HEIMANN, Betty. Wandsbeck bei Hamburg 29.3.1888 — Sirmione at the Lake Garda 19.5.1961. German Indologist in Sri Lanka. Daughter of a banker. Studied classical philology and Indology at Kiel (Deussen, Sieg), Göttingen (Oldenberg), Bonn (Jacobi) and Hamburg (Konow). Ph.D. 1920 Kiel, from 1923 PD at Halle (Hultzsch). In 1931-33 nebenbeamtl. ao. Professor at Halle, as a Jew she had to give up this post and leave Germany. Now (1933) also her first visit to India. From 1933 Senior Lecturer at University of London, for a while also taught at Oxford, from 1945 ord. Professor of Sanskrit at University of Ceylon in Peradeniya. Retired in 1949 and returned to Europe. In 1957 she was nominated ord. Professor at Halle, counted from 1935. It remains unclear, whether she taught there or just got the full pension. Died during her regular summer holiday in North Italy.

BH was an appreciated specialist of Indian philosophy. She was a pioneer of the study of Dvaita Vedānta in a time, when most scholars solely concentrated on Advaita. In her early works she also tried to explain Indian thought from geographical and climatic conditions. Later she was also interested in the philosophy of language. Hers was the first female habilitation in Germany.

Publications: diss. Madhvas (Ânandatîrthas) Kommentar zur Kâṭhaka-Upaniṣad. Text in Transcription nebst Übersetzung und Noten. MS. of 73 p. 1921 (4 p. publ. Bonn 1920); publ. 56 p. Lp. 1922.

Die Tiefschlaf-Spekulation der alten Upaniṣaden. München 1922.

Die Entwicklung des Gottesbegriffes der Upaniṣaden. 1926.

– “Zur Struktur indischer Denkens”, Kant-Studien 30, 1925; “Vergleich der Antithesen europäischen und indischen Denkens”, Kant-Studien 1926; “Varuṇa–Ṛta–Karma”, Festgabe H. Jacobi 1926, 201-214; “Die Bewegungsvorstellung im indischen Denken”, Festgabe R. Garbe 1927, 95-101; “Indische systematische Logik im Vergleich zur systematischen Logik Europas”, Schopenhauer-Jahrbuch 1927/28; “Die Dingbezeichnungen in den alten Upaniṣaden”, ZII 6, 1928, 82-91; “Der Begriff der Individualität in indisch-buddhistischer Weltanschauung”, Handbuch der Biologie der Person 4, 1928; “Zur methodischen Betrachtung indischer Kunst”, OLZ 31, 1928, 666-671; “Zur indischen Namenkunde”, Ehrengabe W. Geiger 1931, ??-??.

Studien zur Eigenart Indischen Denkens. 1-2. 6+328 p. Tübingen 1930-31, transl. Facets of Indian Thought. N.Y. 1964.

Indian and Western Philosophy. A Study in Contrasts. 156 p. L. 1937.

Summary of a lecture on Ahiṁsā, ABORI 13:3-4, 1932, 331-334; “Zur Psychologie der indischen Grammatik”, ArO 7, 1935, 64-73; “Deutung und Bedeutung indischer Terminologie”, Atti del XIX Congresso Intern. degli Orientalisti Roma 1935, Rome 1938, 284-297; “Plurality, Polarity, and Unity in Hindu Thought: A Doxographical Study”, BSOS 9:4, 1939, 1015-1021; “Reality of Fiction in Hindu Thought”, D. R. Bhandarkar Vol. 1940, 97-101

– “The philosophy of flux. An analogous study in Heraclitean and Indian Thought”, ABORI 23, 1942, 177-186; “Lila. The divine play”, Univ. Ceylon Review 3:2, 1945, 29-34; “The significance of negation in Hindu philosophical thought”, B. C. Law Vol. 2, 1946, 408-413; “Basic ideas of India and the West”, Indian Arts and Letters 1946; “Kathenotheism and Dānastutis or Kathenotheirm and Iṣṭadevatās“, ABORI 28, 1947, 26-35; “From not ‘apart’ of meaning as exemplified in Sanskrit literature”, Univ. Ceylon Review 6, 1948, 23-28; “Concept of Deva in Hindu Thought”, JISOA 17, 1949, 22-41.

The Significance of Prefixes in Sanskrit Philosophical Terminology. 99 p. R.A.S. Monogr. 25. L. 1950.

– “[Ātman]”, Siddheshwar Varma Vol. 1950; “Contrasts in Fundamental Postulates: Monotheism or Henotheism?”, Belvalkar Vol. 1957, 219-227; “The Supra-personal process of sacrifice”, RSO 32, 1957, 731-739; “Within the framework of Indian religion: the main dogma of Buddhism”, Numen 8, 1961, 1-11.

Sources: *J. Botjeman, AL 35:1, 1962, 21; V. R[aghavan], JOR 28, 1961, 166f.; J. F. Staal, JAOS 81, 1961, 464; D.G.K. 1926 & 1954; Lexikon deutsch-jüdischer Autoren 10, 2002, 353-355; briefly D.B.E. 4, 1996, 501; www.indologie.uni-halle.de/institutsgeschichte/betty_heimann/ with photo; German Wikipedia.


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