Gentoo studies

Shrisha Rao shrao at IA.NET
Sat May 29 00:18:39 UTC 1999

On Thu, 27 May 1999, Robert Zydenbos wrote:

> few of your remarks on this list I think I discern a fundamental
> misunderstanding underlying a few of the threads. Theology is
> not the same as philology, nor as Religionswissenschaft (what in
> English is vaguely called 'religious studies'). Later thinkers, also
> traditionalistic RV scholars, may have interesting things to say
> about scripture etc., but from a contemporary theological standpoint.

I have dealt with this issue of "contemporariness" well enough elsewhere,
and see no need to repeat myself here.

> This may be meaningful, in a way, for many people at the time when
> the theology is proclaimed, but it need not be a faithful reflection
> of historical reality. A historian of religion (any religion) does
> well to take a skeptical view of traditional theologians.

However, not to the extent of ignoring all evidence in making one's
postulations.  It is a welcome development that there are scholars now who
are willing and able to judge matter freely and who do not simply accept
matters on faith (a criticism that I must most vigorously make of almost
all contemporary traditional Vedic scholarship), it is unfortunate that
newer scholarship also becomes subject to the same kinds of pitfalls and
dogmas, albeit in a different form.

> Consider, e.g., the concept of "apauru.seyatva" and Prof. Witzel's
> recent comment on this list: not only does the concept have no base
> in the Vedas themselves, but those texts actually contradict it. (Let

I'm afraid Dr. Witzel's wrong, and so are you.


Shrisha Rao

> RZ

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