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Prof. Dr. Günther-Dietz Sontheimer (†)

In Memoriam

On 2nd June, 1992, Professor Dr. Günther-Dietz Sontheimer died suddenly and unexpectedly in his house in Dossenheim at the age of 58. His death is an irreplaceable loss for his friends and colleagues as well as for the academic world. He represented a trend in Indology which must be regarded as revolutionary - especially in Germany - in comparison to traditional classical Indology. He combined knowledge of classical legal texts (dharmashastra) with empirical research on religion, archaeology and history of art. He saw Hinduism as a continuum from the 'Great Tradition' through folk culture. The basis for his studies was a thorough knowledge of modern regional languages in addition to Sanskrit; his approach was founded on empirical observation, carried out regularly and very often during his 'field trips'.

Origin and childhood

Günther-Dietz Sontheimer was born on 21st April, 1934, in Ulm on the Danube. His father, Dr. Walter Sontheimer, had been posted there from Stuttgart as headmaster of the 'Gymnasium'. His mother, Herma Sontheimer, neé Dietz, came from Bromberg, capital of the Prussian province of Posen till 1919. Thus, Günther Sontheimer was half south and half east German in origin. His mother's surname was added to his Christian name, but among his friends he was known as just Günther - or, in India, affectionately, as Gunther Rao. During World War II, the family moved to the old home of his mother, where Günther attended primary school for a couple of years. In November, 1945 he joined the second form at the Eberhard-Ludwigs-Gymnasium in Stuttgart and received his Abitur in February, 1953.

Authors like Manfred Kyber, Rudyard Kipling and Waldemar Bonsels implanted an early interest in India in his mind. Already during his schooldays Günther was actively involved in the Indo-German Society in Stuttgart, and served for some time as its secretary. One of the founders of the first Indian students' association {Bharat Majlis) in Germany, he was also for a long time a board member of this association. At that time, Stuttgart was already the centre of Indo-German activities, Adalbert Seifriz and Giselher Wirsing being the most prominent personalities in this field.

Academic studies

It was, therefore, not too surprising that after his Abitur Günther wanted to study Indology. But his father expressed reservation because he felt that this subject did not have any career prospects. Therefore he told his son to study law 'full time' and Indology merely as a subsidiary subject. This is what Sontheimer did in nearby Tübingen. Understandably, it was de facto the other way round: Indology was his first priority. Nonetheless, he passed his first state examination in law in December, 1957.

At that time, Helmuth von Glasenapp held the chair of Indology at the University of Tübingen. He was different from his German colleagues in so far as he had been to India several times and thus was also interested in contemporary India, especially in its religions. Accordingly, and certainly also influenced by his activities within the Bharat Majlis, Sontheimer not only studied Sanskrit and the Indological canon, but also Hindi.

After finishing his studies of law, Sontheimer applied for a scholarship of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in order to pursue further studies in India. From June, 1958, to May, 1961, he studied history of Hindu law, Anglo-Hindu law and modern Hindu law at the Law College of Poona University under the guidance of Principal G. V. Pandit. He read Sanskrit law texts with Professor V. M. Bedekar, and dedicated himself to learning Marathi and deepening his knowledge of Hindi.

The most important experience of Sontheimer's stay in Poona was meeting and working with the renowned Indian historian and mathematician D. D. Kosambi. Kosambi took him along on many of his field trips in Maharashtra, and thus set the course for Sontheimer's own scholarly programme. Kosambi himself combined philological, religious and social-anthropolocial approaches. By working with him, Sontheimer was able to gain insights into the origin and efI'ects of ideas that can also be found, among other places, in ancient Indian legal texts.

In Poona, Sontheimer became aware of the works of Professor J. D. M. Derrett, professor of Oriental law at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of the University of London, and contacted him from India. Derrett is considered to be the foremost scholar on Hindu law. He invited Sontheimer to be his Ph.D.-student, and Sontheimer studied in London from October, 1961 till April, 1965.

Sontheimer's thesis for a 'postgraduate diploma in Law' was based on material he had gathered in India. The subject of the thesis was 'The Concept of Daya: a Comparative Study'. The thesis dealt with a fundamental principle of Sanskrit inheritance law, and was rated by his examiners, Professor Derrett and Professor Gledhill, as outstanding. Sontheimer passed a written examination in British legal methods in 1962. In October, 1965 he was awarded the degree of Ph.D. for a thesis on 'The Joint Hindu Family: its Evolution as a Legal Institution'. This work is based primarily on Sanskrit texts but also takes into account modern developments, i.e., the influence of British and modern Indian law.

It would have been tempting for Sontheimer to remain at SOAS. He could have become a lecturer and a reader there. During Professor Derrett's absence as a visiting professor in the USA Sontheimer had already substituted for him for a semester. But then Professor Hermann Berger offered Sontheimer a position as a research scholar in the department of Indology of the newly founded South Asia Institute of the University of Heidelberg. Günther Sontheimer wanted, as he himself later wrote, to re-establish in Germany 'in a modest way', the study of Sanskrit Law which had been disrupted through the war. Furthermore, he also wanted to tackle other Indological subjects, and he thought the South Asia Institute would be the ideal place to pursue these goals. He came to Heidelberg in summer, 1965.

Scholar and Academic Teacher

Günther Sontheimer worked at the South Asia Institute For more than a quarter of a century. His career there had the following stages:

- 1974
Habilitation and appointment as Universitätsdozent and Head of the Department of History of Religion and Philosophy (Indology III)
- 1977
Extra-ordinary Professor - 1979 Professor (C 3).

These years were very fruitful: he published three monographs and about 50 articles, edited (together with colleagues) several volumes of articles, and was the general editor of two series: Neuindische Studien (together with Hermann Berger and Lothar Lutze) and the South Asian Digest of Regional Writing (together with Lothar Lutze). He translated a novel from Marathi into German: Das Dorf hieß Bangarvadi (The Village was Called Bangarvadi) by Vyankatesh Madgulkar. Among Sontheimer's many achievements were included four films, the first made in collaboration with Günther Unbescheid, the others with Henning Stegmüller.

During his 27 years at the South Asia Institute, Günther Sontheimer spent a considerable part of his time in India. From 1973 to 1975 he was the Representative of the Institute at its Branch Ofiice in New Delhi; each year, he spent several months in India. He spoke Marathi and Hindi fluently; he also knew Tamil and Kannada. He was more at home in India, especially the Deccan, than almost any other foreigner.

Sontheimer's research interests may be classified as follows: 1. Hindu Law; 2. the culture of pastoralist nomads on the Deccan, especially of the Dhangars; 3. bhakti, Hindu ethics; 4. Marathi literature and 5. the position of folk religion within Hinduism. His main subject, undoubtedly, was the religion and history of pastoralist society in the Deccan, the origin and development of local cults, and their relation to the classical tradition. He collected the oral traditions of these groups, especially those of the semi-nomadic Dhangars. He spent so much time with the Dhangars that they finally came to regard him as one of them. The primary academic product of this intensive field-work was his Habilitation thesis: Biroba, Mhaskoba and Khandoba : Ursprung, Geschichte und Umwelt von pastoralen Gottheiten in Maharastra (English Translation: Pastoral Deities in Western India, 1989).

He continued writing many articles on this subject. The peak of his work on the Dhangars, however, was reached with his films, to which he dedicated much of his energy during the last phase of his life. These Films have not only been presented to the scholarly world but were also shown on German television. The premiere of his last film, König Khandobas Jagdausflug (King Khandoba's Hunting Trip), on lOth July, 1992 in Heidelberg was at the same time an academic homage to him. Due to the rapid modernisation in India, the world of the Dhangars is already endangered, and thus these films represent a unique scholarly documentation. Only Sontheimer could have made them. Urban Indians are hardly interested in this part of the population ('backward fellows'), other foreigners would not have been admitted to these groups. Only Sontheimer enjoyed their confidence, only he had the requisite knowledge, love and veneration for them. In this sense, as in others, it is no exaggeration to say that Sontheimer's death is an irreplaceable loss.

In 1980, he published an eighty-seven-page article on 'Die Ethik im Hinduismus' ('Ethics in Hinduism') in : Ethik der Religionen (Ethics of Religions) edited by Karl-Heinz Ratschow. In this article, Sontheimer approaches his subject very carefully and from a number of explicitly differentiated points of view. The article makes active use of his knowledge of dharmashastra and bhakti, literature as well as folk religion. According to Sontheimer, there is nothing like the ethics oF Hinduism, just as there is no one Hinduism. Consequently, Sontheimer mentions advaita, the ethics or non-ethics of which are usually stressed or even absolutized in Western depictions of Hinduism, only fleetingly. Folk religion is as characteristic of and as important in Hinduism as any Sanskrit texts. Folk religion indicates the extent to which the conceptions of 'high religion' are really effective. Sontheimer finds a high degree of discrepancy between classical texts and living folk religion. And he sees no fundamental breach between traditional Hinduism and Neo-Hinduism: there are fluid transitions between the two.

What Sontheimer identified, at a symposium in memory of Hermann Goetz, as Goetz's concern was also his own: that Indian culture cannot be understood through classical, Sanskrit texts alone; that only a combination of different sources can preclude a onesided image of India; and that only a balanced interpretation of seemingly contradictory sources can produce an adequate picture.

In spite of all his reservations about abstract theory, Sontheimer always strove to grasp the phenomenon as a whole, and thus to do justice to its complexity. What he finally came to was not a formula, but the cognition that Hinduism can only be described adequately as a juxtaposition of 'five components', which not only coexist, but also influence one another and pervade one another. These five components are: l. teachings and works of Brahmins, 2. the idea of world renunciation, 3. tribal religions, 4. folk religion, and 5. bhakti. The characterization and description of Hinduism as a constellation or combination of these five components instead of as a homogenous whole may be regarded as the quintessence of Sontheimer's many individual studies and thus as a kind of intellectual legacy. He presented this idea for the first time at the European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies in Wilhelmsfeld near Heidelberg in 1986, and again in 1987 in Darmstadt and, finally, once again in Heidelberg, in the context of a series of public lectures held by the South Asia Institute, ten days before his death.

His death on 2nd June, 1992, came as a shock to all who knew him. In Maharashtra, the sad tidings made the front page of the newspapers. With Günther Sontheimer, we have lost not only an internationally renowned and excellent scholar, but also a very dear and beloved teacher, colleague and friend. His spacious flat in Dossenheim was a base and temporary dwelling for friends and guests from all over the world, especially, of course, for those from India. The fact that a world-wide group of scholars working on Maharashtra has evolved is largely due to his interest. It is a solace that Günther Sontheimer could gather all of them at a conference in Heidelberg in 1988. His constant commuting between Germany and India expressed his endeavours for a continuous exchange between the two countries, both of students and colleaques. He secured many scholarships in both directions. He once called himself a mediator, living on a bridge between the cultures.

His admirers and friends in India are planning to hold a 'Memorial Conference' in honor of him. The best memorial, however, would be the realization of his old plan to set up a museum at Jejuri, the pilgrimage place of God Khandoba.

— Jürgen Lütt;
(translation by Stephanie Zingel-Avé Lallemant and Anne Feldhaus)

Curriculum Vitae

Geboren am 21.04. 1934 in Ulm, gestorben am 2.06. 1992 in Dossenheim

1953 - 1958
Studium der Rechtswissenschaft und Indologie (Sanskrit, Hindi, Urdu), u.a. bei Prof. Helmut von Glasenapp in Tübingen.
Erstes juristisches Staatsexamen.
1958 - 1961
Studium des traditionellen indischen Rechts am Law College in Poona.
Dreijähriger Studienaufenthalt als Stipendiat des DAAD. Dabei ausgedehnte Feldforschungen im Staat Maharashtra mit dem bekannten indischen Historiker D. D. Kosambi.
1961 - 1964
Studium des hinduistischen Rechts und Marathi an der Universität London.
Abschluß durch ein Diplom im Law und Promotion über ein Thema zum Recht des hinduistischen Familienverbandes in den Sanskrittexten, der britischen Rechtssprechung in Indien und der modernen indischen Gesetzgebung.
Seit 1965
am Südasien-Institut der Universität Heidelberg tätig.
Mehr als 40 Indienaufenthalte, besonders zu Feldforschungen, mit Ausgangspunkt Poona. Diese Forschungen galten bes. der indischen Volksreligion, den Hirtengruppen auf dem Dekhan (Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka), ihren Kulten, mündlichen Überlieferungen und Bräuchen.
Die Erforschung und Dokumentation von Kulturgütern, die angesichts der modernen Entwicklungen vom Untergang bedroht sind, gehörten zu seinem Arbeitsgebiet. Dabei handelt es sich zum Beispiel um mündliche Literatur (Mythen, Legenden, Märchen), Tempel, Feste, Rituale und alte Ahnen- und Heldensteine. Von diesen Gedenksteinen, die in großer Vielfalt über ganz Indien verbreitet sind, dokumentierte er viele Hunderte.
1973 - 1975
Leiter der Zweigstelle des Südasien-Instituts in New-Delhi. Während dieser Zeit führte er Feldforschungen bei den Stämmen der Murias und Marias im Staat Madhya Pradesh durch.
Habilitation in Heidelberg.
Seit 1976 lehrte er Religionsgeschichte Südasiens unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Hinduismus, traditionelles indisches Recht, Marathi und Marathi-Literatur am Südasien-Instiut der Universität Heidelberg.
Rabindranath-Tagore-Literaturpreis der Deutsch-Indischen Gesellschaft.



The Concept of Daya: A Comparative Study. (Academic Postgraduate Diploma Dissertation), London 1962.
The Joint Hindu Family: Its Evolution as a Legal Institution. (South Asian Studies, Bd. 7, Delhi 1977.
Biroba. Mhaskoba und Khandoba: Ursprung, Geschichte und Umwelt von pastoralen Gottheiten in Maharastra, Wiesbaden 1976. [Ins Englische übersetzt von Anne Feldhaus, Pastoral Deities of Western India, New York, Oxford, OUP, 1989]


(mit v. Stietencron), German Indology - Past and Present. Übers. in Hindi (1970), Bengali (1970), Malayalam (1970), Tamil (1970), Marathi (1971).
(mit L. Leshnik), Pastoralists and Nomads in South Asia. (Interdisziplinäre Beiträge von Indologen, Kunsthistorikern, Ethnologen etc.), Wiesbaden 1975.
(mit S. Settar), Memorial Stones of India. (South Asian Studies No. ll), Dharwar. New Delhi 1982.
(mit Parameswara K. Aithal), Indology and Law. Studies in Honour of J. Duncan M. Derrett, Wiesbaden 1982.
(mit H. hulke), Hinduism Reconsidered. South Asian Studies, New Delhi, 1989.
(mit M.L.K. Murty), Durga and the Buffalo. South Asian Studies, Nerw Delhi. (Erscheint 1990).


Die große Reform. (Über Sozialgesetzgebung und Hindurecht in Indien). In: Indo-Asia, April 1959, Heft 2, S. 139-43.
Das indische Lichterfest. In: Indo-Asia, Oktober 1959, Heft 4, S: 336-8.
Brief aus Mysore. In Indo-Asia, Januar 1960, Heft l, S. 10-12.
Die Teilung Bombays. (Teilung des Staates Bombay in die Staaten Gujarat und Maharastra). In: Indo-Asia, April 1960, Heft 2, S. 107-9.
Die "Unberührbaren" Indiens. In: Indo-Asia, Oktober 1960, Heft 4, S. 323-9.
Der indische Familienverband. In: Indo-Asia, April 1961, Heft 2, S. 150-4
Recent Developments in Hindu Law. In: Some Aspects of International Law Today. Publ. as Suppl. to The International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 1964, S. 32-45.
Religious Endowments in India: The Juristic Personality of Hindu Deities. In: Zeitschrift für vergl. Rechtswissenschaft, 67. Bd., 1964, S. 45-100.
XVI. Deutscher Orientalistentag in Heidelberg. In: Kairos, VII. Jg., l965, Heft 4, S. 319-21.
Some Notes in Biroba, the Dhangar God of Maharashtra. In: D.D. Kosambi Commemoration Volume Bombay, 1974, S. 167-74.
Staat, Recht und Religion in Indien. In: Internationales Asienforum, Bd. II, 1971, S. 146-58.
Recht und Religion in Indien. In: Zeitschrift für vergl. Rechtswîdstuschaft, 71. Bd., 1970, S. 141-55. .
Features of Localization in contemporary Indian Fiction: Marathi. In: South Asian Digest of Regional Writing, Vol. 1, 1972, S. 32-46.
The Dhangars: A Nomadic Pastoral Community in a Developing Agricultural Environment. In: Pastoralists and Nomads in South Asia. Hrsg. mit L.S. Leshnik, Wiesbaden, 1975, S. 139-70.
Eine Tempellegende der Dhangars von Maharashtra. In: Mündliche Überlieferungtn in Südasien. Hrsg. von H. Berger, Schriftenreihe des Südasieninstituts, Bd. 17, Wiesbaden 1975, S. 82-110.
Field Research in Maharashtra: The History of Some Pastoral Communities and their Cults. In: Felicitation Volume. Hrsg. von M.S. Mate, Prof. G.H. Khare, Poona 1976, S. 264-61.
Dharma- and Arthashastra Studies in Germany. In: International Sanskrit Conference. March 26th-3lst 1972. Hrsg. von V. Raghavan, Bd. I.2,.Delhi 1979, S. 664-72.
Some Memorial Monuments in Western India. In: German Scholars on India. Hrsg. von der Deutschen Botschaft in New Delhi, Bd. II, Delhi 1976, S. 264-75.
The Making of a Poem (Marathi). In: South Asian Dlgest of Regianal Writing, Bd. 2, 19 î 3, S. 125-53.
Religion in Modern Marathi Literature: Some Trends and Voices. In: South Asian Digest of Regional Writing, Bd. 3, 1974, Sq. 53-78.
The Hero- and Sati-Stones of Maharashtra. In: Memorial Stones of India. Hrsg. mit S. Settar, Dharwar/New Delhi 1982, S. 261-81.
On the Memorials to the Dead in the Tribal Area of Central India. In: Memorial Stones of India. Hrsg. mit S. Settar, Dharwar/New Delhi 1982, S. 87-99.
The Prehistoric Background to Pastoralism in the Southern Deccan in the Light of the Oral Traditions and the Cults of Some Pastoral Communities. In: Anthropos 75 (1980). Hrsg. mit M.L.K. Murty, S. 163-84.
The 'Pious Obligation' - A Traditional Legal Institution and its Modern Judicial Interpretation. (unveröffentl.).
Der Familienverband als Landeigentümer im Hindu-Recht. (unveröffentl.).
The Religion of the Hatkar Dhangars. In: Religion in Maharashtra. Comm. Vol. for Iravati Karve. Hrsg. von E. Zelliot u. M. Berntsen.
Ein Dorf in der Dürrezone Maharashtras. In: Indo-Asia, Heft 21, 1979, S. 1 158-66.
Biography and Autobiography in Marathi Literature: An Introduction. In: South Asian Digest of Regional Writing, Bd. 5, 1979, S. 54-56.
Gerichtsverfahren und Richter im traditionellen indischen Recht. In: Beiträge zu indischem Rechtsdenken. Hrsg. von Th. Viehweg u. R. May (Beiträge zu nichteuropäischen Rechtstheorien, 1), Wiesbaden 1979, S. 59-85.
Der Begriff des Eigentums im Hindurecht. In: Beiträge zu indischem Rechtsdenken. Hrsg. von Th. Viehweg u. R. May (Beiträge zu nicht-europäischen Rechtstheorien, 1), Wiesbaden 1979, S. 87-106.
Die Ethik im Hinduismus. In: Ethik der Religionen. Ein Ilandbuch. Primitive, Hinduismus, Buddhismus, Islam, Alter Orient. Hrsg. von C.H. Ratschow, Stuttgart 1980, S. 349-436.
Some Incidents in the History of the Khandoba. In: Asie du Sud. Traditions et changements. VIth European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies 1973. Hrsg. von M. Gaborieau u. A. Thorner, Paris 1979, S. 11-117.
The Dasara Festival at Devaragudda (Karnataka): Ritual and Dramatic Performance in the Cult of Mailar. In: Proceedings of the Vllth European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies, London 1981. (im Druck).
The Mallari/Khandoba Myth as Reflected in Folk Art and Ritual. In: India and the West, Proceedings of a Seminar. Dedicated to the Memor of H. Goetz. Hrsg. von J. Deppert, Delhi 1983, S.239-51.
King Vikram and Kamalu Shinde, the Shepherd. Bhakti Episodes from an Oral Epic of the Dhangars of Maharashtra. In: South Asian Digest of Regional Writing, Bd. 6, 1977, S. 97-128.
The vana and the kshetra: On tqhe Tribal Origins of Some Famous Cults. In: G.C. Tripathi, H. Kulke (eds.), Eschmann Memorial Lectures, vol. I (1978-1986), Eschmann Memorial Fund, c/o Dept. of History, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar - 4, 1987, S. 117-164.
Gopalanca deva Shri Vitthala (in Marathi). In: Maharashtraci Satvadhara. Festschrift in honour of Prof. R.C. Dhere. Hrsg. von G.M. Kulkarni u. V.T. Shete, Poona 1981, S. 103-12.
Das Tier im Hinduismus. In: Tropisch-Asien. Publikation des Zoologischen Instituts der Universität Heidelberg 1983.
God, Dharma and Society in the Yadava Kingdom of Devagiri according to the Lilacaritra of Cakradhar. In: Indology and Law. Studies in Honour of J. Duncan M. Derrett. Hrsg. mit P.K. Aithal, Wiesbaden 1982, S. 329-58.
Folk Deities in the Vijayanagara Empire: Narasimha and Mallanna. In: The Kingdom of Vijayanagara. Int. Vijayanagara Seminar in Heidelberg, July I983. Hrsg. von A.L. Dallapiccola unter Mitarbeit von St. Zingel-Lallemant, Wiesbaden 19S5, S. 144-58.
Caturvarnya, Bhakti und der Aufstieg von Volkskulten in Maharashtra: Religionsgeschichtliche Skizze einer Region. In: Die regionalen Traditionen Indiens. Hrsg. von H. Kulke u. D. Rothermund, Wiesbaden 1985, S. 129-48.
The Power of Valour and Sacrifice. Memorials of Heroes, Satis, and Ancestors in Maharashtra. In: Marg (in press).
Rudra and Khandoba: Continuity in Folk Religion. In: Religion and Society in Maharashtra. Hrsg. von M. Israel und N.K. Wagle, Toronto 1986, S. 1-31.
Hinduism: The five Components and their Interaction. In: Hinduism Reconsidered. Proceedings of the Panel on "Hinduism Reconsidered" IXth European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies. Hrsg. von G. Sontheimer und H. Kulke, New Delhi 1986, S. 195-210.
Bhakti in the Khandoba cult. In: Proceedings of the 3rd Bhakti Conference (December 1985). Hrsg. von G. Schokker, Leiden (in press).
Keshav Meshram's Hakikat ani Jatayu: An Example from the Dalit Literature of Maharashtra. In: South Asian Digest of Regional Writing, Bd. 11, 1985, S.105-116.
Das Zeitalter der Indo-Arier und Draviden. In: Börsenblatt 68/26.8.1986.
God as the King for All: The Sanskrit Mallari Mahatmya and its Context. In: The History of Sacred Places as Reflected in Traditional Literature. Leiden 1989.
Between Ghost and God: A Folk Deity of the Deccan. In: Criminal Gods and Demon Devotees: Essays on the Guardians of Popular Hinduism. Hrsg. von Alf Hiltebeitel. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1989, S. 299-337.
Die Wallfahrt nach Pandharpur und das Ganpati-Fest: Harmonie und Konflikt im heutigen Maharashtra. Erscheint 1990.
Das Fest in Indien: Jagdausflug des königlichen Gottes Khandoba. Erscheint 1990.
The Myth of the God and his Two Wives: Two Pastoral Versions from Maharashtra. Erscheint 1990.
The Ramayana in Contemporary Folk Traditions of Maharashtta. Erscheint 1990.
Der Khandoba-Kult von Maharashtra als Spiegel des Hinduismus. In: Indien in Deutschland. Vorträge und Aufsätze bei der Deutsch-Indischen Gesellschaft Darmstadt 1959-1989. Frankfurt 1989.

Zeitungsaufsätze und Sonstiges:

a) Drehbuch und Text zu dem Dokumentarfilm: König Khandoba. Szenen aus dem Leben eines indischen Volksgottes.
b) Drehbuch und Text zu dem Dokumentarfilm: King Khandoba. Scenes from the Life of an Indian Folk God.
Hoch- und Volksreligion im Hinduismus. (Vortrag).
"Ethik im Hinduismus", "Das Böse/Leid im Hinduismus", "Die Sikhs," "Ehe, Familie im Hinduismus", "Der Mensch im Hinduismus", in Hans Waldenfels (Hrsg.). Lexikon der Religionen, Herder Verlag, Freiburg, 1987.
Verschiedene Artikel: Kabura, Kalingai, Kalliena, Kalliga, Kathaioi, Kolchoi, Kophen, Märchen (indische). In: Der Kleine Pauly. Lexikon der Antike, Bd. 3, Stuttgart 1968.
Drehbuch und Text zu dem Dokumentarfilm: Palkhi - eine indische Wallfahrt.


Prem Chand, Die Prüfung. (Übersetzung aus der Hindi-Sprache). In: H.v. Glasenapp. Indische Geisteswelt, Bd. II, 1959, S. 144-7.
Vyankatesh Madgulkar, The Pilgrimage. (Übersetzung aus der Marathi-Sprache). In: South Asian Digest of Regional Writing, Bd. 3, 1974, S. 105-11.
Durga Bhagawat, The Vithoba of Pandhari. (Übersetzung aus der Marathi-Sprache). In: South Asian Digest of Regional Writing, Bd. 3, 1974, S. 112-20.
Vyankatesh Madgulkar, Das Dorf hieß Bangarvadi. (Übersetzung eines Romans aus der Marathi-Sprache), Freiburg 1986.

Neuindische Studien (mit H. Berger u. L. Lutze):

Bd. 1:
N. Uxida, Der Bengali Dialekt von Chittagong, Wiesbaden 1970.
Bd. 2:
K.V. Zvelebil, The Irula Language, Wiesbaden 1973.
Bd. 3:
H. Berger, Das Yasin-Burushaski, Wiesbaden 1974.
Bd. 4:
A. Weidert, I Tkong Amwi. Deskriptive Analyse eines Wardialekts des Khasi, Wiesbaden 1975.
Bd. 5:
M. Thiel-Horstmann, Sadani-Lieder. Studien zu einer nordindischen Volksliteratur. Mit einem Anhang "Musiktranskriptionen" von R. Schlenker-Sonnenschmidt, Wiesbaden 1978.
Bd. 6:
K.V. Zvelebil, The Irula (Erla) Language. Part II, Wiesbaden 1979.
Bd. 7:
D.B. Kapp, Alu-Kurumbaru Nayan. Die Sprache der Alu-Kurumbas, Wiesbaden 1982.
Bd. 8:
C.P. Zoller, Die Sprache der Rang Pas von Garhwal. Grammatik, Texte, Wörterbuch, Wiesbaden 1982.
Bd. 9:
K.V. Zvelebil, The Irula Language. Part III, Wiesbaden 1983.
Bd. 10:
K. Meissner, Malushahi and Rajula. A Song from Kumaun, as sung and told by Gopi Das, Wiesbaden 1986.

South Asian Digest of Regional Writing

Vol. 1 ( 1972)
Features of Localization in Contemporary Indian Fiction. Hrsg. von L. Lutze.
Vol. 2 (1973)
The Making of a Poem: Towards a Theory of Creativity in Contemporary Indian Poctry. Hrsg. von A. Dasgupta, L. Lutze.
Vol. 3 ( 1974)
Religion in Modern Indian Literature. Hrsg. von A. Eschmann.
Vol. 4 { 1975)
Word-Borrowing and Word-Making in Modern South Asian Languages. Hrsg. von A. Dhamotharan.
Vol. 5 ( 1976)
Biography and Autobiography in Modern South Asian Regional Literatures. Hrsg. von M.H. Zaidi.
Vol. 6 ( 1977)
Bbakti in South Asian Regional Literatures. Hrsg. von G.D. Sontheimer.
Vol. 7 ( 1978)
Problems of Translation from South Asian Languages. Hrsg. von A. Dasgupta.
Vol. 8 (1979)
Sources of Illness and Healing in South Asian Regional Literature. Hrsg. von B. Pfleiderer, G.D. Sontheimer.
Vol. 9 ( 1980)
Essays on Folktales, Satire and Women. Hrsg. von Giovanni Bandini.
Vol. 10 (1981)
Drama in Contemporary South Atia. Hrsg. von L. Lutze.
Vol. 11 (1985)
Minorities on Themselves. Hrsg. von H. van Skyhawk.
Vol. 12 (1990)
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