[INDOLOGY] Nazis, India

Joydeep jbagchee at gmail.com
Wed Oct 31 12:57:35 EDT 2018


Not again! We’ve gone over this ground already. Eli already raised these
‘misunderstandings’ of *The Nay Science *before. We comprehensively
responded to him in “Theses on Indology.” But if Jan wishes to have it all
explained again, here we go. Jan raises the following objections:



1. That we did not define German by race or nation or language.

2. That we overlooked the commonality of German Indology with other
countries.

3. That we made a subset of German Indology stand in for the whole.

4. That we critique Indology because we stand for tradition.

5. That we therefore stand outside a European tradition of critical inquiry.

6. And finally, that our work lacks the proper graces.



The definition of German Indology in terms of allegiance to intellectual
concerns and a methodological and institutional paradigm is wholly
consistent within itself, and misunderstandings such as those voiced in
points 2 and 3 only arise because scholars insist on the categories of
nation, language, and ethnicity. Finally, we can continue to repeat tropes
of “European = critical,” “Indian = traditional.” By now it is amply clear
whose work is critical and who is desperately trying to protect traditional
authority and privilege. Who is caricaturing whom here?



In order not to belabor the discussion, I have appended a list of our
writings where further clarifications to Jan’s comments can be found. If
there are new objections, Vishwa and I will be happy to respond to them.
But let’s not self-defeatingly keep proposing ethnic or national
definitions of “German” and stereotypes of “the critical European” vs. “the
uncritical Indian.” It only confirms the point.



On “German Indology and National Socialism” see “Jews and Hindus in
Indology,” 24, n. 95, 26, n. 105, 27, n. 106, and 69, n. 199. On “Andrew
Nicholson” see “The Real Threat to the Humanities Today,” 1–16. On “Jürgen
Hanneder” see “5 in 10—Interview with Joydeep Bagchee” and “Against
Occidentalism: A Conversation with Alice Crary and Vishwa Adluri in *The
Nay Science*.” On “caricature” see “Method and Racism in German Mahābhārata
Studies,” 1–6. On “voluminous publication” see “Theses on Indology,” 9–10
(on Bronkhorst), 10 (on Hanneder), and 11–14 (on Witzel). On “the European
critical method of textual study” see *Philology and Criticism*, 63–65, and
99–100 (on Bronkhorst), 45–157 (on Bigger), 169–314 (on Grünendahl), 269–70
(on Slaje), 270–71 (on Hinüber), 271–72 (on Fitzgerald), 272 (on Pollock),
320–36 (on Witzel), and 429–78 (on Brockington). On accepting “any
traditionally proposed interpretation […] without much reflection” see
ibid., 111–13 and 144–45 (on Austin), 21, 28–29, and 113–14 (on
Fitzgerald), 270 (on Bronkhorst), 434–35 and 466, n. 118 (on Brockington),
and the aforementioned pages in the Argument from Expertise again. See also
“Paradigm Lost,” 215–49 and 53–54 (on Jezic), 265, n. 12 (on Brockington),
282, n. 91 (on Witzel, Brockington, Malinar, and Szczurek), and 286, n. 104
(on Jezic, Szczurek, and Fitzgerald). See also Adluri, comments on Philipp
A. Maas, “Negotiating Efficiencies,” parts 1–2 and final response. On “a
very precise methodic research strategy […] which goes back to earlier
stages of European philosophy [philology?] and critical reflection”
see *Philology
and Criticism*, 319–20, 323–24, and 339–40. On “the art of ignoring” or
“methodic ignorance” see “Jews and Hindus in Indology,” 66, n. 193 (on
Stache-Rosen, Franco, Schechtelich, Grünendahl, and Slaje). See also *The
Nay Science*, 426, n. 232 (on Slaje) and 444, n. 37 (on Steinkellner) and
the OBO entry on German Indology (on Hanneder). See also *Philology and
Criticism*, 432–33 and 435–49 (on Brockington’s ignorance of the concept of
a Venn diagram). On “pure philological and linguistic research” see
“Indology: The Origins of Racism in the Humanities” 7 (on F. Schlegel) and
8–14 and 17, n. 43 (on A. W. Schlegel). On “the research paradigm of
philological and linguistic research” see *Philology and Criticism*, 326,
nn. 7–8 (on Grünendahl), 326, nn. 9 (on Pollock and Jamison), and 327–28,
nn. 17–18 (on Witzel). See also Adluri, review of Pollock, et al., eds., *World
Philology*, 908–10 and Adluri, review of Malinar, *The Bhagavadgītā*,
102–105. On the “negativity” of “European critical methods” see *Philology
and Criticism*, 93, n. 24 and 313, nn. 359–60. See also Bagchee’s
forthcoming review of Rabault-Feuerhahn, *Archives of Origins *in the
*International
Journal of Hindu Studies*. On the “close relations” of German Indology with
“European orientalism” see the OBO entry “European Constructions of
Hinduism.”



(Except for “European Constructions of Hinduism" all writings are available
via Vishwa’s or my Academia page)


Dr. Joydeep Bagchee
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Academia.edu Homepage <https://fu-berlin.academia.edu/JoydeepBagchee>

The Nay Science
<http://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-nay-science-9780199931361;jsessionid=94DFF6B197750DBE7C7E64A4FB8B28D2?cc=de&lang=en&>
Argument and Design
<http://www.brill.com/products/book/argument-and-design-unity-mahabharata>
Reading the Fifth Veda <http://www.brill.com/reading-fifth-veda>
When the Goddess Was a Woman <http://www.brill.com/when-goddess-was-woman>
Transcultural Encounters between Germany and India
<http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415844697/>
German Indology on OBO Hinduism
<http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780195399318/obo-9780195399318-0147.xml>
___________________
What, then, is Philosophy?
Philosophy is the supremely precious.

Plotinus, Enneads I.III.5


On Sun, Oct 28, 2018 at 4:58 PM Jan E.M. Houben via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Dear Shyam Ranganathan,
> This is a legitimate question, which merits an adequate response.
> My "two cents":
> You may already have looked at the bibliographical article “German
> Indology” by Joydeep Bagchee (JB) (Oxford Bibliographies online:
> www.oxfordbibliographies.com under “German Indology” or:
>
> www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780195399318/obo-9780195399318-0147.xml
> )
> Since, as I pointed out elsewhere, “Indology was more or less since its
> beginnings, end 18th – beginning 19th century, mainly “European” in
> character with intensive cooperations between French, British and German
> specialists, and has thus not only been sharing Oriental dreams but also a
> Nazi-nightmare,” the focus on “German Indology” in JB’s article is itself
> problematic, especially because the author justifies it by invoking “a
> distinct history and traditions” for German Indology, and “unique concerns
> that set it apart from other forms of research into India” (“German
> Indology”, section “Introduction”). Given this and other peculiar premises,
> the article contains nevertheless useful bibliographic references and brief
> evaluations (from the author’s point of view) of relevant publications,
> especially – for your subject – in two sections of the article: “National
> Socialism” (topic: German Indology and National Socialism) and “German
> Responses to National Socialist Indology.” Another relevant section is
> “Orientalism Debate” which, in the view of the author (JB), as he expresses
> it in his evaluation of Halbfass’s India and Europe (1988), really starts
> with the publication of “Pollock 1993” (see above). It is hence regrettable
> but not entirely surprising that the collective volume Beyond Orientalism
> (1997) is regarded by JB as a work which “does not directly address the
> orientalist debate; it is really an overview of Halbfass’s work as a
> post-orientalist scholar.” In this section a reference is lacking to my
> review of this work which discusses and demonstrates how the work and in
> particular Halbfass’s dialogical contributions to it are indeed directly
> relevant to the “Orientalism Debate” (“Orientalism, its critique, and
> beyond: review article of Beyond Orientalism, ed. by K. Preisendanz and E.
> Franco, Amsterdam 1997” (15 [1998]: 16) IIAS-Newsletter : Newsletter of the
> International Institute for Asian Studies (Leiden), no. 15. 1998 :
> https://www.academia.edu/6169112). With regard to Halbfass’s unsurpassed
> India and Europe (1988), the author (JB) thinks that it “needs revision in
> light of newer discoveries” but fails to point out that several currently
> self-styled “new discoveries” need, in fact, also revision in the light of
> Halbfass’s monumental achievement in comparative philosophy which is
> exceptionally well-founded both in “Western” and in Indian philosophy.
> I have in the meantime also updated my almost antique "conference report"
> (of the 29th DOT of the DMG in Leipzig, 1995)
> www.academia.edu/7378413
> with two "Further Postscripts", the second of which containing a brief *compte
> rendu* of VA&JB's *The Nay Science* in which I address two "key-problems"
> that remain in this work, a heavy “stone in the pond” of Indology and Asian
> Studies, in spite of the large number of reviews and rejoinders that have
> already appeared, and propose two "keys" to solve them.
> With best regards,
> Jan Houben
>
> On Mon, 15 Oct 2018 at 18:26, Shyam Ranganathan via INDOLOGY <
> indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
>
>> Dear all,
>>
>> Forgive me if this question has an obvious answer that I don't know.
>>
>> I recall that in *India and Europe,* Halbfass discusses the development
>> of ideas associated with National Socialism by those who took an interest
>> in India. I'm wondering if there is anything classic on this topic. I'm
>> trying to reference, in passing, the racist reception of India in Europe
>> (the friendliness to "Arya" or "Swastika" for instance) where India was
>> treated as a kind of European prehistory, and I'm not sure what to point
>> to. I'm happy to point to Halbfass, though I was wondering if there was
>> something specifically on this topic (a paper or book).
>>
>> Thanks,
>>
>> Shyam
>>
>>
>> --
>>
>> Shyam Ranganathan
>>
>> Department of Philosophy
>>
>> York Center for Asian Research
>> York University, Toronto
>>
>>
>>
>> shyam-ranganathan.info  <http://shyam-ranganathan.info/>
>>
>>
>>
>> *Hinduism: A Contemporary Philosophical Investigation
>> <https://www.routledge.com/Hinduism-A-Contemporary-Philosophical-Investigation/Ranganathan/p/book/9781138909106>*
>>
>>
>>
>> *The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Indian Ethics
>> <http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/the-bloomsbury-research-handbook-of-indian-ethics-9781472587770/>*
>>
>>
>>
>> *Patañjali`s Yoga Sūtras
>> <http://penguin.co.in/book/classics/patanjalis-yoga-sutra/>* (Translation,
>> Edition and Commentary)
>>
>>
>>
>> *Translating Evaluative Discourse: The Semantics of Thick and Thin
>> Concepts <https://philpapers.org/rec/SHYTED>*
>>
>>
>>
>> Full List, Publications <https://philpapers.org/profile/22035>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
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>>
>
>
> --
>
> *Jan E.M. Houben*
>
> Directeur d'Études, Professor of South Asian History and Philology
>
> *Sources et histoire de la tradition sanskrite*
>
> École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE, PSL - Université Paris)
>
> *Sciences historiques et philologiques *
>
> 54, rue Saint-Jacques, CS 20525 – 75005 Paris
>
> *johannes.houben at ephe.sorbonne.fr <johannes.houben at ephe.sorbonne.fr>*
>
> *johannes.houben at ephe.psl.eu <johannes.houben at ephe.psl.eu>*
>
> *https://ephe-sorbonne.academia.edu/JanEMHouben
> <https://ephe-sorbonne.academia.edu/JanEMHouben>*
> _______________________________________________
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