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Devadattīyam

Johannes Bronkhorst Felicitation Volume

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Edited By François Voegeli, Vincent Eltschinger, Danielle Feller, Maria Piera Candotti, Bogdan Diaconescu and Malhar Kulkarni

Johannes Bronkhorst, professor of Sanskrit and Indian Studies at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, from 1987 to 2011, undoubtedly belongs to the most talented and significant indologists of the last three decades. His abundant work testifies to an unparalleled range of interests from early Buddhism to grammar, mathematics to asceticism, philosophy to archaeology, and is characterized by the determination to challenge preconceived ideas, clichés and traditional (mis)constructs.
The present felicitation volume includes thirty-two essays by some of the finest scholars in the field of indology, which reflect Johannes Bronkhorst’s main scholarly contributions: Grammar, Philosophy, Vedic Studies, Buddhism and Jainism, Dharmaśāstra and Arthaśāstra, Epics and Purāṇas. It presents an almost complete spectrum of the intellectual and spiritual pursuits and speculations in Ancient India, and will be of inestimable value to the specialists of all fields of Indology. The volume also includes a presentation of Johannes Bronkhorst’s academic career and contribution to Indian Studies by Jan E.M. Houben, and an ongoing bibliography of his work.

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JAN E. M. HOUBEN: Johannes Bronkhorst and Indian Studies 1

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JAN E. M. HOUBEN Johannes Bronkhorst and Indian Studies* Intellectual courage. Independent thinking. Those who, like me, have had the privilege to have him as research guide or teacher and those who still have that privilege will know very well that these are characteristics par excellence of Johannes Bronkhorst. Two characteristics which are also evident from his numerous research publications which, in addition, show a wide research interest that covers the domains of Indian philo- sophy, Sanskrit grammar, Buddhology and Vedic studies.1 We see cou- rage to throw oneself into the most difficult problems in these domains, such as: Pāṇinian grammar and its relation with Vedic texts; the history of Buddhist thought starting in early Abhidharma texts; underlying pre- suppositions in early classical philosophical systems including the phi- losophy of grammar; the chronological relationship between Upaniṣads mutually and with Buddhism. We see independent thinking that gives argued defence of standpoints that deviate from or are opposite to estab- lished consensus. Established consensus and widespread scholarly opin- ions are never adhered to on the basis of authoritative names in either the western or the Indian tradition but they are either accepted or rejected on the basis of rigorous arguments that start from direct textual evidence. Johannes was born on 17th July 1946 in Schiedam into a family of two brothers and a sister all born before WW II. His younger brother was born almost two years later. His father was a chemical engineer and * I thank Ruud Bronkhorst and...

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