FRIEDMAN, David Lazar

FRIEDMAN, David Lazar (Lasar). Amsterdam 26.2.1903 — London 11.4.1984. Dutch Buddhist Scholar and Art Historian in the U.K. Born in a Jewish family engaged in diamond trade. After school in Amsterdam he studied three years Sanskrit at Utrecht (under Caland), then history of religion, Sanskrit and Indian art and archaeology at Leiden (under Vogel). Ph.D. 1936 Leiden. After a year of further studies at Oxford (under Johnston) he became Lecturer in Buddhist Studies at Leiden in 1938. As a jew he was dismissed after German occupation in 1940, but continued clandestinely teaching. Leaving the country in 1941 he joined the Netherlands Information Bureau in New York, writing and lecturing on the history and culture of the Netherlands, India and Indonesia. In 1946-50 Professor at the University of Indonesia in Batavia/Jakarta, taught Sanskrit, Buddhist philosophy and Indian art. From 1950 Lecturer and from 1959 Reader at S.O.A.S. in London, also taught at King’s College. Retired in 1970, but continued lecturing. Married with Helène (d. 1976), a ceramic artist of Russian Jewish origin, two daughters.

Friedman took great care supervising his students and published himself very little. Among his students were Lohuizen-De Leeuw, D. Killingley, and Rita Gupta.

Publications: Diss. [Sthiramati:] Madhyāntavibhāgaṭīkā. Analysis of the Middle Path and the Extremes. 143 p. Utrecht 1937 (translated).

– “Aspects of Indian epistemology, logic and ontology”, Philosophia reformata 20, 1955, 49-58).

A few further articles and reviews.

Sources: T. Gelblum: “David Friedman (1903-1984)”, JIABS 8:2, 1985, 149f.; A net cast wide: investigations into Indian thought in memory of David Friedman. 92 p. Newcastle upon Tyne [1986] – with life by D. Killingley (p. ixf.) and a photo; Dutch Indology homepage.

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