re Kalanos the gymnosophist

l.m.fosse at l.m.fosse at
Fri May 3 15:53:01 UTC 1996

Re: Borrowing of ideas:

Do what extent are ideas borrowed? Norwegian sailors sailed the seven seas
for 200 years, and the only thing they brought home were artifacts. No
Buddhism, Hinduism or Islam reached the shores of Norway before Buddhists,
Hindus and Muslims did. The British ruled India for almost 200 years, but
to what extent did the British become influenced by Indic culture in that
period? Rather slightly, I should think. Indic philosophy was studied
extensively by Westernes in the last century, yet this philosophy had
little or no impact upon our own brand. The bottom line seems to be that
nations are influenced by other cultures if they are under military
occupation for some time, or if they choose to regard another culture as an
exciting model, cf. the modern craze for imitating the culture of the USA
(Americanization). Also, the immigration of members of another culture into
an indigenous culture should have some effect. The Western world today has
pockets of Western Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus, but they are still
marginal. It remains to be seen if their influence will grow. Cultural
contact does not necessarily lead to the exchange of ideas, at least not on
a large scale.

Best regards,

Lars Martin Fosse

Lars Martin Fosse
Research Fellow
Department of East European
and Oriental Studies
P. O. Box 1030, Blindern
N-0315 OSLO Norway

Tel: +47 22 85 68 48
Fax: +47 22 85 41 40

E-mail: l.m.fosse at

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