Master of Arts (MA)
First Advisor's Name
Steven M. Vose
First Advisor's Committee Title
Second Advisor's Name
Second Advisor's Committee Title
Third Advisor's Name
Oren B. Stier
Third Advisor's Committee Title
Karma, Ahimsa, Capitalism, Jainism, Violence, Racism, Environment
Date of Defense
This thesis investigates the nature of environmental racism, a by-product of “slow violence” under capitalism, from the perspective of Jain philosophy. By observing slow violence through the lens of Jain doctrine and ethics, I investigate whether the central tenets of ahimsa and karma are philosophically anti-capitalist, and if there are facets within Jain ethics supporting slow violence. By analyzing the ascetic and lay ethical models, I conclude that the maximization of profit and private acquisition of lands/resources are capitalist attributes that cannot thrive efficiently under a proper Jain ethical model centered on ahimsa (non-harm, non-violence) and world-denying/world-renouncing practices. Conversely, karma and Jain cosmology has the potential to support slow violence when considering their philosophical and fatalistic implications. Furthermore, by connecting the theory of slow violence with the theory of microaggressions, I assert that, while resolving microaggressions, Jainism’s highly individualistic ethical system can hinder confronting slow violence.
Paz, Anthony, "The Tensions of Karma and Ahimsa: Jain Ethics, Capitalism, and Slow Violence" (2016). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2476.
Asian Studies Commons, Ethics in Religion Commons, Inequality and Stratification Commons, Other Religion Commons, Peace and Conflict Studies Commons, Place and Environment Commons, Race and Ethnicity Commons, Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies Commons
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