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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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BUDDHISM AND JAINISM

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VINCENT ELTSCHINGER Debate, Salvation and Apologetics On the Institutionalization of Dialectics in the Buddhist Monastic Environment∗ Introduction In several publications,1 Johannes Bronkhorst has drawn our attention to the possibility that debate may have been instrumental in the rise of doc- trinal systematicity, philosophy and more generally “rational inquiry”2 in ancient India. According to him, the “rationalization of Sarvāstivāda teaching”3 that took place in Northwestern India during the second cen- tury BCE (at the latest) might be due to the fact that these Buddhists “lived in a milieu in which Greek culture played an important role.”4 One important feature of Hellen(ist)ic culture is the importance accorded ∗ Most sincere thanks are due to Jan Nattier for her many insightful remarks, and to Masamichi Sakai who took the trouble of reading the incipit of the *UHCH with me. Needless to say, all interpretations and especially mistakes are mine. Let me take this opportunity to express a twenty-years long indebtedness to Johannes Bronk- horst, my first teacher in Sanskrit, who awakened me to things Indian, historical as well as philosophical. Johannes Bronkhorst has always been a sensitive teacher who made it its ethic to listen to his students, to share his reflections, his enthusiasms and his vision of ancient India as an organic whole. He belongs to those very few scholars whose provocative views give us a chance to go beyond ready-made as- sumptions, doxographies and unquestioned interpretative traditions – both academic and civilizational. 1 See BRONKHORST...

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