Narrating Karma and Rebirth

Narrating Karma and Rebirth : Buddhist and Jain Multi-Life Stories

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Description

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.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139898779
  • 9781139898775

Review quote

'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 Asiashow more

Table of contents

Preface; 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.show more

About Naomi Appleton

Naomi Appleton is Chancellor's Fellow in Religious Studies at the University of Edinburgh. She is author of Jataka Stories in Theravada Buddhism (2010).show more

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