AW: [INDOLOGY] "German Indology"

Gruenendahl, Reinhold gruenen at SUB.UNI-GOETTINGEN.DE
Sat Aug 18 14:48:23 UTC 2012

Belated thanks to Eli Franco for pointing out a shortcoming of my article (I was out of station for nearly two weeks). I should indeed have taken into consideration Frauwallner's 1939 reference to Oldenberg (Frauwallner, "Der arische Anteil an der indischen Philosophie", WZKM 46, p. 286):

"(...) es ist schon mehrfach versucht worden, einzelne Vorgänge der indischen Philosophie- und Religionsgeschichte mit der rassenmäßigen Zusammensetzung des indischen Volkes in Verbindung zu bringen. So ist z. B. schon früh die Meinung ausgesprochen worden, daß der Sieg der Religionen des Visnu und Siva auf dem Übergewicht beruht, den das einheimische Blut allmählich über den arischen Zustrom gewann. Ich verweise nur auf die glänzenden Ausführungen H. Oldenbergs in seinen Aufsätzen über "Die Literatur des alten Indien" (S. 131ff.). Aus der letzten Zeit möchte ich als Beispiel den Versuch H. von Glasenapps erwähnen, das Vordringen des Tantrismus und des buddhistischen Vajrayanam im 1. Jahrtausend n. Chr. aus rassischen Umschichtungen zu erklären. Nicht zu vergessen die zahlreichen neueren Versuche, vorarische Bestandteile in der indischen Philosophie und Religion nachzuweisen (...)."

As Franco righly points out in his comment, the passage proves Frauwallner's admiration for Oldenberg's stratification according to racial criteria. Whether his "Die Literaturen des alten Indien" (1903) was an immediate inspiration ("unmittelbare Inspiration") for Frauwallner, as Franco/Preisendanz claim (2010:XXVIII), remains a matter of speculation. Besides, similar claims could be made for Glasenapp or the (unnamed) "recent attempts" Frauwallner mentions.

My article should have taken into account Frauwallner's ‘racial stratification' of 1939, and, more importantly, it should have discussed this issue in its relation to – and distinction from – the proposition of a specifically ‘Nordic'/Indo-Germanic aptitude for "science in the strict sense" ("Wissenschaft im strengen Sinne"), put forward in Frauwallner's lecture of 1942. It bears reminding that, with regard to the latter issue, Frauwallner calls to witness not Oldenberg, but Wolfram von Soden - a fact that is of considerable consequence to the case made in my article.

It also bears reminding that the pertinent part of my article is not about the ‘stratification' and ‘aptitude' issues as such, but about the misrepresentation of the relevant sources (especially von Soden) as one of several examples of the distortive and manipulative discourse strategies employed by Sheldon Pollock and other theorists of "German Indology". Franco neither discusses this central point of my argument and the evidence I adduce in its support, nor does he explain why it should be invalidated wholesale by his (justified) critique of a side-issue.

As for Franco's contested involvement in Pollock's project, here is the pertinent quote in context (Franco, The Spitzer Manuscript, 2004, vol. 1, p. vii):
"During one of my visits to Israel I fortuitously met a bibliophile who mentioned Spitzer's name. I immediately expressed my desire to meet Spitzer, whose whereabouts I had once unsuccessfully tried to determine in connection with Professor Sheldon Pollock's project on Indology during the time of National Socialism in Germany."

Reinhold Grünendahl

Von: Indology [INDOLOGY at]" im Auftrag von "Eli Franco [franco at UNI-LEIPZIG.DE]
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 8. August 2012 11:11
Betreff: Re: [INDOLOGY] "German Indology"

Dear friends and colleagues,

For those of you who took the trouble to read this bizarre piece and
may wonder about the connection between Frauwallner and Hermann
Oldenberg's rac(ial)ist ruminations that Karin Preisendanz and I quoted
in our introduction to the new edition of Frauwallner's
Philosophie des Buddhismus, see the very explicit statement in
Frauwallner, "Der arische Anteil ...", p. 286.

Grünendahl has obviously not bothered to carefully read the relevant
articles by F. before he produced another of his diatribes directed
against critical scholars who touch upon the (political) history of
Indology in Germany and Austria during the NS period (and before).

The sloppiness of his polemical scholarship is also seen in his
fictitious assertion that Franco was "a (former) assistant on
'Professor Sheldon Pollock's project on Indology during the time of
National Socialism in Germany.'"

Further comments are not required here.

With best wishes,
Eli Franco

Quoting "Gruenendahl, Reinhold" <gruenen at SUB.UNI-GOETTINGEN.DE>:

> In view of earlier discussions on this list it may not be out of
> place to announce the publication of the following article:
> Reinhold Grünendahl: "History in the Making: On Sheldon Pollock's
> ‘NS Indology' and Vishwa Adluri's ‘Pride and Prejudice'".
> International Journal of Hindu Studies, Vol. 16,2, 2012, pp. 189-257.
> The article can be downloaded from here:
> Regards,
> R. G.

Prof. Dr. Eli Franco
Institut für Indologie und Zentralasienwissenschaften
Schillerstr. 6
04109 Leipzig

Ph. +49 341 9737 121, 9737 120 (dept. office)
Fax +49 341 9737 148

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