Emeriti and emeritae

Jeffrey L. Moussaieff Masson (taught 1969-1980)

Jeffrey Masson, who is better known for his later influential and controversial role in Freud Studies, has been professor of Sanskrit and Indian Studies at UofT. His early work focussed on Sanskrit kāvya and South Asian aesthetics. The groundbreaking English translations to which he contributed comprise Ānandavardhana’s Dhvanyāloka, including the Locana of Abhinavagupta, (1990) with Daniel Ingalls and M. V. Patwardhan, Aesthetic Rapture. The Rasādhyāya of The Nāṭyaśāstra (1970) with M. V. Patwardhan and the anthology Sanskrit Love Poetry (1977) with W. S. Merwin.  Masson’s highly original work The Oceanic Feeling. The Origins of Religious Sentiment in Ancient India prefigures his later contributions to psychoanalysis.

Bimal Krishna Matilal (taught 1965-1977)


B. K. Matilal (born 1935, died 1991), the renowned thinker, analytic language philosopher and scholar of South Asian philosophical traditions, was professor of Sanskrit at UofT. His main contribution lies in having engaged with the philosophical contribution of schools such as the Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika, the Mīmāṃsā and the Buddhists from within the 20th century Western philosophical preoccupation with language, truth claims and meaning. Founder of the Journal of Indian Philosophy B. K. Matilal is best known for his books Epistemology, Logic and Grammar in Indian Philolosophical Analysis (1971; repr. 2005), Logic, Language and Reality (1985) and Logical and Ethical Issues. An Essay on the Indian Philosophy of Religion (1982; repr. 2004).

Joseph T. O’Connell (taught 1968-2000)


Joe O’Connell (born 1940, died 2012) was professor of Hinduism and a driving force in the study of South Asian religions at UofT throughout the 1990s. A towering figure in Bengal Studies, he best known for his research on Bengali Vaiṣṇavism, culminating in his monograph Religious Movements and Social Structure. The Case of Chaitanya’s Vaiṣṇavas in Bengal (1993). His engagement with South Asian religions more broadly is demonstrated by his role in installing at UofT the Roop Lal Jain Lecture series in Jain Studies and by the volumes he edited or co-edited: Jain Doctrine and Practice. Academic Perspectives (2000) and Sikh History and Religion in the Twentieth Century (1988), co-edited with Milton Israel and Willard G. Oxtoby.

Leonard C.D.C. Priestley (taught -2003)


Leonard Priestley has been professor of Buddhism at UofT where he taught Buddhist philosophy with a strong focus on the South Asian literature of the Madhyamaka and Yogācāra schools, but also including its later Tibetan and East Asian developments. Expanding on the work of the late Vietnamese scholar Thích Thién Châu, Leonard Priestley has presented the most comprehensive account of the early Buddhist philosophical school known as the Pudgalavādins or “personalists”. To this day, his monograph Pudgalavāda Buddhism. The Reality of the Indeterminate Self (1999) remains the standard work of reference on this subject.

Stella Sandahl (taught 1977-2012)


Stella Sandahl, who had earlier been responsible for the offering of Hindī at UofT, taught Sanskrit language and literature from 1992 to 2012. Her teaching covered Indian culture and religious history as well as regular Sanskrit courses on all levels. Stella Sandahl’s research includes important contributions to the study of Tulasidās’ Rāmāyaṇa, research on kāvya such as the Ṛtusamhāra as well as literature on food and cooking in Sanskrit. Stella Sandhal’s monograph Le Gītagovinda. Tradition et innovation dans le kāvya (1977) is the most comprehensive book-length study to date of this important Sanskrit work. Stella Sandahl’s lasting contribution to the study of Hindī has been her A Hindī Reference Grammar (2000).


Narendra K. Wagle (taught 1966-2002)


N. K. Wagle has been professor of South Asian History at UofT. A prolific writer and editor he is best-known for his sociologically oriented historical studies of Maharashtra with a strong focus on religion. Among N. K. Wagle’s works that have left a major impact on the study of South Asian religious historiography are his Vallabha’s Paraśarāma Caritra. An Eighteenth Century Marāṭhā History of the Peśwās (1976) and his Society at the Time of the Buddha (1966; 2nd rev. ed. 1995). Certainly as important are the books he edited or co-edited such as Religion and Society in Maharashtra (1980), co-edited with Milton Israel, Studies on Buddhism in Honour of Professor A.K. Warder (1993), co-edited with Fumimaro Watanabe, and Approaches to Jaina Studies. Philosophy, Logic, Rituals and Symbols (1999), co-edited with Olle Quarnstrøm.

Anthony Kennedy Warder (taught 1963-1990)


The eminent indologist and Buddhist Studies scholar A. K. Warder (died 2013) was professor of Buddhism and classical South Asian languages and literatures at UofT. He is well-known for his research on Old Indic and Middle Indic kāvya and for his books Indian Kāvya Literature (1989) and the still unequalled Pali Metre (1967). Equally, important are his monographs on religion or philosophy such as Indian Buddhism (1970; 3rd ed. 2000) and Outline of Indian Philosophy (1986) as well as the textbook A Course in Indian Philosophy (1998). For several generations A. K. Warder’s magnificent Introduction to Pāli (1963; repr. 2001) was has been for Anglophone students the gateway to the world of South and Southeast Asian Buddhist literature.

Obituary, by Stella Sandahl