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


While Western Jain scholarship has focused on those texts and practices favouring 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 attempt to accept and rewrite the idealized roles roles received from religious texts, practices, and social expectation, according to which female religiosity is a symbol of Jain perfection. Jain women's worship shows us a Jainism focused more on devotion than on philosophy.

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