HOENS, Dirk Jan

HOENS, Dirk Jan. Oldenzaal 11.8.1920 — 23.2.2003. Dutch scholar of Comparative Religion. Professor in Utrecht. After gymnasium in Leiden and the Hague, from 1939 studies of Indology at Utrecht under Gonda, first interested in language, soon in religion. As his main subject he studied theology, and after his doctorate concentrated on Indian religions. In 1948-51 Assistant of Theological Faculty, taught first Hebrew and Arabic (also at Phil. Faculty), then history of Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Ph.D. 1951 Utrecht, in Indology under Gonda. In 1952-60 wetensch. ambtenaar in History of Religion. Dr.Theol. 1955 Utrecht. In 1958 three months in India. From 1960 Pro­fes­sor of Theological Faculty at Utrecht, on a new chair “in de levende buiten­christelijke godsdiensten”. Retired in 1982.
As a pupil of Gonda Hoens started as a Vedic scholar, but moved later to Hinduism. He emphasized the research of living traditions and the one-sidedness of textual evidence. In his research work he studied Hindu ritual, Bhakti movements, Tantrism and modern religious movements, in his teaching also dealt with Buddhism. He has been characterized as a perfectionist, who has published very little, but was an inspiring teacher.
Publications: Diss. Śānti. A contribution to Ancient Indian Religious Terminology. 1. Śānti in the Saṁhitās, the Brāhmaṇas and the Śrautasūtras. 18+197 p. Utrecht & the Hague 1951 (2. never appeared).

– Sarvodaya. Een modern voorkeeld van het absorptie-vermogen van het Hindoeisme. Inaugural adress. 24 p. Utrecht 1961; Het Hindoeïsme. Driebingen 1968.

– “An excursus on Bhagavadgītā 6, 11”, Pratidānam Kuiper 1968, 523-532.

– With Th. P. van Baaren: De religies der schriftloze volken, het Hindoeïsme en Boeddhisme. 120 p. ill. Groningen 1974, 2nd ed. 1976.

– With S. Gupta & T. Goudriaan: Hindu Tantrism. HdO 2:4:11. Ld. 1979 (p. 71-117 “Tantric Transmission and Mantric constituents of Tantric Practice” by DJH).

– Some articles in festschrifts, etc.

Sources: Kloppenborg in Hoens Vol. 1983, 206-208, also a bibliography; “een bescheiden onder­komen” 145-147; Wie is wie 1994–1996; Dutch Indology homepage; Fs. 1983 with photo, another in Gonda, Indology in the Netherlands. 1964.

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