It is to my many friends in India and to scholars in the English speaking world that I dedicate this volume of select paper, most of them published originally in the German language. This is the first in a series of three or four books that will follow as the translation proceeds.
Most of the translation are to the credit of Mitch Cohen, Berlin, whom I was fortunate to meet during my stay at the Wissen-schaftskolleg in 1996. One is by Dr. Seriate Mueller, a former student of mine who is now an established scholar herself. Where no translator is mentioned, the possible shortcomings in the English expression are my own.
The credit for redaction and digital preparation of the entire book goes to Dr. Martin Christof-Fuechsle: he too a former student and long-time associate of mine in Indian Studies, whose voluminous update of the Epic and Puranic Bibliography (ca. 2000 pages) is almost ready for print.
Bibliographical notes originally placed at the end of each of the original papers have been transferred to a consolidated bibliography at the end of the book.
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Heinrich von Stietencron has been Professor of Indology and Comparative History of Religion (173-98) at the University of Tuebingen. He has written widely (mostly in German), on the epics and the Puranas, on temple symbolism and iconography, and on religious practice and social structure. He has devoted many years to field research in Orissa, documenting the many temples and studying the manuscript traditions of the region. He is chief editor of the annotated Epic and Puranic Bibliography (1992). He was awarded the Padma Shree in 2004, the only foreign scholar to have received this honour.
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