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Names and Naming in the Jaina Tradition

February 14, 2018 -
4:00pm to 5:30pm
Building 380, Room 380W

Free and open to the public.

Peter Flugel - University of London

Free and open to the public.

About the talk:

In Jaina texts, the designation used for the types of karman that produce individual living beings is nāma-karman, not nāma-rūpa (“name and form”), as in Vedic and Buddhist scriptures. Nāma-karman is understood to mean “[mind and] body-making karman,” rather than “Cerimonie der Namengebung (beim Kinde)” or “name-giving,” as Böhtlingk and Roth (1865) and Monier-Williams (1899) have it, following examples in the Hindu Rāmāyaṇa. For “name-giving ceremonies” Jaina texts only use the term nāma-karaṇa. An investigation of the Jaina theory of naming from the point of view of modern semantics and pragmatics is highly rewarding. It is significant to note that the Jainas have produced sophisticated onomastic classifications. The paper will discuss problems of coding Jain names and identification of individuals in the context of prosopographical research on Jaina literary and social history with particular reference to the names of Mahāvīra.

About the speaker:

Dr Peter Flügel (PhD University of Mainz, Germany 1993) is Reader in the Study of Religions and Founding Chair of the Centre of Jaina Studies at the Department of History, Religions and Philosophies in the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He has published extensively on the history, anthropology and sociology of contemporary Jain schools and sects, Jain stūpas, Jaina-Vaiṣṇava syncretism, and on the social and legal history of the Jain tradition, and on comparative philosophy: Recent publications include the edited volumes Studies in Jaina History and Culture: Disputes and Dialogues (Indian Edition 2016), Jaina Scriptures and Philosophy (with O. Qvarnström 2015), Bangkok and Kyoto Papers in Jaina Studies (with Nalini Balbir 2018), Johannes Klatt’s Jaina-Onomasticon (with K. Krümpelmann 2016), Asceticism and Devotion: The Ritual System of the Terāpanth Jaina (Alt- und Neuindische Studien, 2018), Contributions to Jaina Studies: Collected Papers I-II (Motilal Banarsidass 2018). He is the convener of the Annual Jaina Studies Workshops at SOAS,, editor of the International Journal of Jain Studies, coeditor of Jaina Studies - Newsletter of the Centre of Jaina Studies, and series editor of Routledge Advances in Jaina Studies, Jaina Studies (Harrassowitz). He is Principal Investigator of the Jaina-Prosopography project,

Event Sponsor: 
Department of Religious Studies, Center for South Asia
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