UND professor to study in India under Fulbright research grant

David Peter Lawrence, associate professor of religion and philosophy, has been selected for a Fulbright research grant to India during the 2011-2012 academic year for a project contributing to intercultural and comparative philosophy and South Asian studies.

Lawrence will study in India under the project “Translations and Studies of Monistic Saiva Philosophy.” He will spend the year in the city of Lucknow, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, and will also conduct research in other cities such as Varanasi and Kolkata.

Lawrence will be working on annotated translations and studies of two Sanskrit texts of the medieval Pratyabhijna school of monistic Saiva philosophy authored by Utpaladeva and Abhinavagupta, two of the greatest Hindu philosophers who lived during the 10th and 11th centuries. There were highly influential on later tantric, devotional and aesthetic traditions.

The voluminous Isvarapratyabhijnavimarsini by Abhinavagupta and the short Siddhitrayi by Utpaladeva are texts exploring subjects such as the existence of God, the nature of human subjectivity, the relationships of consciousness with recognition and language/semiosis, and ontological categories such as universals, relations and actions.

During his stay in India, Lawrence will consult with colleagues with expertise in the Pratyabhijna and related traditions about interpretive issues, and search for alternative manuscripts.

The Fulbright Program is America’s flagship international educational exchange program, sends U.S. faculty and professionals abroad each year. The Program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by then-Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

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Useful links:

Fulbright Scholar program information and history
http://www.cies.org/about_fulb.htm

Contact:

David Lawrence, associate professor
UND Department of Philosophy and Religion
701-777-2707
david.lawrence@und.nodak.edu

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