Singing to the Jinas: Jain Laywomen, Mandal Singing, and the Negotiations of Jain Devotion

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Oxford University Press, Aug 2, 2001 - Religion - 288 pages
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While Western Jain scholarship has focused on those texts and practices favoring male participation, the Jain community itself relies heavily on lay women's participation for religious education, the performance of key rituals, and the locus of religious knowledge. In this fieldwork-based study, Whitney Kelting attempts to reconcile these women's understanding of Jainism with the religion as presented in the existing scholarship. Jain women, she shows, both accept and rewrite the idealized roles received from religious texts, practices, and social expectation, according to which female religiosity is a symbol of Jain perfection. This volume describes these women's interpretations of their religion, not as folklore or popular religion, but as a theology that recreates Jainism in a form which honors their own participation.
 

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Contents

Chapter 1 Hearing and Listening to the Voices of the 346r257vik257
2
Chapter 2 Idealized Women
38
Chapter 3 Religious Knowledge and Stavan Collecting
60
Chapter 4 The Shapes and Categories of Stavan
82
Chapter 5 Daily Worship Improvisation and Individual Devotion
108
Chapter 6 Formal Puj257s and Stavan Repertoires
138
Chapter 7 Expertise Prestige and Authority
164
Chapter 8 Laywomens Authority and Jain Theology
192
Notes
205
Glossary
235
Bibliography
243
Index
255
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Page vii - Circle), it was an entrance into many such circles where women order their worlds — not a place where women go when excluded from male activities or a space to which women are resigned, but a chosen space at the center of various women's communities.
Page xvi - But a book — like a daughter — one day leaves your house. My hope is that she finds acceptance and brings happiness wherever she goes.

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