BAUMGARTNER, Alexander

BAUMGARTNER, Alexander. Sankt Gallen 27.6.1841 — Luxembourg 5.9. 1910. S.J. Swiss Jesuit Scholar and Indologist. Son of an influential politician (a federalist), Gallus Jacob B. (1797–1869) and Anna Elisabeth Reithard. Educated at the Gymnasiums of Chur, Einsiedeln and Feldkirch. Joined S.J. 1860 in Feldkirch. After studies language teacher in Münster in 1967-69, then further studies of theology at Maria Laach. Ordained priest 1872. Long time living in the Netherlands, last years from 1899 in Luxembourg. He visited Iceland, Scandinavia and Russia, but never Asia.

In Indology Baumgartner was mostly interested in the Rāmāyaṇa, and his book on it was favourably commented by Winternitz. As a Christian scholar he emphasized religion and morality, and strong­ly opposed to “pure art”. He achieved many enemies criticizing Goethe worship. 

Publications: Editor of the Stimmen aus Maria Laach, 18??–1900 with numerous own contributions; wrote studies on Lessing (1877), Longfellow (1877), and Joost van Vondel (1882); Goethe, sein Leben und seine Werke. 1-3. 1885-86, 4th ed. 1923-25; Nordische Fahrten. 1-3. 1901-06. Further travel books, poetry, etc.

Das Rāmāyaṇa und die Rāma-Litteratur der Inder. 181 p. Stimmen aus Maria Laach, Erg.heft 62. Freiburg i.B. 1894; articles on the Rāmāyaṇa.

Geschichte der Weltliteratur. (1-6. 1897-1911) Vol. 2. Indien und Ostasien. 15+ 630 p. Freiburg 1897, 4th ed. 1902; also other parts of this work were written by him.

– Articles on the Mahābhārata and Indian drama.

Sources: W. Kratz, S.J., N.D.B. 1, 666; Stache-Rosen 1990, 93f.; Wikipedia; photo in Rau 44 (from Gesch. d. Weltlit. Ergänzungsband. 1912).

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