Save Prakrit at SOAS!

A project by: matulah


WE RAISED £3,701

from 28 donors

This project received pledges on Sun 20 Mar 2016
Help us keep our Prakrit course at SOAS

Help us ensure prakrit continues to be a part of SOAS

This campaign is set up to cover the administrative costs of maintaining this unique SOAS tradition. By making a donation, you can help us ensure that teaching in Prakrit remains to be a part of SOAS and its research on Jainism.

This research is spearheaded by the SOAS Centre of Jaina Studies (COJS). The aim of the centre is to promote the study of Jaina religion and culture by providing an interdisciplinary platform for academic research, teaching and publication in the field of Jaina Studies.

Any donation made in surplus of our goal of £3500 will be used towards the COJS’ other activities, including the yearly Jaina Studies Workshop and the on-going publication of International Journal of Jaina Studies.


We are a group of SOAS Prakrit students and we are crowdfunding to keep Prakrit lessons running at SOAS. There is no budget for Prakrit at SOAS and the SOAS Prakrit teacher is an unpaid volunteer Emeritus Professor. We are crowdfunding for his travel costs and the administration cost for continuing Prakrit lessons at SOAS for the academic year 2016/2017.

Why is this important?

SOAS is the only university in the UK to offer classes in Prakrit. For understanding Jain scriptures, Jain Maharashtri, the form of Prakrit primarily taught at SOAS, is absolutely essential, and therefore also to the study of Jainism in general. In the current economic climate, small specialised courses such as Prakrit have been cut by universities everywhere, and therefore can only be continued with the help of external sponsors.

What is Prakrit?

Prakrit is an ancient Indian language, first recorded over 2,000 years ago.
Throughout millennia, the Prakrit languages have been used for a range of purposes and literatures, but are above all associated with the writings of the Jain religion. 

At SOAS, teaching in Prakrit was for several years only possible through the Paul Thieme Lectureship, donated by Dr. Renate Söhnen-Thieme, following the termination of the Prakrit courses in 2010 due to austerity measures.

Prakrit is an endangered language...

Prakrit is no longer spoken, and used only in ritual contexts as a liturgical language. A rich literary tradition also exists in the Jain sacred texts.

How can you join the course?

The course is divided into two units. The first, Introduction to Prakrit, gives the student, even with no previous background in the study of Indian languages, over the course of a full term a complete overview of Prakrit grammar. The second, Readings in Prakrit, allows the student to read selections of classic Jain literature in the original Prakrit.
For more information, visit the course pages at the SOAS web site:

Introduction to Prakrit
Readings in Prakrit