Robert J. Zydenbos
Jainism Today and Its Future
Jainism is perhaps the oldest still living religion in the world. But the world is becoming one: how will this old religious community, rooted in the traditions of its native land India, deal with the new challenges of the twenty-first century?
Prof. Dr. Robert J. Zydenbos, Indologist and philosopher in the University of Munich, Germany, traces the questions and problems of an ancient culture in a new age. In a manner that also interested laypersons can understand, the author points out focal points in the confrontation between cultures and ages, which makes this book a valuable contribution to a religious and cultural dialogue which until now has hardly been noticed and which testifies to change and interpenetration of eastern and western values.
|Robert J. Zydenbos
Jainism Today and Its Future
Manya Verlag München
first edition 2006
Indian cream paper
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"Prof. Robert Zydenbos, Indologist and philosopher at the University of Munich, Germany, traces the questions and problems of an ancient culture in a new age in this superlative book.
"Jainism Today and Its Future" is a deeply insightful work in which the author brings in all his mastery of the subject, philological training, direct experience of living in Southern India for 16 years and the observations of a highly intelligent and loquacious academic and scholar in a slim elegantly produced volume.
This book is a remarkably accurate picture of Jainism as it is practised today. "In a manner that also interested laypersons can understand, the author points out focal points in the confrontation between cultures and ages, which makes this book a valuable contribution to a religious and cultural dialogue which until now has hardly been noticed and which testifies to change and interpenetration of eastern and western values."
The author is a distinguished scholar of Sanskrit, Middle Indo-Aryan and Kannada. But most importantly, he is a Sadhaka in search of the truth.
Taking Professor Padmanabh Jaini's "The Jaina Path of Purification" as the trailblazing benchmark, the past three decades have produced three remarkable books in English on Jainism.
1. Dr Paul Dundas. "The Jains". London: Routledge, 2002 (2nd edition)
2. Professor Willem Bollée. "The Story of Paesi". Mumbai: Hindi Granth Karyalay, 2005
3. Professor Robert Zydenbos. "Jainism Today and Its Future". Munich: Manya Verlag, 2006
What makes the book special, are the observations of the author on a range of subjects. Drawing from deep scriptural study as well is "native" insights, Zydenbos makes candid observations on a host of subjects ranging from Jains vis-à-vis Hindus and Buddhists, Jainism vis-à-vis science, lay Jainism vis-à-vis non-violence and vegetarianism and a remarkably penetrating analysis of Jain self-image.
The book is very intelligently written, in a style which abounds in wit and perspicacity.
The book has been lovingly produced. The cover image is a stunningly beautiful photograph of Bhagavan Bahubali, taken during the last Mahamastakabhisheka. The name of the author is printed beneath the image, in respect to the Jain tradition of not printing one's name above the image of the Arihanta and Siddha."
Manish Modi, HINDI GRANTH KARYALAY, Bombay, May 2006