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De Jonckheere, Heleen (2019) ''Examining Religion' through Generations of Jain Audiences: The Circulation of the Dharmaparīkṣā.' Religions, 10 (5). p. 308.

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Indian literary traditions, both religious and non-religious, have dealt with literature in a fluid way, repeating and reusing narrative motifs, stories and characters over and over again. In recognition of this, the current paper will focus on one particular textual tradition within Jainism of works titled Dharmaparīkṣā and will trace its circulation. This didactic narrative, designed to convince a Jain audience of the correctness of Jainism over other traditions, was first composed in the tenth century in Apabhraṃśa and is best known in its eleventh-century Sanskrit version by the Digambara author Amitagati. Tracing it from a tenth-century context into modernity, across both classical and vernacular languages, will demonstrate the popularity of this narrative genre within Jain circles. The paper will focus on the materiality of manuscripts, looking at language and form, place of preservation, affiliation of the authors and/or scribe, and patronage. Next to highlighting a previously underestimated category of texts, such a historical overview of a particular literary circulation will prove illuminating on broader levels: it will show networks of transmission within the Jain community, illustrate different types of mediation of one literary tradition, and overall, enrich our knowledge of Jain literary culture.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Jainism; manuscripts; circulation; satire; narrative
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies > Department of Religions & Philosophies
ISSN: 20771444
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2023 11:12

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