One of the most difficult challenges for any scholar is to master two intellectual traditions at once. European and American scholars of Asia have regularly had to contend not only with the deep intellectual heritage of Europe that sets the terms of discourse for almost all academia, but also with equally complex Indic, Chinese, or Islamic intellectual traditions, and vice-versa. In order to engage academic colleagues, it has always been incumbent to have a firm general grounding in the thought, rhetoric, and style of Western academia, beginning with the Greeks. At the same time, a thorough mastery of one or more Asian languages and Asian intellectual history is also required for any claim to authoritative scholarship to be substantiated and defensible. It has sometimes been too easy for scholars to dabble in the intellectual world of an Asian tradition without seriously and fully immersing themselves and their own thought in the presuppositions, logic, and hermeneutics of their chosen area.
This volume presents the work of one person who has successfully accomplished this difficult task and has imparted both the necessity of such dual mastery and the enthusiasm needed to achieve it to a host of students in over forty years of teaching. Prof. Ludo Rocher studied both law and Indology and received higher degrees in both from the University of Ghent in Belgium. In Europe, he studied Sanskrit with Adriaan Scharpe, Jan Gonda, Barend Faddegon, and C.A. Rylands.