BURGHART, Richard. U.S.A. 1944 — Heidelberg 1.1.1994, when 49. U.S. Anthropologist in Germany. B.A. 1966 Williams College, Mass., M.A., in political science, also studied in Ibadan, Nigeria. From 1966 studies at S.O.A.S., M.Phil. 1969 in Social Anthropology. Now became interested in South Asia and did fieldwork in Janakpur, Nepal in 1973–76.Ph.D. 1978 S.O.A.S. Taught Asian Anthropology at London School of Economics, then at S.O.A.S. From 1988 Professor of Anthropology and Head of Department at Heidelberg. Died of brain tumor. Married psychologist Nadia Rheissland, two children.
His speciality was anthropology of religion (Hinduism in Nepal and in the U.K.). Additional interests were medieval anthropology, early devotional literature and Maithili language.
Publications: Wrote only articles (38 pieces between 1975-1991), e.g. “The role of kinship in the formation of groups of pilgrims at Janakpurdham”, Contributions to Nepalese Studies 1975, 71-90 (?); “Hierarchical Models of the Hindu Social System”, Man 13, 1978, 519–536.
– “Renunciation in the religious tradition of South Asia”, Man 18, 1982, 635-653.
– “Wandering Ascetics of the Rāmānandī sect”, Hist. of Rel. 22, 1982-83, 361-380.
– “For a sociology of India: an intra-cultural approach to the study of ‘Hindu society’”, Contributions to Indian Sociology 17, 1983, 275-299.
– Edited with A. Cantlie: Indian Religions. 11+258 p. L, 1985; ed. Hinduism in Great Britain. The perpetuation of religion in an alien cultural milieu. 10+290 p. L. & N.Y. 1987.
– The Conditions of Listening: Essays on Religion, History, and Politics in South Asia. Ed. by C. J. Fuller & J. Spencer. 429 p. O.U.P. 1996.
Sources: Brief obituary in European Bulletin of Himalayan Research 6, 1994; G. Houtman, Anthropology Today 10:4, 1994, 26f. with photo (also in www.germananthropology.com/short-portrait/richard-burghart/208); stray notes on publications.