Univ.-Doz. Dr. Helmut Krasser (†)

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Helmut Krasser studied Tibetology and Buddhist Studies as well as Indology at the University of Vienna, where he obtained his PhD in 1989 and his habilitation in 2002. Since 1988 his academic work has been based at the Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, which he has interrupted for several longer research periods and visiting professorships for a total of three years at Kyoto University. He has been teaching regularly as a lecturer at the University of Vienna since 1996.

From 2007 to his untimely death in 2014, Helmut Krasser was the director of the IKGA. (See also obituary to Helmut Krasser).

Main research topics

  • Indian and Tibetan Buddhist philosopy
  • The Interaction between Yogacāra, Madhyamaka, and non-Buddhist schools such as Mīmāṃsā, Nyāya, etc.
  • Text composition: how have religio-philosophical and scientific texts (śāstra) been composed?

Scientific activities

  • 1983–1986: Assistant at the Institute for Tibetology and Buddhist Studies, University of Vienna
  • 1988–2014: Research Fellow at the Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia, Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • 1994–2014: Lecturer, Institute for Tibetology and Buddhist Studies, University of Vienna (from 2001: Institute for South-Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies)

Memberships and positions

  • 1999–2014: Vice-chairman of the Arbeitskreis für tibetische und buddhistische Studien, University of Vienna
  • 1999, 2001, 2004: Deputy director of the Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia, Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • 2006–2014: Director at large of The International Association of Buddhist Studies
  • 2007–2014: Director of the Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia, Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • 2008–2010: Spokesperson: Center for Studies in Asian Cultures and Social Anthropology
  • 2010–2014: Corresponding Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences



 Edited volumes


  • Indic Buddhist Manuscripts in Vienna: A Sino-Austrian Co-operative Project, with Methodological Remarks on Śāstric “Urtexts”, in Paul Harrison and Jens-Uwe Hartmann (eds.), From Birch Bark to Digital Data: Recent Advances in Buddhist Manuscript Research. Papers Presented at the Conference Indic Buddhist Manuscripts: The State of the Field, Stanford, June 15-19, 2009. Wien: VÖAW 2014, 301-313.
  • Dignāga on air or how to get hold of supersensible objects by means of a credible person – With preliminary remarks on the composition of the Pramāṇasamuccaya. In: Vincent Eltschinger, Helmut Krasser (ed.), Scriptural authority, reason and action. Proceedings of a panel at the 14th World Sanskrit Conference, Kyoto, Sept. 1–5, 2009. Wien 2013, 147–181.
  • Bhāviveka, Dharmakīrti and Kumārila. In: François Voegeli, Vincent Eltschinger, Danielle Feller, Maria Piera Candotti, Bogdan Diaconescu & Malhar Kulkarni (eds), Devadattīyam, Johannes Bronkhorst Felicitation Volume. Bern, etc. 2012, 535–594.
  • How to teach a Buddhist monk to refute outsiders – Text-critical remarks on some works by Bhāviveka. Dhīḥ 51 (2011) 49–76.
  • Original text and (re)translation – a critical evaluation, in Ernst Steinkellner, Duan Qing, Helmut Krasser (eds.), Sanskrit manuscripts in China. Proceedings of a panel at the 2008 Beijing Seminar on Tibetan Studies, October 13 to 17. Beijing 2009, 167–178.
  • Are Buddhist Pramāṇavādins non-Buddhistic? Dignāga and Dharmakīrti on the impact of logic and epistemology on emancipation, in Hōrin 11 (2004) 127–144.
  • On the ascertainment of validity in the Buddhist epistemological tradition, in Piotr Balcerowicz and Marek Mejor (eds.), Proceedings of the International Seminar „Argument and Reason in Indian Logic,“ 20–24 June, 2001 – Kazimierz Dolny, Poland = Journal of Indian Philosophy 31/1–3 (2002) 125–147.
  • On Dharmakīrtiʼs understanding of pramāṇabhūta and his definition of pramāṇa, in Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde Südasiens 45 (2001) 173–199.
  • On the Dates and Works of Śaṅkaranandana, in Raffaele Torella (ed.), Le Parole e i Marmi. Studi in onore di Raniero Gnoli nel suo 70° compleanno. Roma: Istituto Italiano per lʼAfrica e lʼOriente 2001, 489–508.
  • Dharmakīrtiʼs and Kumārilaʼs Refutations of the Existence of God: A Consideration of Their Chronological Order, in Shoryu Katsura (ed.), Dharmakīrtiʼs Thought and Its Impact on Indian and Tibetan Philosophy. Proceedings of the Third International Dharmakīrti Conference, Hiroshima, November 4–6, 1997. Wien: VÖAW 1999, 215–223.
  • Zur buddhistischen Definition von gültiger Erkenntnis (pramāṇa) in Jayantabhaṭṭas Nyāyamañjarī, Studien zur Indologie und Iranistik 21 (1997) 105–132.
  • rNgog lotsāba on the sahopalambhaniyama proof in Dharmakīrtiʼs Pramāṇaviniścaya, in Agata Bareja-Starzynska and Marek Mejor (eds.), Aspects of Buddhism. Proceedings of the International Seminar on Buddhist Studies, Liw, 25 June 1994 = Studia Indologiczne 4 (1997) 63–87.
  • Dharmottaraʼs theory of knowledge in his Laghuprāmāṇyaparīkṣā, Journal of Indian Philosophy 23 (1995) 247–271.
  • On the Relationship between Dharmottara, Śāntarakṣita and Kamalaśīla, in Ihara Shōren and Yamaguchi Zuihō (eds.), Proceedings of the Fifth International Seminar on Tibetan Studies, Narita 1989. Tōkyō 1991, 151–158.
  • forthcoming – Remarks on Red mdaʼ ba gŹon nu blo grosʼ ,Examination of the object and function of a valid cognition‘, in Elliot Sperling (ed.), Proceedings of the 8th Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Bloomington, 25.–31.7.1998 pp. 15.
  • forthcoming – Sanskrit Buddhist Manuscripts from the TAR. A Chinese-Austrian Cooperation project, with methodological remarks on śāstric “urtexts”. In: Paul Harrison, Jens-Uwe Hartmann (eds.), From birch bark to digital data: Recent advances in Buddhist manuscript research. Proceedings of “Indic Buddhist Manuscripts: The State of the Field,” Stanford University, June 15–19, 2009. pp. 17.
  • Logic in Religious Context – Dharmakīrti in Defence of āgama. In: Vincent Eltschinger, Helmut Krasser, John Taber (eds.), Can the Veda speak? Dharmakīrti against Mīmāṃsā exegetics and Vedic authority. An annotated translation of PVSV 164,24–176,16. Wien: VÖAW 2013, pp. 83–118.