The Jains in contemporary Southeast Asia (Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore). Their distinctiveness and identities

Begin - Einde 
2022 - 2025 (lopend)



Jainism, an Indian born religion, is one of the oldest religions in the world. In history, the organizational development, religious characteristics, and practice methods of Jainism are closely related to Hinduism and Buddhism, after absorbing the teachings of Brahmanism, those three religions have gained great developments. Jainism, which was born in the Axis Age of human civilization, spread from the Ganges Plain to many other places in the Indian subcontinent under the  circumstances  of tremendous  inequalities  of the  Brahman  caste  system,  thus was  greatly welcomed by the people, especially from lower classes. Although Jainism has not spread to all parts of Asia like Buddhism, even in contemporary India it is only a belief of a very small number of people, but Jainism has been passed down to this day because of its profound teachings, strict practices, and their close social connections. During the British colonial period, a large number of Indians followed the British colonists to cultivate and multiply on the territories controlled by the British  empire.  Southeast Asia,  which  has  geographical  and  cultural  connections  with  India, naturally became their first choice. A large number of Indians came to Southeast Asia through land and water. In the grand historical blueprint of the religious development and cultural dissemination of human immigration, Jainism spread from the Indian subcontinent to the other parts of the world is also a magnificent picture; the Indochina Peninsula and the Malay Islands, known as the cultural crossroads, have been deeply by Indian cultures in the history. When Jainism spread eastward to Southeast  Asia  alongside  Indian  immigrants  in  modern  times,  what  kind  of  intercultural interactions have taken place? In the contemporary world where religion and secularity collide fiercely, how do Jains in Southeast Asian countries balance all of these?