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Indian Studies through Comprehensive Structural Studies

The 43rd Colloquium: Professor Jaegwan Sim




The HK+ Team at the Institute of Indian Studies, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, hosted the 43rd Colloquium on the topic "Current Situation and Prospect of Indian Studies Abroad - Correlationship of Codicology, Tantrism, Yoga, Medical Studies, and SouthAsian Studies" on May 23rd(Mon). 


Speaker: Jaegwan Sim(Professor of Department of Liberal Arts at Sangji University) 

A general trend in recent Indian and Buddhist Studies in the West consists of collecting and editing manuscripts, which started from analytical studies on Shaiva Tantrism literature by Professor Sanderson in the 1980s. This collection and studies on manuscripts related to Tantrism brought upon the finalization of the areas of studies such as the combination of bibliography and archaeological studies, Southeast Asian manuscript collection and epigraph studies, and studies on hatha yoga and Mahayana Buddism in Southeast Asia. 

The speaker first presented recent achievements of the studies on the discovery of manuscripts and bibliography. Bajaur collection that was discovered in ruined temples of Pakistan and Mes Aynak collection and the current state of affairs of the research were introduced. In addition, Tantrism studies and the current research of recent representational scholars, Harunaga Isaacson, Diwakar Acharya, and Dominic Goodall were discussed. The research was initiated owing to the pioneering studies of Professor Sanderson at Oxford University, and the speaker presented recent studies on Shaivism, Buddhist tantra, Yoga, and Southeast Asian Hinduism. Significantly, along with the studies on hatha yoga, the studies on contemporary yoga are not so unrelated to such a trend, and the current situation on contemporary yoga studies mainly conducted in the UK was discussed. Furthermore, the achievements of traditional Indian medical studies, and its deviation from the aforementioned studies, were reported. 

The speaker also mentioned epigraph studies; now on the rise as a crucial area of research in Southeast Asia Buddism, Southeast Asian Yoga, and Tantra Studies through epigraphic studies and the recent achievements of research on Esoteric Buddhism in Southeast Asia. 

In the discussion session, it was pointed out that the reason why Korean scholars are insensitive to such emerging research trends is the lack of network formation with Western academic society and the cooperation system of Korean scholars, and called for active interest to solve the problem and the formation of cooperation system, and agreed on the need for such efforts.