Johannes Bronkhorst: Rethinking India’s Past

This lecture explored the cultural history of India during the centuries around the beginning of the Common Era. It addressed the question how the Vedic tradition, which had greatly suffered under the Mauryas and the foreign invasions that preceded and followed it, could undergo a revival and subsequently succeed in spreading over the whole of the subcontinent and well into Southeast Asia. Various aspects of the renewed Brahmanical tradition was considered, among them its interaction with and attraction for the political rulers of its day.

Johannes Bronkhorst is an Indologist and a specialist on Buddhism. He is Emeritus Professor at the University of Lausanne. He was Professor of Sanskrit and Indian studies at the University of Lausanne: 1987-2011.

He has published more than two hundred research papers in specialized journals, nineteen books, besides numerous reviews. His most recent books are Buddhist Teaching in India (2009), Karma (2011), Buddhism in the Shadow of Brahmanism (2011), Absorption (2012), How the Brahmins Won (2016) and Śabda: Reader on Language in Indian Philosophy (2019).


Kunal Chakrabarti is former Professor of Ancient Indian History at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019
6 pm, Lecture Room II, Annexe   
India International Centre