This website serves as a source of information and news about Bihar (or ancient Magadha), a state in central eastern India that has Patna as its capital. Bihar has always been considered the birthplace of Buddhism and Jainism. Hence apart from useful information on topics like the history and politics of Bihar; places to visit in Bihar; languages; cultural regions; and famous Biharis; viewers are able to get valuable information about the state's religious landscape. The latter include discussions on the history of Buddhism and Jainism; and the sites and celebrations associated with both of these faith traditions. The site is user-friendly and would be particularly interesting to those seeking a basic understanding about the origins of Buddhism and Jainism.
This website, part of the site of the School of Oriental and African Studies, gives access to the full text of the International Journal of Jaina Studies. The aim of the journal is to disseminate articles quickly, so each article is designated as a journal issue. This makes some issues surprisingly short, but it serves the journal's intentions well. All articles are offered in the form of .pdf downloads, and an archive of all previous volumes is also available. The journal is periodically published in print as well. Details of the editorial board are provided on the site, as is information for those wishing to make a submission. All articles submitted are subject to peer review.
The Internet Indian History Sourcebook consists of an annotated gateway to primary resources relating to Indian history from the ancient period to post-independence. Many of the resources are hosted locally, with those marked Web being external sites. The sourcebook has been compiled from the ancient history, medieval, and modern history sourcebooks compiled by Paul Halsall at Fordham University. The guide is conveniently divided into sections covering particular periods and themes. Texts and images hosted locally include: The Laws of Manu; The Bhagavad-Gita; King Bhartrihari's One Law There Is; sources on the Buddha's life and death; The Arthashastra; The Rock Edicts; Strabo's geography of India; the Indian section of Pliny's Natural History; sources concerning European contacts and colonialism; Robert Clive's The Battle of Plassey; Edmund Burke's Speech in Commons on India; Thomas Babington Macaulay's On Empire and Education; Monier Monier-Williams' Camp Life in India; Dadabhai Naoroji's The Benefits of British Rule; Elisa Greathed's Account of the Opening of the Indian Mutiny at Meerut; Robert Traill Spence Lowell's The Relief of Lucknow; Bal Gangadhar Tilak's address to the Indian national congress; Jawaharlal Nehru's Marxism, Capitalism and Non-Alignment; British Government statements; and the 1966 Declaration of Pakistan and India on Jammu and Kashmir. There is also a section on gender and sexuality. This is an extensive site that should be of use to students and scholars studying the history of South Asia and the Indian subcontinent. At the time of review (2010) the site hadn't been updated since 2007.
J.B. Hare established the Internet Sacred Text Archive to make public domain religious and mythological texts available to the interested reader. It brings together material collected by the archive itself with a variety of links from other primary resource sites on the Internet to form one of the largest and far reaching electronic text resources available anywhere. With a somewhat eclectic selection in content, the site includes everything from English translations of the sacred texts of African, Australian, and North American indigenous cultures to Eastern, Neo-Pagan and Occult traditions. Judeo-Christian and Islamic resources are also well represented. The archive is still growing, with new texts added on a regular basis. The need to avoid material which is still in copyright means that many of the translations date from over a hundred years ago, but the variety of resources in translation makes the site invaluable to those lacking extensive foreign language skills who wish to rapidly familiarise themselves with a specific tradition. This site is an excellent starting point for anyone who wants to locate an electronic English-language version of a significant religious text from almost any religious tradition.
Compiled by Mahesh Varia and housed within the pages of Ibiblio, the Jain Data Base website presents a wide range of information about Jainism. Although described as a database, the resource is in fact a collection of texts (articles, books, and other works), presented in Microsoft Word documents. The contents address social and cultural issues, ranging from ritual practices to philosophical writings to modern social concerns. However, while there is a large quantity of material here, the site does have some drawbacks. Much of the content is aimed at a popular audience rather than an academic one, meaning the site is perhaps more suitable as an introductory resource rather than for more advanced scholars, and the organisation of the works is apparently based more on format than subject matter. The site was last updated in 1997, and while most of the material is still relevant, users should note that more recent discussion will not be included. There is also unfortunately little (if any) background information on the authors.
This website, edited by Yashwant K. Malaiyais, is devoted to the history of the Jain religion. Emerging in 8th century BC India, Jainism has a long history. As a result, it is part of the purpose of the site to separate myth and tradition from truth. To this end, a detailed time-line is provided that traces the development of Jainism from its origins to the present. Many names or events on the time-line are linked to further information and articles. However, the site also contains a separate, and very large, index of Jain resources, including texts, images and organisations.
The Atma Dharma site is dedicated to disseminating important texts, both ancient and modern, about the origins and nature of Jainism. This is of particular import as any sites offering such texts are particularly rare. The website offers full-text (both scanned and typed) versions of over two hundred books about Jainism in English, Hindi, Gujarati, Sanskrit and Prakrit. There are also audio streams of lectures, videos and images which will be of great use to the scholar of the Jain religion. The design of the site is not the best, but it contains rare and important content. Site users can also purchase other lectures and study material on CD from the site.
Unlike many other resources on religious trends within the United States which focused specifically on the Judeo-Christian tradition, The Pluralism Project, directed by Diana Eck at Harvard University, seeks to consider and evaluate the growing diversity in religious expression found across the nation. A variety of textual resources are made available through this site including: a series of scholarly articles; directories of religious centres; and a series of excellent bibliographies and guidelines for conducting contemporary research on religious denominations, applicable to research on religious pluralism in both North America and Europe. There is a link advertising the project's CD-ROM On Common Ground: World Religions in America, (Second Edition). An interesting sub-set of this project is World Religions in Boston, which describes the variety of religious expression and interaction all within one major American city, and can be downloaded or viewed on the web. Unfortunately, the site lacks any extensive demographic material on religious growth and developments.
Religion in South Asia is a section of the American academy of religion whose aim is to promote the academic study of religions around the world. The website of the organisation offers users a number of resources - mailing lists, membership details, notices about forthcoming meetings, lists of publications, a few of which are available in full text on the site. There are also pages with bibliographies of South Asian religions and others which give access to a wide range of teaching resources. The links page is useful, but unfortunately the page which promises to be the most interesting, promising video and multimedia resources, does not open. This site is quite useful - more so for the specialist than the interested researcher - but it is in need of some design work and a test of the links.
This site gives a bibliography of printed materials for the study of religion in South Asia. The site is divided into nine different sections: eight giving resources available for Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism and one final section which features works in which two or more of these religions are compared. The list is not at all comprehensive, but determinedly selective. Entries have, on the whole, been quite stringently assessed before inclusion using book reviews, other bibliographies and the 'World bibliographical' series. The bibliography is further restricted based on the holdings of the various libraries at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It is, however, a worthwhile list and useful for anyone studying the religions of South Asia.