The history of Austrian–Japanese exchange and cooperation in South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies has displayed a remarkable continuity over the past sixty years. This talk will review the three main phases of this history: (1) early beginnings of scholarly exchange between Austria and Japan in the years after the Second World War, when scholars in both countries strove to rebuild and expand their fields; (2) the growth of Dharmakīrtian studies beginning in the 1980s, with Austrian and Japanese scholars increasingly cooperating in the study of this Buddhist philosophical tradition focusing on logic and epistemology that shaped the further course of Indian and Tibetan intellectual history; and (3) the more recent expansion of cooperation into further fields, notably Tibetan scholasticism and Mahāmudrā. Reviewing this history offers an opportunity to reflect on the wider context that facilitated such continuous cooperation, a research landscape in the humanities shaped as much by national conditions as by the dynamics of internationalization. And this will lead to an examination of our possibilities for sustaining this fruitful cooperation in the future.
This lecture is part of the symposium “Philology, Philosophy and the History of Buddhism: 60 Years of Austrian–Japanese Cooperation”. It is open to the public and will be followed by a reception with wine and snacks.