Richard Gombrich Professor Emeritus, Oxford University



Download 4.94 Mb.
Page1/3
Date08.06.2018
Size4.94 Mb.
  1   2   3





Richard Gombrich

Professor Emeritus,


Oxford University


Academic Director,
Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies


and his impact on

Pali
Buddhist Studies

A Note

By Geoffrey Bamford, (Executive Director, OCBS)

Richard Gombrich was born in London. His mother was an accom­plish­ed mus­ic­ian, his father, Sir Ernst Gom­b­rich, the pre-eminent art historian of the 20th cent­ury.

Ernst Gombrich grew up in Vienna. The psychiatrist Freud, the composer Mahler, and the poet von Hofmannsthal were intimate acquaint­ances. The philosopher, Sir Karl Popper, be­came his closest friend.

Richard Gombrich’s education was in the best English trad­ition of classical learning with an empirical bias. Having master­ed Greek and Latin literature, he moved on to Sanskrit and Pali. At 39, he was Boden Professor of Sanskrit at Oxford.

This was the earliest Chair in Sanskrit to be established in the West (in 1831). Now it was, for the first time, occupied by a scholar whose principal interest was in Buddhism.

Gombrich’s first book illustrates his range. It is a work of soc­ial anthro­pology, based on fieldwork in Sri Lanka. It gives a clear, compelling picture of village Buddhism. Then it com­pares that with the classical (Pali) literature. So it shows how care­fully the tradition has been maintained — and also throws light on how lay Buddhist life is likely from the first to have related to doctrinal categories.

His later work has explored further the links between textual and social dimensions of Buddhism. On one hand, he has revitalised the close textual study of ancient mater­ials, revealing new dimensions of early Buddhism (e.g. how it responded to Brahminism). On the other, he has analysed how some modern tendencies diverge from the tradition.

In this way, he has validated the authenticity and antiquity of the Pali material (contested elsewhere in acad­emia) and upheld its enduring relevance. The escape from essential­ism that the Buddha offers seems to him both very modern (indeed Popperian) and subtly (indeed uniquely) pragmatic.





A Career


Name:

Richard Francis Gombrich

Address:

11 Barton Lane, Oxford OX3 9JR

Date of birth:

17 July 1937

Education

1950-1955

Scholar,
St. Paul's School, London

1957-1961

Demy (scholar),
Magdalen College, Oxford

1959

Honour Classical Moderations,
First Class

1961

B.A. Oriental Studies (Sanskrit with Pali),
First Class

1961-1963

Harkness Fellow
of the Commonwealth Fund

1963

A.M.
Harvard University

1963-1965

Treasury Studentship

(Scarborough Studentship)


1970

D.Phil.
Oxford University

Medals and honorary degrees

1991

Hon. D.Litt.
Kalyani University, Bengal

1993

S.C. Chakraborty Medal,
Asiatic Society, Calcutta

1994

Sri Lanka Ranjana
(National Award)

1996

Hon. D.Ed.
De Montfort University

1997

University Medal,
Warsaw University

1997

Vacaspati (= Hon D.Litt.),
Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati

Academic Appointments

1965-1976

Lecturer in Sanskrit and Pali
Oxford University

1966-1976

Governing Body Fellow
Wolfson College, Oxford

1976-2004

Boden Professor of Sanskrit

Oxford University;
Professorial Fellow, Balliol College


1977-

Emeritus Fellow
Wolfson College

1999-

Senior Fellow
De Montfort University

1981-1982

Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor
University of Bristol

1982

Visiting Professor,
Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris

1986-1987

Stewart Visiting Fellow in the Humanities,
Princeton University

1994

F.D. Maurice Lecturer in Theology and Religious Studies,
King’s College London

1994

Jordan Lecturer in Comparative Religion,
SOAS

1997

Gonda Lecturer,
Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

1998

Edmond Perry Lecturer,
Northwestern University

2003-

Academic Director,
Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies

2004-


Emeritus Fellow,
Balliol College

Other Appointments

1977 -

Member,
Association of Social Anthropologists of the Commonwealth

1978-1983

Advisory Council,
Victoria and Albert Museum

1981-1994

Hon. Secretary and Treasurer,
Pali Text Society

1994-2002

President and Treasurer,
Pali Text Society

1996-2002

Co-editor,
Journal of the Pali Text Society



1981-1985

Secretary for Europe,
International Association for Buddhist Studies

1974-

Fellow
Royal Asiatic Society




Member of Council, 1989-1991



Member of the Publications Committee, 1991-3

1982-1990

Fellow
Royal Society of Arts

1983-1990

Theological and Religious Studies Board
National Council for Academic Awards

1986-1992

Member of Council
Society for South Asian Studies

1990-

Member
Academia Europaea

1992

Member,
East and South Asian Studies Panel, RAE (Chairman for S & SE Asia)

1996

Member, Theology and Religious Studies Panel, RAE




Member of several editorial boards




Share with your friends:
  1   2   3


The database is protected by copyright ©hestories.info 2019
send message

    Main page