Open Boundaries

Jain Communities and Cultures in Indian History

Edited by John E. Cort

Subjects: Asian Religion And Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Hindu Studies
Paperback : 9780791437865, 264 pages, July 1998
Hardcover : 9780791437858, 264 pages, July 1998

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents


1. Introduction: Contested Jain Identities of Self and Other

John E. Cort

2. Haribhadra's Analysis of Patanjala and Kula Yoga in the Yogadrstisamuccaya

Christopher Key Chapple

3. Becoming Gautama: Mantra and History in  Svetambara Jainism

Paul Dundas

4. Hemacandra and Sanskrit Poetics

Gary A. Tubb

5. Erotic Excess and Sexual Danger in the Civakacintamani

James Ryan

6. Who is a King? Jain Narratives of Kingship in  Medieval Western India

John E. Cort

7. Sweetmeats Or Corpses? Community, Conversion,  and Sacred Places

Michael W. Meister

8. Ritual Culture and the Distinctiveness of Jainism

Lawrence A. Babb

9. Sramanas against the Tamil Way: Jains As Others  in Tamil Saiva Literature

Indira Viswanathan Peterson

10. Jain and Hindu "Religious Women" in  Early Medieval Tamilnadu

Leslie C. Orr

11. The Story of the Disappearing Jains: Retelling the  Saiva-Jain Encounter in Medieval South India

Richard H. Davis




Enlarges our understanding of Jainism, one of the oldest yet least-studied of the world's living religions, by challenging the standard scholarly portraits of both Jains and South Asian religion and culture.


Open Boundaries provides a new perspective on Jainism, one of the oldest yet least-studied of the world's living religions. Ten closely-focused studies investigate the interactions between Jains and non-Jains in South Asian society, with detailed studies of yoga, tantra, aesthetic theory, erotic poetry, theories of kingship, goddess worship, temple ritual, polemical poetry, religious women, and historiography. Viewing the Jains within a South Asian context results in a strikingly different portrait from the standard models represented in both traditional Western and Indian scholarship.

John E. Cort is Associate Professor of Religion at Denison University.


"What I like most about this book is that it makes a tremendous advance on the research for the Jain identity. It examines the ways in which Jains identify themselves in relation to other communities, whether religious or political, from the ancient to the modern period, and the manner in which the others relate to them. No other South Asian religious community, whether the ancient Buddhists or the medieval Sikhs, has been studied in such a comprehensive manner. An indispensable reference work for the study of South Asia. " — Padmanabh S. Jaini, University of California, Berkeley

"There is no question that Jainism is an important topic, and this collection has something in it for everyone including solid papers on philosophy, sociology and anthropology, art history, religious studies, and literature. " — Phyllis Granoff, McMaster University