Angelika Malinar

Angelika Malinar, Prof. Dr.

Professor of Indian Studies

Phone: +41 44 634 20 36

Room number: RAA G-31b


Angelika Malinar studied Indology and Philosophy at the Eberhard-Karls-Universität in Tubingen. She gained her PhD in 1991 with a dissertation on the Bhagavadgītā, which was published in 1996 and appeared in a thoroughly revised English version in 2007 (The Bhagavadgītā: doctrines and contexts, Cambridge University Press). Here the whole text is analyzed and the teachings formulated therein are placed in their historical context. From 1992-1998 she was an Assistentin at the Seminar for Indology and Comparative Religious Studies at Tubingen. In 1998 she gained her Habilitation with a study on the concept of nature in Indian philosophy. From 1999 she was involved in the interdisciplinary DFG-focus program “Contested Centers: construction and change in social-cultural identities in the Indian Region Orissa”. In her research project, she dealt with the history and contemporary situation of the monastic institutions of a Hindu religious community in Orissa (Caitanya Tradition). From 2000 she was active as a university lecturer at the Institute for Indian Philology and Art History at the Free University Berlin. In the framework of the ‘special research area’ (SFB 626) “Aesthetic Experience and the Dissolution of Artistic Limits”, she directed the research project “The Indian rasa-teaching as concept of Aesthetic Experience”. In 2005, she became a Senior Lecturer at the Department for the Study of Religions, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Since 2009 she has been Professor of Indian Studies at the University of Zurich, where she has been engaged in the University Research Priority Program (URPP) “Asia and Europe”, amongst other things. She is a co-editor of the Handbuch der Orientalistik and the multi-volume Brill´s Encyclopedia of Hinduism (Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism. edited by K. A. Jacobsen, H. Basu, A. Malinar and V. Narayanan, 6 Vols. Leiden, 2009–2015).

Research interests

Hinduism in history and present, Indian philosophy und aesthetics, Sanskrit literature (especially Epos und Purana), Modern Hinduism- and Oriya literature, tradeoffs between India and Europe in Modernity



Hinduismus, Göttingen, 2009.

The Bhagavadgītā: doctrines and contexts, Cambridge, 2007

Un/Reinheit: Konzepte und Erfahrungsmodi im Kulturvergleich, herausgegeben von Angelika Malinar und Martin Vöhler, München, 2009

Time in India: Concepts and Practices, edited by Angelika Malinar, New Delhi, 2007

Charisma and Canon: Essays on the Religious History of the Indian Subcontinent,edited by Vasudha Dalmia, Angelika Malinar and Martin Christof. Oxford, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Rājavidyā: Das königliche Wissen um Herrschaft und Verzicht. Studien zur Bhagavadgītā, Wiesbaden, 1996.


"Religious Pluralism and Processes of Individualization in Hinduism"in: Religion 45, 3 (2015): 386-408.

"Religionsfreiheit und Hinduismus"in: H. Ziebertz (ed.). Religionsfreiheit: Positionen, Konflikte, Herausforderungen, Würzburg: Echter, 2015: 183-210.

"Nārada and the Pāṇḍavas: Regulating Domestic Life in the Mahābhārata"in: A. Esposito et al (eds.). In her right hand she held a silver knife with small bells.... Studies in Indian Culture and Literature, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2015, 157-176.

"Sensory Perception and Notions of the Senses in Sāṃkhya Philosophy"in: A. Michaels, Ch. Wulf (eds.), Exploring the Senses, Asian and European Perspectives on Ritual and Performativity, London: Routledge, 2014, 34-51.

"Following one´s Desire(kāmacāra): On a Characterisation of Freedom in Vedic literature and the Mahābhārata",in:Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques 68, 4, (2014): 757-782.

"Yoga Powers in the Mahābhārata"in: K.A. Jacobsen (ed.) Yoga Powers: Extraordinary Capacities Attained Through Meditation and Concentration. Leiden: Brill, 2012, 33-60.

"Yoga Practices in the Bhagavadgītā"”, in: D. G. White (ed.) Yoga in Practice. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012, 58-72.

"Vier Veden und der "fünfte Veda". Über Kanonbildung im Hinduismus", in: K. Kollmar-Paulenz et al. (eds.). Kanon und Kanonisierung: Ein Schlüsselbegriff der Kulturwissenschaften im interdisziplinären Dialog. Basel: Schwabe, 2011, 182-211.

"Something like Liberation: Prakṛtilaya (absorption in the cause(s) of creation) in Yoga and Sāṃkhya", in: A. Bigger et al. (eds.), Release in Life: Indian Perspectives on Individual Liberation, New York, Bern: Peter Lang, 2010, 129-156.

"Arguments of a Queen: Draupadī’s Views on Kingship", in: B. Black & S. Brodbeck (eds.), Epic Constructions: Gender and Narrative in the Mahābhārata, London: Routledge, 2007, 79-96.

"How Purāṇas relate the Mahābhārata: The case of king Parikṣit", in: by P. Koskikallio (ed.) , Epics, Khilas, and Purāṇas. Proceedings of the Third Dubrovnik International Conference on Sanskrit Epics and Purāṇas, September 2002 Zagreb: Croatian Academy of Science, 2005, 465-494.

"Completeness through Limitation: On the Classification of tattvas in Sāṃkhya Philosophy", in: Berliner Indologische Studien 16-18 (2003): 304-321.

"Wechselseitige Abhängigkeiten und die Hierarchie der Körper. Zum Verhältnis zwischen Tieren und Menschen in hinduistischen Traditionen nach der episch-purāṇischen Literatur", in: P. Münch (Hg.) Tiere und Menschen. Zu Geschichte und Aktualität einer prekären Beziehung, Paderborn: Schönigh, 1998, 47-77.