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Paul Dundas studies Sanskrit, Classics and Middle Indo-Aryan Philology at the Universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge and is currently Senior Lecturer in Sanskrit in the University of Edinburgh.

 

Abstract of paper given at Jainism and Ecology conference:
Digging Ahimsa: The Limits of a Jain Environmental Ethic

In this paper I will consider on the basis of writings by medieval Jain monks some of the ambiguities inherent in the processes of building temples and digging wells, necessary for the maintenance of religion (at least according to one important section of the Jain community) and the maintenance of life, but on the face of it infringing the principle of non-violence. I will also point to some difficulties involved in deriving an environmentalist ethic from an ascetic tradition which has always felt itself to be embattled by the natural world.

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Jainism and Ecology conference participants