Jaina Prosopography

In the last two and a half millennia the itinerant Jaina mendicant tradition exerted an important influence on Indian culture and society.

The aim of the project is the sociological investigation of Jaina monastic lineages and relationships between Jaina mendicants and lay-followers by integrating and analysing previously unconnected evidence from different bio-bibliographical sources on 30-90,000 Jaina mendicants, scribes and sponsors from medieval times onward.jainism

An innovative data-model and comprehensive prosopographical database developed in collaboration with the Acharya Shri Kailasasagarsuri Gyanmandir in Koba, the Jain Vishva Bharati Institute in Ladnun, and The Digital Humanities Institute will provide rich data for the planned socio-historical analysis of monastic networks and patronage. The open access database will also offer an unparalleled wealth of historical data for future projects on Jaina history and culture.

Key questions of the project concern the social background of the Jaina mendicants, their lineages and networks, literatures, religious sites, and patrons, using the extensive and excellent records kept on monastic biographies and lineages. A major contribution of this project will be the mapping and analysis of socio-religious interrelationships on the basis of aggregated evidence from different bio-bibliographical data sources. A first step is the development of a new data-model, a second to compile a comprehensive database, starting with the data collated by Klatt, and a third step is to use this wealth of information for analysis and the discovery of patterns of social relationships.


Project Team

  • Dr Peter Flugel (Principal Investigator – SOAS)
  • Dr Kornelius Krumpelmann (Research Associate – SOAS)
  • Katherine Rogers (Developer – The Digital Humanities Institute)
  • Matthew Groves (Developer – The Digital Humanities Institute)
  • Ryan Bloor (Developer – The Digital Humanities Institute)