Jainism - the Unknown Religion: Radio Feature on Cologne Exhibition
The Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum in Cologne currently displays the exhibition „Saints & Ascetics: Jaina Miniature Painting in India”. It is the first exhibition in Germany that is entirely dedicated to Jainism.
Given this, German public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk interviewed the team of the exhibition curators and initiators, among them CERES researcher Patrick F. Krüger. The art historian and scholar of religious studies is an expert of Jainism. He helped the museum in conducting the exhibition.
In the interview Patrick F. Krüger introduces the doctrines of Jainism: Asceticism and strict rules belong to the daily life of its adherents. Additionally he presents a short insight into the origins of the Jaina religion that is often presented as the sister religion of more commonly known Buddhism. However, even in western academies and departments of religious studies this religion is rather marginally covered in research.
A special focus of the radio features is laid on the historical developments of this religion in contact with others on the Indian subcontinent. To ginve one example, it was the contact to Muslims and their art of miniature paintings that stimulated Jainas to produce such genre for their own religious purposes. On the other hand, in ancient times Jainism influenced Buddhism visually in presenting images of Jaina. These images were used as templates for depicting Buddha as a holy man.