“Jain Engagement with Religious Others:
Haribhadra as Philosopher, Comparativist and Pluralist?”

All members of the Rice community and public are welcome.


Anil Mundra Alka Siddhartha Dalal Postdoctoral Fellow for the Study of Jainism,Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Anil Mundra

Alka Siddhartha Dalal Postdoctoral Fellow for the Study of Jainism, Rutgers University, New Brunswick

This talk will explore the philosophical project of the pre-eminent Jain scholar-monk Haribhadra, whose corpus represents one of the most sustained, systematic and multifaceted engagements with religious difference in premodern South Asian intellectual history.

Haribhadra, as Anil Mundra will argue, offers a non-Western model for the comparative study of religion that is sensitive both to commonality and difference. Mundra will discuss Haribhadra's key teaching on non-one-sidedness (everything is complex and contains opposites), which seeks to retrieve agreement from the midst of disagreement, partly by refusing a false dichotomy between absolute sameness and particularity. Mundra will also treat Haribhadra's basic philosophy that survey religious difference within common comparative principles. Finally, Mundra will treat Haribhadra’s polemics that disavow dogmatic partisanship in favor of critical rationality and outline his rules for debate that seek common ground in the face of basic identity disagreements.

The Bhagwaan Mahavir Lecture Series in Jain Studies is intended to deepen the global understanding of Jainism as a religion and culture. This lecture is organized by the School of Humanities Dean’s Office in collaboration with the departments of Transnational Asian Studies and Religion and with the support of members of the Jain community.