Marcus Banks - Organizing Jainism In India And England
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Marcus Banks con Organizing Jainism In India And England
Although the Jains have a religious history spanning two-and -a-half millennia Western scholars have shown little interest in them until recently. Drawing on fieldwork conducted among Jains in the Indian state of Gujarat and a migrant Gujarati Jain group in Leicester, England, Marcus Banks aims to provide an understanding of contemporary Jain identity through an examination of their social and religious organizations. The first part of the book describes the array of religious and caste organizations found among Jains in the Indian city of Jamnagar and how Jains from Jamnagar and elsewhere in Gujarat migrated to East Africa, transforming their organizations in the process. The second part looks at the new forms of organization that have developed among the Jains who came to Leicester from East Africa and the part these have played in changing perceptions of Jainism itself. Throughout the book Dr Banks plays special attention to the use and transformation of urban space by religious and other groups, and he concludes with comments on the definition of religion and religious identity. This is one of the first book-length studies of the Jains as a migrant group overseas, where they are studied in their own right rather than simply as an ethnic minority. It will be valuable both for its documentation of a small but influential population and for its direct comparison of aspects of communal and religious organization in India and the UK.
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