of conversational implicatures requires a careful description of the discursive field and conventional ways of speaking in different 'speech situations' which form part of the 'communicative competence' (HYMES (1972b)) and 'repertoire' of the members of a particular 'speech community' (GUMPERZ (1964), (1972)). From an observer's point of view, there are four formal contexts, or...

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