Jainism, Ethics, and Ecology


  • Christopher Key Chapple Loyola Marymount University




Jainism, Vegetarianism, Religion and Ecology


Jainism advocates the practice of nonviolence (ahimsa), combining a strict ascetic practice with a view that life pervades all beings, including elements that are considered inert in other worldviews. Many Jainas are by translating this interpretation of the world into the broader arena of ecological ethics.

Author Biography

Christopher Key Chapple, Loyola Marymount University

Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology


Chapple, Christopher Key 1993 “The Jaina Path of Nonresistant Death.” In Christopher Key Chapple (ed.), Nonviolence to Animals, Earth, and Self in Asian Traditions, 99-110. Albany: State University of New York Press.

----- 2002 “The Living Earth of Jainism and the New Story.” In Christopher Key Chapple (ed.), Jainism and Ecology: Nonviolence in the Web of Life, 119-140. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Cort, John E. 2002 “Green Jainism? Notes and Queries toward a Possible Jain Environmental Ethic.” In Christopher Key Chapple (ed.), Jainism and Ecology: Nonviolence in the Web of Life, 63-94. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Hardy, Friedhelm. 1990 “Karmic Retribution: The Story of Yasodhara from the Brhatkathakosa.” In Phyllis Granoff (ed.), The Clever Adulteress and Other Stories: A Treasury of Jain Literature, 118-139. London: Mosaic Press.

Granoff, Phyllis. 2002 “Jain Stories Inspiring Renunciation.” In Donalid S. Lopez, Jr. (ed.), Religions of Asia in Practice: An Anthology, 88-93. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

Jacobi, Herman (tr.) 1884 Jaina Sutras, Part One. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Suri, Santi 1950 Jiva Vicara Prakaranam along with Pathaka Ratnakara’s Commentary. Ed. by Muni Ratna Prabha Vijaya. Trans. by Jayant P. Thaker. Madras: Jain Mission Society.

Umasvati 1994 Tattvartha Sutra: That Which Is. With the combined commentaries of Umasvati, Pujyapada, and Siddhasenaguni. Trans. by Nathmal Tatia. New York: HarperCollins.



How to Cite

Chapple, C. (2010). Jainism, Ethics, and Ecology. Bulletin for the Study of Religion, 39(2), 3–12. https://doi.org/10.1558/bsor.v39i2.002



Jainism in Focus