The recently published book „The Oxford History of Hinduism: Hindu Law - A New History of Dharmaśāstra“, editet by Patrick Olivelle and Donald R. Davis, includes the chapters “Rites of Passage: saṃskāras” and “Ritual” by Prof. Dr. Axel Michaels (former head of the Department of Classical Indology). Further information is available here.
Through pointed studies of important aspects and topics of dharma in Dharmaśāstra, this comprehensive collection shows that the history of Hinduism cannot be written without the history of Hindu law. Part One provides a concise overview of the literary genres in which Dharmasastra was written with attention to chronology and historical developments. This study divides the tradition into its two major historical periods—the origins and formation of the classical texts and the later genres of commentary and digest—in order to provide a thorough, but manageable overview of the textual bases of the tradition. Part Two presents descriptive and historical studies of all the major substantive topics of Dharmasastra. Each chapter offers readers with salest knowledge of the debates, transformations, and fluctcating importance of each topic. Indirectly, readers will also gain insight into the ethos or worldview of religious law in Hinduism, enabling them to get a feel for how dharma authors thought and why. Part Three contains brief studies of the impact and reception of Dharmasastra in other South Asian cultural and textual traditions. Finally, Part Four draws inspiration from "critical terms" in contemporary legal and religious studies to analyze Dharmasastra texts. Contributors offer interpretive views of Dharmasastra that start from hermeneutic and social concerns today.
In the SAI-library:
We congratulate Prof. Dietmar Rothermund on the occasion of his 85th birthday. Dietmar Rothermund taught and conducted research at the South Asia Institute from 1968 until his retirement in 2001 and also served as the institute’s Executive Director.
In the article „Greeting India’s German friend on his 85th Geburtstag“ in the Indian newspaper The Tribune, Prof. Dr. Partha S. Ghosh portrays Prof. Rothermund and appreciates his outstanding achievments in his career.
Dietmar Rothermund studied history and philosophy in Marburg and Munich. In 1959 he earned his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia with a thesis on the social history of America. Since 1968, he was given the Chair of South Asian History shortly thereafter. Among the focus areas of Prof. Rothermund's research are the history of Indian political ideas, the country’s agricultural system during the colonial period, the person of Mahatma Gandhi and Indian economic history.
In 2011, Prof. Dr. Dietmar Rothermund received the Federal Cross of Merit for his achievements at the South Asia Institute, the dissemination of knowledge on India in Germany, and for his impressive scientific work.
Latest Thinking - an Open Access Video Journal - published an interview with Prof. Rahul Mukherji (Head of the Department of Political Science at the SAI) on "How does India achieve change in its policies". The video interview is available here.
India has been known to be a state that never changes. Since the 1980s, and especially after the 1990s, however, India’s growth trajectory has begun to evolve and change from its static status quo. RAHUL MUKHERJI has investigated the reasons for this change, as he explains in this video. For this, he looked at historical processes and compared processes that have achieved successful change to processes that have failed to achieve change. He found that India performs despite its slow developments in policies because they gradually achieve a consensus among political and social actors. Once this critical mass of ideas has been reached, changes in policies occur, for instance in the area of welfare policies, such as the implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
It is our pleasure to inform you that the Rektor of Heidelberg University has appointed a new Scientific Advisory Council for the SAI in December 2017.
The Council consists of seven internationally renown researchers who are appointed for a period of four years starting in January 2018.
The Council includes: Prof. Dr. Helene Basu (Ethnology, University of Münster), Prof. Crispin Bates (Professor of Modern and Contemporary South Asian History, University of Edinburgh), Prof. John Harriss (International Studies, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver), Prof. Barbara Harriss-White (Development Studies, University of Oxford), Prof. Dr. Konrad Klaus (Department of Indology, University of Bonn), Prof. Dr. Hermann Kreutzmann (Professor at the Chair of Human Geography, Department of Geography, FU Berlin) and Prof. Dr. Angelika Malinar (Professor of Indian Studies, University of Zurich).
The list is also available on this website. Currently we prepare the first visit of the Council to the SAI on Friday, January 19th 2018.