[INDOLOGY] The so-called German Indology

Philipp Maas philipp.a.maas at gmail.com
Sun Jun 14 06:23:27 EDT 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Many thanks for the many responses on my enquiry about the applicability of
historical critical methods in general and by Germans scholars in
particular, from which I understood that many colleagues would subscribe to
the following views:

Although critical scholarship is necessary and methods may be refined,
historical critical methods are indispensable.

Bad scholarship must be bared. However, publishers and reviewers are
responsible to reduce its spread to a minimum.

Scholarly defamation and nationalistic discrimination (of which “The Nay
Science” is an example) are not acceptable.

Besides this, one colleague argued that the book is a good teaching
material, because it provides so many German text passages in translation.
Well, I am not entirely convinced by this argument.

With regard to “The Nay Science” I would like to draw attention to the
article by Hanneder from 2011 (!), posted to Indology by Prof. Slaje in
response to my question, in which Hanneder argues in factual terms that
already Adluri’s earlier research on German scholarship was flawed and
formulated in an ethically objectionable rhetoric.

Oxford University Press and their peer-reviewers could have been informed.
However, OUP provided Bagchee a platform for presenting his research not
only by publishing “The Nay Science”, but also by depicting it as the state
of the art of contemporary scholarship in their Oxford Bibliography on
Hinduism, s.v. “German Indology.

I fully agree with Prof. Wujasty, who wrote in his response to my question
that the matter “deserves a more serious response, but I'm not interested
personally.” For me, this is partly the case because as an owner of a
German passport I might appear to some who are sympathetic with the theses
of Adluri and Bagchee simply as a usual suspect (“Any defence can
rhetorically be turned into a proof of the allegation” Hanneder, op.cit.,
p. 131).

With best wishes,

Philipp Maas

Dr. Philipp A. Maas
Institut für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde
Universität Wien
Spitalgasse 2-4, Hof 2, Eingang 2.1
A-1090 Wien
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