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Welcome to Professor Gérard Colas

We cordially welcome Professor Gérard Colas as guest professor at the Department of Cultural and Religious History of South Asia in summer term 2018. He will hold the seminar „Understanding Religious Icons in Ancient India“, which examines the diversity of Indian viewpoints about religious icons from the earliest testimonies up to around 13th century. Further information is available here.

Professor Colas is a a Sanskrit philologist and senior researcher at the EHESS-CNRS (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), which is France’s leading academic institution for South Asia.

His doctorat de 3e cycle was devoted to the study of the architectural guidelines laid out in a Sanskrit text, as compared to temples in South India (1982). His doctorat d’État (1994) consisted in a study of the medieval Sanskrit literature produced by the Vaikhānasas, Vaishnavite temple priests in South India.

His fields of research include concepts of religious icon, normative texts on temple rituals, ritual and music as known from ancient Sanskrit texts, textual criticism, transmission of texts and paleography of ancient India, Catholic and Protestant missionaries in India and their works in Sanskrit and Telugu and history of Sanskrit scholastics.

Further information is available on his personal website.


Memorandum of Understanding for the Heinrich Zimmer Chair signed

The funding of the Heinrich Zimmer Chair for Indian Philosophy and Intellectual History will continue until 2021. On Tuesday, 8 May 2018, the Ambassador of the Republic of India in Germany, Mukta Dutta Tomar, and the President of Heidelberg University, Prof. Dr. med. Bernhard Eitel, signed a corresponding "Memorandum of Understanding", which sets the continuation of the funding for this period.
The Heinrich Zimmer Chair of Indian Philosophy and Intellectual History was established in 2009 and is awarded by the Indian Government to the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

For further information, please see the press release by Heidelberg University.

Signing of „Memorandum of Understanding“: Prof. Dr. Nikolas Jaspert, Cluster „Asia and Europe“, Mukta Dutta Tomar, Ambassador of the Republic of India in Germany, President of Heidelberg University, Prof. Dr. Bernhard Eitel, and Executive Director of the South Asia Institute, Prof. Dr. William S. Sax (from left to right)

(Photo: Fink)

Studies in Historical Documents from Nepal and India published

Heidelberg University Publishing recently published the anthology "Studies in Historical Documents from Nepal and India" by Simon Cubelic, Axel Michaels and Astrid Zotter. This volume is the outcome of the conference “Studying Documents in Premodern South Asia and Beyond: Problems and Perspective”, held in October 2015 in Heidelberg.

In bringing together experts from different fields—including Indology, Tibetology, History, Anthropology, Religious Studies, and Digital Humanties—it aims at exploring and rethinking issues of diplomatics and typology, the place of documents in relation to other texts and literary genres, methods of archiving and editing documents, as well as their “social life”, i.e. the role they play in social, religious and political constellations, the agents and practices of their use, and the norms and institutions they embody and constitute.

The book is the first volume of the Documenta Nepalica – Book Series, published by the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in collaboration with the National Archives, Nepal.

Further information is available here.



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