Indology (or South Asian studies) is the academic study of the history and cultures, languages, and literature of the Indian subcontinent (most specifically the modern-day states of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal and the eastern parts of Afghanistan), and as such is a subset of Asian studies.
The term Indology or (in German) Indologie is often associated with German scholarship, and is used more commonly in departmental titles in German and continental European universities than in the anglophone academy. In the Netherlands the term Indologie was used to designate the study of Indonesian history and culture in preparation for colonial service in the Dutch East Indies.
Specifically, Indology includes the study of Sanskrit literature and Hinduism along with the other Indian religions, Jainism, Buddhism and Pāli literature, and Sikhism. Dravidology is the separate branch dedicated to the Dravidian languages of South India.
Some scholars distinguish Classical Indology from Modern Indology, the former more focussed on Sanskrit and other ancient language sources, the latter on contemporary India, its politics and sociology.
The beginnings of the study of India by outsiders date back at least to Megasthenes (ca. 350–290 BC), a Greek ambassador of the Seleucids to the court of Chandragupta (ruled 322-298 BC), founder of the Mauryan Empire. Based on his life in India Megasthenes composed a four-volume Indica, fragments of which still exist, and which influenced the classical geographers Arrian, Diodor and Strabo. Megasthenes reported that the caste system dominated an essentially illiterate India.
Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī (973–1048) in Tarikh Al-Hind (Researches on India) recorded the political and military history of India and covered India's cultural, scientific, social and religious history in detail. He studied the anthropology of India, engaging in extensive participant observation with various Indian groups, learning their languages and studying their primary texts, and presenting his findings with objectivity and neutrality using cross-cultural comparisons.
In the wake of 18th century pioneers like William Jones, Henry Thomas Colebrooke or August Wilhelm Schlegel, Indology as an academic subject emerges in the 19th century, in the context of British India, together with Asian studies in general affected by the romantic Orientalism of the time. The Asiatic Society was founded in Calcutta in 1784, Société Asiatique founded in 1822, the Royal Asiatic Society in 1824, the American Oriental Society in 1842, and the German Oriental Society (Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft) in 1845, the Japanese Association of Indian and Buddhist Studies in 1949.
Systematic study and editorial activity of Sanskrit literature became possible with the St. Petersburg Sanskrit-Wörterbuch during the 1850s to 1870s. Translations of major Hindu texts in the Sacred Books of the East began in 1879. Otto von Bohtlingk's edition of Pāṇini's grammar appeared in 1887. Max Müller's edition of the Rigveda appeared in 1849–75. In 1897, Sergey Oldenburg launched a systematic edition of key Sanskrit texts, "Bibliotheca Buddhica".
German indologists arbitrarily identified "layers" in the Mahabharata and Bhagavad Gita with the objective of fueling European anti-Semitism via the Indo-Aryan migration theory. This required equating Brahmins with Jews, resulting in anti-Brahmanism.
Indology and the modern world
As with many academic subjects which seem to have no direct bearing on modern concerns, Indology has come in for criticism. This has prompted a vigorous response from a number of eminent scholars, among them J. Bronkhorst.
Professional literature and associations
Indologists typically attend conferences such as the American Association of Asian Studies, the American Oriental Society annual conference, the World Sanskrit Conference, and national-level meetings in the UK, Germany, India, Japan, France and elsewhere.
They may routinely read and write in journals such as Indo-Iranian Journal, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Journal asiatique, the Journal of the German Oriental Society (ZDMG), Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens, Journal of Indian Philosophy, Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies (Indogaku Bukkyogaku Kenkyu), Bulletin de l'École française d'Extrême Orient, and others.
They may be members of such professional bodies as the American Oriental Society, the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, the Société Asiatique, the Deutsche Morgenlāndische Gesellschaft and others.
List of Indologists
The following is a list of prominent academically qualified Indologists.
- Gaston-Laurent Cœurdoux (1691–1779)
- Anquetil Duperron (1731–1805)
- William Jones (1746–1794)
- Charles Wilkins (1749–1836)
- Colin Mackenzie (1753–1821)
- Dimitrios Galanos (1760–1833)
- Henry Thomas Colebrooke (1765–1837)
- Jean-Antoine Dubois (1765–1848)
- August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767–1845)
- James Mill (1773–1836).
- Horace Hayman Wilson (1786–1860)
- Franz Bopp (1791–1867)
- Duncan Forbes (linguist) (1798–1868)
- James Prinsep (1799-1840)
- Hermann Grassmann (1809-1877)
- John Muir (indologist) (1810–1882)
- Edward Balfour (1813–1889)
- Robert Caldwell (1814–1891)
- Alexander Cunningham (1814–1893)
- Hermann Gundert (1814–1893)
- Otto von Bohtlingk (1815–1904)
- Monier Monier-Williams (1819–1899)
- Henry Yule (1820-1889)
- Rudolf Roth (1821–1893)
- Theodor Aufrecht (1822–1907)
- Max Müller (1823–1900)
- Albrecht Weber (1825–1901)
- Ralph T. H. Griffith (1826–1906)
- William Dwight Whitney (1827-1894)
- Ferdinand Kittel (1832–1903)
- Edwin Arnold (1832–1904)
- Johan Hendrik Caspar Kern (1833–1917)
- Gustav Solomon Oppert (1836–1908)
- Georg Bühler (1837–1898)
- Ramakrishna Gopal Bhandarkar (1837–1925)
- Arthur Coke Burnell (1840-1882)
- Julius Eggeling (1842–1918)
- Paul Deussen (1845–1919)
- Vincent Arthur Smith (1848–1920)
- James Darmesteter (1849–1894)
- Hermann Jacobi (1850–1937)
- Kashinath Trimbak Telang (1850–1893)
- Alois Anton Führer (1853–1930)
- Jacob Wackernagel (1853-1938)
- Arthur Anthony Macdonell (1854-1930)
- Hermann Oldenberg (1854–1920)
- Arthur Anthony McDonell (1854–1930)
- Maurice Bloomfield (1855–1928)
- E. Hultzsch (1857-1927)
- Mark Aurel Stein (1862–1943)
- P. T. Srinivasa Iyengar(1863–1931)
- Moriz Winternitz (1863–1937)
- Fyodor Shcherbatskoy (1866–1942)
- F.W. Thomas (1867–1956)
- S. Krishnaswami Aiyangar (1871–1947)
- Percy Brown (1872–1955)
- John Hubert Marshall (1876–1958)
- Arthur Berriedale Keith (1879–1944)
- Pandurang Vaman Kane (1880–1972)
- Pierre Johanns (1882–1955)
- Andrzej Gawronski (1885–1927)
- Willibald Kirfel (1885–1964)
- Alice Boner (1889–1981)
- Heinrich Zimmer (1890–1943)
- Ervin Baktay (1890–1963)
- Mortimer Wheeler (1890–1976)
- B. R. Ambedkar (1891–1956)
- K. A. Nilakanta Sastri (1892–1975)
- Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan (1893–1963)
- Vasudev Vishnu Mirashi (1893–1985)
- V. R. Ramachandra Dikshitar (1896–1953)
- Dasharatha Sharma (1903–1976)
- S. Srikanta Sastri (1904-1974)
- Joseph Campbell (1904–1987)
- Murray Barnson Emeneau (1904–2005)
- Jan Gonda (1905–1991)
- Paul Thieme (1905–2001)
- Jean Filliozat (1906–1982)
- Alain Danielou (1907–1994)
- F B J Kuiper (1907–2003)
- Thomas Burrow (1909–1986)
- Jagdish Chandra Jain (1909–1993)
- Ramchandra Narayan Dandekar (1909-2001)
- Arthur Llewellyn Basham (1914–1986)
- Richard De Smet (1916–1997)
- P. N. Pushp (1917–1998)
- Ahmad Hasan Dani (1920–2009)
- Madeleine Biardeau (1922–2010)
- V.S. Pathak (1926–2003)
- Kamil Zvelebil (1927–2009)
- J. A. B. van Buitenen (1928–1979)
- Tatyana Elizarenkova (1929–2007)
- Bettina Baumer (1940–)
- Anncharlott Eschmann (1941–1977)
- William Dalrymple (1965-present)
- Harilal Dhruv (1856—1896)
Contemporary Indologists with university posts in Indian Studies
- Daniel H. H. Ingalls, Sr. (1916-1999), Wales Professor of Sanskrit, Harvard University
- Ram Sharan Sharma (1919–2011), Founding Chairperson of Indian Council of Historical Research; Professor Emeritus, Patna University
- Heinrich von Stietencron (1933–present), University of Tübingen, Germany
- Stanley Wolpert (1927–present)- University of California, Los Angeles (emeritus)
- Bhadriraju Krishnamurti (1928–2012), Osmania University
- Romila Thapar (1931–present), Jawaharlal Nehru University (emerita)
- Karel Werner (1925–present)
- Stanley Insler (1937-present), Edward E. Salisbury Professor of Sanskrit and Comparative Philology, Yale University
- Hermann Kulke (1938–present)
- Nicholas Kazanas (1939–present, Greece) School of Oriental and African studies (London); Deccan College (Pune, India)
- Asko Parpola (1941–present)- University of Helsinki (emeritus)
- Michael Witzel (1943–present)- Harvard University
- Ronald Inden- University of Chicago (emeritus)
- Fida Hassnain (1924-2016) Sri Pratap College, Srinagar
- George L. Hart (1945–present)- University of California, Berkeley
- Iravatham Mahadevan (1930–present)- Indian Council of Historical Research
- Stephanie Jamison (1948-present), Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures, UCLA
- Alexis Sanderson (1948–present) All Souls College, Oxford University
- Patrick Olivelle (University of Texas at Austin)
- Michael D. Willis (The British Museum)
- Edwin Bryant (1957–present) Rutgers University, New Jersey
- Gérard Fussman (1940–present) Collège de France
- Dr. Nautiyal Jayanti Prasad (1956-Present),Sanskrit Scholar and Author of Vedic and Oriental Science, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
- Sita Ram Goel (1921–2003)
- Ram Swarup (1920–1998)
- K N Neelakantan (1943-present)- University of Calicut, Kerala, former professor of Sanskrit and Director, Adyar Library and research Centre, Madras, a well known scholar in Sanskrit and Indian philosophy.
- Bannanje Govindacharya (1936–present in Udupi), well-versed scholar in Tatva-vada school of philosophy, and well known scholar Vedic tradition
- Wendy Doniger (1940-) University of Chicago Divinity School, as Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions
Other contributors to Indology
- Pattanaik, Devdutt (21 February 2016). "Devdutt Pattanaik: Four types of Indology". mid-day.
- Bosworth, A. B. (April 1996). "The Historical Setting of Megasthenes' Indica". Classical Philology. The University of Chicago Press. 91 (2): 113–127. doi:10.1086/367502. JSTOR 270500.
- Panthapalli A. Augustine: Social equality in Indian society: the elusive goal, Concept Publishing Company, 1991, ISBN 9788170223030, p. 40
- John Duncan Martin Derrett: Essays in Classical and Modern Hindu Law: Consequences of the intellectual exchange with the foreign powers, Brill 1976, ISBN 9789004048089, p. 1
- Khan, M. S. (1976). "al-Biruni and the Political History of India". Oriens. Brill. 25/26: 86–115. doi:10.2307/1580658. JSTOR 1580658.
- Ahmed, Akbar S. (February 1984). "Al-Beruni: The First Anthropologist". RAIN. Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. 60: 9–10. doi:10.2307/3033407. JSTOR 3033407.
- English Summary Archived 15 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine.. Jaibs.jp. Retrieved on 20 November 2011.
- Vishwa, Adluri. Bagchee Joydeep (2014). The Nay Science: A History of German Indology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 289–426.
- Bronkhorst, Johannes. (2011). "Indology, what is it good for?" Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 161.1: 115-122. Available online: https://applicationspub.unil.ch/interpub/noauth/php/Un/UnPers.php?menu=pub&PerNum=3139&LanCode=37
- International Publisher Science, Technology, Medicine. Springer. Retrieved on 20 November 2011.
- R A S – Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland Archived 22 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine.. Royalasiaticsociety.org. Retrieved on 20 November 2011.
- JAOS Front Matter Archived 7 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine.. Umich.edu. Retrieved on 20 November 2011.
- (Dutch) Journal Asiatique. Poj.peeters-leuven.be. Retrieved on 20 November 2011.
- "Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft (ZDMG)". Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft (DMG).
- Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens (WZKS) Vienna Journal for South Asian Studies. Epub.oeaw.ac.at. Retrieved on 20 November 2011.
- Journal of Indian Philosophy Archived 25 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine.. Springer.com. Retrieved on 20 November 2011.
- Bulletin de l'EFEO. Maisonneuve-adrien.com. Retrieved on 20 November 2011.
- Vishwa Adluri, Joydeep Bagchee: The Nay Science: A History of German Indology. Oxford University Press, New York 2014, ISBN 978-0199931361 (Introduction, p. 1–29).
- Joydeep Bagchee, Vishwa Adluri: "The passion of Paul Hacker: Indology, orientalism, and evangelism." In: Joanne Miyang Cho, Eric Kurlander, Douglas T McGetchin (Eds.), Transcultural Encounters Between Germany and India: Kindred Spirits in the Nineteenth Century. Routledge, New York 2013, p. 215–229.
- Joydeep Bagchee: "German Indology." In: Alf Hiltebeitel (Ed.), Oxford Bibliographies Online: Hinduism. Oxford University Press, New York 2014.
- Heinz Bechert, Georg von Simson – Einführung in die Indologie. Stand, Methoden, Aufgaben – ISBN 3-534-05466-0.
- Jean Filliozat and Louis Renou – L'inde classique – ISBN B0000DLB66.
- Grundriss der Indo-Arischen Philologie und Altertumskunde, Berlin und Leipzig, Vereinigung wissenschaftlicher verleger, 1920
- Bryant, Edwin. The Quest for the origins of Vedic culture. (2001) Oxford University Press
- Chakrabarti, Dilip: Colonial Indology, 1997, Munshiram Manoharlal: New Delhi.
- Halbfass, W. India and Europe: An Essay in Understanding. SUNY Press, Albany: 1988
- Edmund Leach. "Aryan Invasions Over Four Millennia". In Culture Through Time (edited by Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney, Stanford University Press, 1990)
- Gauri Viswanathan, 1989, Masks of Conquest
- Pollock, Sheldon. Deep Orientalism?: Notes on Sanskrit and Power Beyond the Raj. In: Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament: Perspectives on South Asia, eds. Carol A. Breckenridge and Peter van der Veer. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993.
- Servan-Schreiber, Catherine & Vuddamalay, Vasoodeven (éd.). Diasporas indiennes dans la ville. In hommes et migrations n° 1268–1269 (2007)
- Trautmann, Thomas. 1997. Aryans and British India, University of California Press, Berkeley.
- Balagangadhara, S. N. (2012). Reconceptualizing India studies. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
- Windisch, Ernst. Geschichte der Sanskrit-Philologie und Indischen Altertumskunde. 2 vols. Strasbourg. Trübner, K.J., 1917–1920
- Zachariae, Theodor. Opera minora zur indischen Wortforschung, zur Geschichte der indischen Literatur und Kultur, zur Geschichte der Sanskritphilologie. Ed. Claus Vogel. Wiesbaden 1977, ISBN 3-515-02216-3.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Indology.|
- Omilos Meleton
- www.indology.info – since 1995, with associated discussion forum since 1990
- www.indology.net – defunct. Domain name on sale to high bidders.
- Italian blog with many links to indological websites
- Books related to Indology
- The Veda as Studied by European Scholars (Gifford Lectures Online)
- South/Southeast Asia Library. "South Asia Resources". USA: University of California, Berkeley.
- "South Asian Studies". Research Guides. Los Angeles: University of California.
- "South & Southeast Asian Studies Research Guides". New York, USA: Columbia University Libraries.
- Library. "India Studies". Topic Guides. UK: London School of Economics and Political Science. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014.
- "South Asia". Subject Guides. School of Oriental and African Studies Library, University of London.
- "South Asia". Oxford LibGuides. Oxford, UK: University of Oxford, Bodleian Libraries.
- "South/Southeast Asia". Research Guides. USA: University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries.