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Narrating Karma and Rebirth
Buddhist and Jain Multi-Life Stories

$36.99 (C)

  • Date Published: October 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107566149

$ 36.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Buddhism and Jainism share the concepts of karma, rebirth, and the desirability of escaping from rebirth. The literature of both traditions contains many stories about past, and sometimes future, lives which reveal much about these foundational doctrines. Naomi Appleton carefully explores how multi-life stories served to construct, communicate, and challenge ideas about karma and rebirth within early South Asia, examining portrayals of the different realms of rebirth, the potential paths and goals of human beings, and the biographies of ideal religious figures. Appleton also deftly surveys the ability of karma to bind individuals together over multiple lives, and the nature of the supernormal memory that makes multi-life stories available in the first place. This original study not only sheds light on the individual preoccupations of Buddhist and Jain tradition, but contributes to a more complete history of religious thought in South Asia, and brings to the foreground long-neglected narrative sources.

    • An overview of karma and rebirth in two South Asian religious traditions, presenting a broad view of a key doctrine across traditional religious boundaries
    • Prioritises narrative sources in our understanding of South Asian religious history, and includes many interesting stories
    • Will appeal not only to scholars of Buddhism and Jainism, but also those interested in the broader history of religions in South Asia
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This lively study of narratives about karma and rebirth in Buddhist and Jain literature will be welcomed by scholars and non-scholars alike … provide[s] abundant themes for classical scriptures, contemporary cartoon books, movies, and painting and sculpture … Highly recommended."
    J. Bussanich, Choice

    'Narrating Karma and Rebirth is a valuable resource for undergraduates who are inclined to exploring issues of karma and rebirth, or the traditions of Jainism and Buddhism. Both introduction and appendix provide a good collection of sources useful for any novice researcher. It can also serve as good reading material for any faith-directed intellectual. overall, this is an excellent book of sources of multiple-life investigation scholars can enjoy reading and recommend to their students as well.' Samani Unnata Pragya, Religions of South Asia

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107566149
    • length: 244 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.36kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Karma and the realms of rebirth
    3. Karma and human potentiality
    4. Jinas and Buddhas
    5. Karma and community
    6. Memory and omniscience
    7. Conclusion
    Appendix: texts referred to in this book.

  • Author

    Naomi Appleton, University of Edinburgh
    Naomi Appleton is Chancellor's Fellow in Religious Studies at the University of Edinburgh. She is author of Jātaka Stories in Theravāda Buddhism (2010).

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