Michaels, Axel michaels at asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de
Thu May 23 10:38:49 UTC 2013

Dear Jonathan,

here two more titles on debt:

Chatterjee Ś?stri, Heramba. 1971. The Law of Debt in Ancient India. Calcutta, Sanskrit College Calcutta. (Calcutta Sanskrit College Research Series, LXXV)

Derrett, J. Duncan M. 1962. The Development of the Concept of Property in India c. A.D. 800-1800. Zeitschrift für vergleichende Rechtswissenschaft 64 ,15-130, elaborating on the RNadAnavidhi chapter in the 14th cent. VivAdaratnAkara

Best wishes, Axel

Prof. Dr. Axel Michaels

Director Excellence Cluster "Asia and Europe in a Global Context"
Sprecher des SFB 619 ("Ritualdynamik")

Universität Heidelberg, Südasien-Institut, Im Neuenheimer Feld 330, D-69120 Heidelberg
Tel. +49-6221-548917 / Fax +49-6221-546338


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From: Antonio Ferreira-Jardim <antonio.jardim at gmail.com<mailto:antonio.jardim at gmail.com>>
Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 3:57 AM
To: <indology at list.indology.info<mailto:indology at list.indology.info>>
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] debt

Dear Professor Silk,

Another useful work on debt is Prof HARA Minoru's article in "Langue,
Style et Structure dans le Monde Indien. Centenaire de Louis Renou." -
éd. N. Balbir & G-J Pinault. Paris:BEHE (1996) simply entitled:
“AnR.N.ya" pp.235–261.

Kind regards,
Antonio Ferreira-Jardim

On Wed, May 22, 2013 at 12:16 AM, Donald R Davis Jr <drdavis at wisc.edu<mailto:drdavis at wisc.edu>> wrote:
Dear Jonathan,

Charles Malamoud's classic articles on debt also appear in his Cooking the
World (Oxford, 1996). I will send the "Theology of Debt" piece to you.  For
the Dharmasastra view, as always, one should begin with Kane, History of
Dharmasastra, Vol. 3, pp.411ff.  The most thorough Indological treatment of
debt, however, is Heramba Chatterjee Sastri, The Law of Debt in Ancient
India (1971).  For what it's worth, I have a chapter on debt in the Spirit
of Hindu Law (Cambridge, 2010).  Finally, I can't help but mention David
Graeber's sprawling and wonderfully provocative Debt: A History of the First
5,000 Years, which includes ruminations on debt in ancient and medieval
India.  In all of this, I, like Patrick, have not seen a general forgiveness
of debt as an act of state or other authority.

Best, Don

On 5/21/2013 8:25 AM, Patrick Olivelle wrote:


Debt (ṛṇādāna) is the first of the so-called Title of Law (vyavahārapada) --
found in Kauṭilya's Arthaśāstra and Manu -- this is taken as the standard
(prakṛti) legal dispute, and it is within this subject that most early
authors (Manu, Yājñavalkya) present legal procedure (evidence etc.). So debt
was a BIG DEAL in Indian thought, and it is from this that the theology of
innate debts (Taittirīya Saṃhitā etc.) arose. But I do not see anywhere a
concept of forgiving debts -- such as Jubilee. The only comparable thing is
the rule that the interest cannot be reach a level more than the original
sum: thus what is ever payable is double what was borrowed. Once the
interest reaches that level, the principal ceases to accrue interest. There
are ways around this, but that is a whole other story.



On May 21, 2013, at 5:15 AM, Jonathan Silk wrote:

dear Colleagues,

I've been asked whether (tout court) Buddhism or Hinduism have any clear
attitudes toward debt. I understand the question not to refer to spiritual
debt, but to monetary debt, and the origins of the questions to probably be
whether we find things comparable to the idea of the Jubilee, or the
Biblical necessity to release Hebrew slaves after 7 years of service (the
origin of the Sabbatical, by the way!), and the like (at least as far as I
know, there is no such provision in pre-modern India for manumission).
Any advice would be most welcome, thanks!


J. Silk
Instituut Kern / Universiteit Leiden
Leiden University Institute for Area Studies, LIAS
Johan Huizinga Building, Room 1.37
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
The Netherlands
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