Indology in Berlin

Harunaga Isaacson Harunaga.Isaacson at UNI-HAMBURG.DE
Mon Dec 11 12:50:01 UTC 2006

Dr. Ingo Strauch (Freie Universitaet Berlin) has requested the INDOLOGY
committee to post to the list a message which was sent a few days ago to the
Indo-Eurasian Research Yahoo group by Dr. Caren Dreyer. It is about a matter
which will surely be of concern to all Indologists. 

This is to inform [the List], that not only at Cambridge but also at
Berlin there will be no in-depth Sanskrit Studies any more in the near

Since 1821 Sanskrit has been taught at a Berlin university by such well
known scholars as Bopp, Weber, Pischel, Lüders et al.

Now as a result of structural policy of the two major Berlin
universities on the one hand and the over all BA/MA reforms on the other
there will be no more students after 2008 of Sanskrit in a BA-course. As
a consequence traditional Indology will cease to exist at Berlin.

There is no consolation in the fact, that the teaching of Indian
Art-History will survive for the time being as a subject under the roof
of General Art-History and Modern Indian History will still be taught at
Humboldt-University. Sanskrit and the other historical Indian Languages
and the bulk of literature and informations transmitted through them
will remain closed to all students of that fields.

To indologists these measures are obviously short sighted and ridiculous
in the light of the importance of Sanskrit and its derivates for the
development and spread of all cultures in India, Central- and

It is deplorable that the many years fight of a scholar of great
international reputation as Harry Falk for the survival of his field at
one of the two Berlin universities seems to have been in vain.

For further information please contact:

Caren Dreyer:mail at
Ingo Strauch: strauchi at


Prof. Dr. Harunaga Isaacson
Universität Hamburg
Abteilung für Kultur und Geschichte Indiens und Tibets
Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1 (Hauptgebäude)
tel. +49 (0)40 42838-3382

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