[INDOLOGY] Open letter in support of Indology at the University of Halle
dharmaprof108 at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 30 17:30:50 UTC 2022
Just signed. Thank you, Philipp!
Dr. Jeffery D. Long
Carl W. Zeigler Professor of Religion, Philosophy, & Asian Studies
School of Arts & Humanities
Series Editor, Explorations in Indic Traditions: Ethical, Philosophical, and Theological
“One who makes a habit of prayer and meditation will easily overcome all difficulties and remain calm and unruffled in the midst of the trials of life.” (Holy Mother Sarada Devi)
“We are a way for the Cosmos to know itself.” (Carl Sagan)
> On Mar 30, 2022, at 9:59 AM, Philipp Maas via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
> Dear Friends and Colleagues,
> Please support an international community of scholars in their struggle to prevent the University of Halle-Wittenberg from cutting one of the few remaining chairs for Indology in Germany and sign an open letter to the minister of science of the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt, Prof. Dr. Willingmann.
> You may sign the letter, which I quote in full below, by entering your name and academic affiliation in an online document here https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FBrq-A4nC9-k_9Lex-M434I-t8LziFt0FNeQwDbAt_s/edit?usp=sharing <https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FBrq-A4nC9-k_9Lex-M434I-t8LziFt0FNeQwDbAt_s/edit?usp=sharing>.
> Cordial thanks to all of you who spare a minute to support this crucial matter,
> Philipp Maas
> PD Dr. Philipp A. Maas
> Locum Professor of Indology
> Institute for South Asian Studies and Indology
> Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg
> https://spp1448.academia.edu/PhilippMaas <https://spp1448.academia.edu/PhilippMaas>
> An open letter supporting the maintenance of Indology at the Martin-Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg and an early replacement of the chair <>
> The Minister of Science,
> Prof. Dr. Armin Willingmann
> Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Energie, Klimaschutz und Umwelt des Landes
> Leipziger Straße 58
> D-39112 Magdeburg (Germany)
> Email: VzMin at mwu.sachsen-anhalt.de <mailto:VzMin at mwu.sachsen-anhalt.de>
> Respected Minister, dear Prof. Willingmann,
> To mitigate severe budgetary difficulties, the senate of the Martin-Luther University (MLU) of Halle-Wittenberg will decide on April 6, 2022, to implement a budget and development plan that involves the cutting of the chair of Indology, and thus a de facto shut down of Indological research and education at the MLU Halle. If carried out, this ill-founded decision will eliminate the subject of Indology in the state of Saxony-Anhalt and severely damage teaching and research of this crucial academic subject in Germany, Europe and worldwide.
> The Republic of India and its neighbouring countries form the politically, economically and culturally powerful greater area of South Asia, comparable to Greater Europe in its cultural diversity, historical depth, and political and economic relevance. Pre-modern South Asia is home to the great religions of Hinduism and Buddhism and multiple cultural, literary and scientific traditions that contributed to the shaping of large parts of Asia from Tibet to China and from Thailand to Indonesia for many hundreds of years up to the present day. A fifth of the world’s population lives in South Asia today.
> Religions and worldviews originating from South Asia also gain influence in the western and globalized world. In the coming decades, the Republic of India is rising to a significant regional political and economic power. Against the background, Indological research and teaching, are evidently of central academic and social relevance.
> This fact is contrasted with an insufficient representation of Indology at German universities. Indology, whose topic is the entire cultural area of South Asia in all its dimensions for around 3500 years based on original language sources in Old and Middle Indic languages, is only represented at five universities in Germany with one professorship each. Further cuts are an existential danger for the subject of Indology in Germany.
> The decision to abolish Indology at the MLU Halle does not only leave Indology’s social and academic relevance out of consideration. It also entirely disregards the achievements of Indology at the MLU over the last fifteen years, such as the database of research articles SARDS 3 (https://sards.uni-halle.de/?do=about <https://sards.uni-halle.de/?do=about>), the most comprehensive up-to-date online dictionary of Sanskrit (http://nws.uzi.uni-halle.de/?lang=en <http://nws.uzi.uni-halle.de/?lang=en>), and the interactive palaeographic atlas of South Asia “Indoskript” (http://www.indoskript.org/ <http://www.indoskript.org/>). The former chair of Indology at the MLU Halle has raised more than 6,000,000 € in research funds from the German Research Foundation. Moreover, the Indological books series Veröffentlichungen der Indologischen Kommission and Studia Indologica Universitatis Halensis has published 60 monograph volumes in the same period (https://uvhw.de/studia-indologica.html <https://uvhw.de/studia-indologica.html>).
> One may safely assume that the successor of the chair of Indology will continue to write this academic story of success. If the MLU Halle implements the current budget and development plan as decided, it will, however, violate its fundamental interest.
> To prevent this damage from the MLU Halle and the academia in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany and Europe, we thus urgently request you to deny your approval to the abolition of Indology at the MLU Halle and to arrange the replacement of the vacant chair of Indology in due course.
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