Encyclopedia of Religion
and Society

William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor

Table of Contents | Cover Page  |  Editors  |  Contributors  |  Introduction  |  Web Version


Dating from a movement of the sixth century B.C.E., about 3 million Jains now live in their original homeland of northern India. Salvation or liberation can be attained only by monks living an ascetic style of life similar to Brahmanic ascetics and Buddhist monks. A central doctrine is ahimsa , nonviolence to living things; this doctrine was crucial to Mohandas Gandhi, who was not a Jain but who grew up among Jains.

See also Buddhism, Gandhi, Hinduism

Joseph B. Tamney


M. Langley, "Respect for All Life," in Handbook to the World's Religions , rev. ed. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1994): 207-216.

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