Dr. Helmut von Glasenapp

Updated on: 19.02.2015

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Dr. Helmuth von Glasenapp

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1891-1963

Helmuth von Glasenapp was a versatile scholar who wrote profusely on Indian philosophy, religion and its impact on German philosophy and literature. His books on Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism are excellent introductions for the general reader. He promoted Indological studies in Germany.

Otto Max Helmuth von Glasenapp was born on 8.9.1891 in Berlin where his father was vice-President of the German State Bank. Glasenapp studied law for one semester before he changed over to Indology. He studied at the universities of Tuebingen, Muenchen, Berlin, and Bonn. He obtained a Ph.D. degree in 1914 for the thesis Die Lehre vom Karman in der Philosophie der Jainas ("The doctrine of karma in Jain philosophy"). Its English translation appeared in Bombay in 1942. In 1918, Glasenapp qualified as a university lecturer on the basis of his thesis Madhavas Philo­sophie des Vishnuglaubens ("Madhava's philosophy of Vaishnava faith"). In 1918, Glasenapp was appointed lecturer in Bonn. In 1920 he went to Berlin. From 1928 to 1945 he was professor in Koenigsberg. After World War II, he held the chair for Indology and comparative religion in the university of Tuebingen till 1959. He continued giving lectures as professor emeritus. He died on 25.6.1963 in a traffic accident.

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