Universelles Leben: Renaissance christlicher Esoterik? (German Edition)

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By then, the philosophical faculty had become a majority within the university, increasing from forty-five to fifty-six percent of the total faculty body. The Prussian government formed a new department, the Ministerium der geistlichen, Unterrichts-, und Medizinalangelegenheiten Ministry of Intellectual, Instructional, and Medical Affairs , more commonly called the Kultusministerium Ministry of Culture. The new standards of scholarship spread quickly because the state intervened in the universities to support research.

This legacy was far-reaching. For example, until the s there were no private universities in Germany as there were in the United States.

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The rigid control of the cultural ministry in educational affairs had costs. It encouraged subservience and flattery, and resulted in the spread of certain pet disciplines and schools, such as Hegelianism. Students of Hegel monopolized chairs of philosophy in Prussia. Wilhelm von Humboldt learned Sanskrit himself and played a direct role in placing scholars in the first Sanskrit chairs in Prussia.

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Von Humboldt was instrumental in the appointment of A. But he changed his focus in when he read the Bhagavadgita, the elegant, concise formulation of Hindu scripture that takes the form of a conversation between the Prince Arjuna and Krishna, an incarnation of divinity. The doctrine of karma-yoga , or the ability to take action without getting caught in the thirsting after its results, greatly appealed to von Humboldt. There were three types of philology: comparative, general, and classical. Windischmann and F. Wolf promoted Hellenistic studies.

The study of Sanskrit and linguistics outpaced all other subjects at these three largest universities. The number of full professors also shows the prominent position linguistics gained within the university. Growth in full professorships in Berlin, Leipzig, and Munich. In Germany, linguistics was especially important because of the political disunity of the German states.

Speaking High German was an important connection because it was one of the few factors that the citizens of all the German states had in common. Thus, Sanskrit philology was well established before modern Asian languages found a place in the curriculum during the s. This splintering was a sign of the rapid growth that these individual languages were experiencing within Table 2.

Faculty all ranks hired at the University of Berlin, , ordered by relative size. Comparing the growth of Sanskrit studies in the German States with the study of East Asian languages shows the special emphasis on Sanskrit in German universities. The institutional study of Sanskrit in Germany was about a half century ahead of the study of East Asian languages such as Chinese.

For example, Abel Remusat studied Chinese. Chinoiserie , the Enlightenment fascination with Chinese porcelain, lacquer cabinets, tea, and other cultural imports, shaped German interests in the Far East. Wilhelm von Humboldt had written a favorable essay on Chinese linguistics, and Friedrich Schlegel knew enough about Chinese to judge it as less perfect than inflected languages.

This dependence on colonial powers extended to German Indolog- ical scholarship. Friedrich and August W. Bopp and Frank received grants from the Bavarian government to pursue these studies. Conferral of a chair for Sanskrit study was an important mark of legitimacy. Most of these scholars started as extraordinary professors, and then eventually received full professorships. Sanskrit often fell to the Oriental language expert at a given institution. At Gottingen two scholars who learned and taught Sanskrit were Heinrich Ewald, a theologian, and Theodor Benfey, a classical philologist.

The first two professors at Bonn and Berlin set the tone for future studies at each university.


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Tubingen maintained a focus on theology. At Leipzig, the emphasis was closer to the signifi- Table 3. First founding of professorial chairs of Sanskrit-related studies at German-speaking universities, For geographical and genealogical representations, see figures 1 and 2. Different states could be played off against each other to the advantage of the scholar. Franz Bopp in Berlin was the celebrated founder of comparative linguistics within the German university system. Sanskrit found the most practitioners among comparative philologists.

Guide Universelles Leben: Renaissance christlicher Esoterik? (German Edition)

With these ancient languages mastered, modern languages such as French, Italian, or English were much more easily acquired. Sanskritists, even if they were not comparative linguists, always studied more than one language.

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The sheer number of languages that linguistic scholars mastered was staggering. Among these many tongues, Sanskrit held a special place because it was the oldest known Indo-European language. These factors were particularly important during the s, but had lingering effects through the rest of the century. Bopp faced real dangers that prompted him to establish the scientific basis of comparative linguistics.

In Die Symbolik und mythologie der alten Volker , six volumes , Creuzer wrote about mythology and religion and their increasing rational nature as they migrated from India to Greece. Gorres, like F. Moreover, while von Humboldt was able to see the value of Sanskrit and comparative linguistics, the classical philologists he supported did not. Most of the criticism resulted from the defects of novelty: the comparative methods were tentative, and the languages it used, including Sanskrit, were not yet well understood.

Hegel had no knowledge of Sanskrit, but had read the latest scholarship about India and its literature.


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Sanskrit studies and comparative linguistics stood together and mutually supported each other. However, although Prussia was the most willing of the German states to fund universities, all state treasuries have limits, and the struggle over expensive manuscript acquisition helps to highlight the role of Sanskrit studies to Prussia.

Translation of «Esoterik» into 25 languages

Budget difficulties hit the weakest disciplines hardest, while the well established were assured of continuing support. The acquisition of Sanskrit manuscripts for the university library was one further sign of government support for Sanskrit studies. It is no surprise that the discipline started with the English in India, where manuscripts were more readily available than in Europe. The texts themselves dated back thousands of years, but the age of the manuscript copies of these ancient writings were usually about three to five hundred years old.

Through this process of comparison and redaction, their goal was to reach the earliest, most accurate, critical version of a text. Germans also wanted manuscripts of their own. As of , the Royal Prussian Library in Berlin had oriental manuscripts, but only eight were of Indian origin. Two were Tamil manuscripts acquired in Paris in while the other six were Sanskrit manuscripts that included the Bhagavad- gita, a donation of an orientalist at Breslau, Georg Bernstein.

In when Albrecht Weber returned to Berlin from studies in France and England he brought many manuscripts back with him. Most of these expensive manuscripts were acquired through the British. Berlin would become the center of Sanskrit Studies, and the local university would have to be visited by everyone in Germany who is devoted to the same. Franz Bopp and other linguists were able to find a secure place for Sanskrit studies within the university by grounding it in the science of comparative linguistics.

Meaning of "esoterik" in the Malay dictionary

This process required distancing it from earlier connections to the Romantic interest in India and instead pursuing scientifically significant work. But this separation was not entirely possible. This argument was in part a defensive maneuver in response to Classicist opposition described in the last chapter.

The Sanskrit Sciences Mature By midcentury, the reforms von Humboldt had enacted were paying rich dividends for the domestic and international value of science in German universities.