Wilhelm Halbfass

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Wilhelm Halbfass (11 May 1940 in Northeim – 25 May 2000) was a German-born Indologist.

Life[edit]

Halbfass studied Philosophy, Indology and Classical Philology at the universities of Vienna and Göttingen, and successfully defended his doctoral thesis on Indian Philosophy at Göttingen University in 1967. He was a professor in the departments of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and South Asia Regional Studies at the University of Pennsylvania from 1982 until his death in 2000.[1] Along with Prof. Ludo Rocher, Prof. Ernest Bender, Prof. George Cardona, and several other Sanskritists, he made the University of Pennsylvania the center of Sanskrit learning in North America.

Works[edit]

His works include Indien und Europa, Perspektiven ihrer geistigen Begegnung (1981),[2] English translation India and Europe: An Essay in Understanding (1988).[3] It is a comprehensive survey of the intellectual encounters between India and Europe from antiquity to the present day. He explores these encounters in terms of what he calls xenology,[4] the various ways in which self and otherness are defined "within a historically complex collision of cultures".[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Obituary, Dominic Sama, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 3 June 2000
  2. ^ Wilhelm Halbfass, Indien und Europa, Perspektiven ihrer geistigen Begegnung, Schwabe Verlag, Basel and Stuttgart, 1981.
  3. ^ Halbfass, Wilhelm (1988), India and Europe : An Essay in Understanding, State University of New York Press 
  4. ^ Dermot Killingley, "Mlecchas, Yavanas and Heathens: Interacting Xenologies in Early Nineteenth-Century Calcutta," in Beyond Orientalism: The Work of Wilhelm Halbfass and its Impact on Indian and Cross-cultural Studies, ed. Eli Franco, Karin Preisendanz, Editions Rodopi, Amsterdam, 2007.
  5. ^ Harvey P. Alper, review of Indien und Europa, Perspektiven ihrer geistigen Begegnung, in Philosophy East and West, Vol. 33, No. 2 (April, 1983), pp. 189-196