Bogdan Diaconescu


Departmental Lecturer in Sanskrit

Faculty / College Address:

Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies


Doctorate in Sanskrit and Indian Studies of the University of Lausanne

Bogdan Diaconescu concentrates his research on the textual, discursive, and historical study of Indian thought, taking a contextualist and interdisciplinary outlook, and integrating insights gained from extensive study of Indian philosophies with outstanding Sanskrit traditional scholars in Benares and Poona. He has taught classes in Sanskrit and Indian philosophical and religious traditions and conducted research in various academic functions at the universities of Lausanne and Fribourg, Switzerland, and served as a senior researcher at the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Research Interests:

  • Deep structures and processes of Indian rationality (ways of thinking and methods of inquiring), studied both as theory and practice
  • Indian philosophy of language and mind, hermeneutics, metaphysics, logic, epistemology, philosophy of religion
  • Analysis of language in Indian traditions: hermeneutics (Mīmāṃsā), logic and epistemology (Nyāya and Navyanyāya), grammar and grammatical philosophy (Vyākaraṇa), Vedānta, Śaivism, Buddhism
  • Intellectual history of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism and of their interactions
  • Philosophy as discourse and theorization of this perspective

Current Projects:

  • The Bhāṭṭatantrarahasya of Khaṇḍadevamiśra - translation with extended commentary of the central treatise on philosophy of language and verbal cognition of Mīmāṃsā school of hermeneutics in early modern India
  • Diffusion and adoption of the tools and techniques of cognitive analysis and the characteristic technical language elaborated by the school of ‘New Logic’ (Navyanyāya)
  • Theory and practice of interpretation in India


Courses 2023-24:       

  • Sanskrit Readings: Brahmanism
  • Sanskrit Readings: Buddhism
  • Tutorials: Brahmanism
  • Tutorials: Buddhism
  • Sources and Resources for the Study of India
  • Philosophies and Religions of India Lectures
  • Convenor for the Graduate Indology Seminar 


Selected Publications


2012 (reprint 2022). Debating Verbal Cognition: The Theory of the Principal Qualificand (mukhyaviśeṣya) in Classical Indian Thought. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. xiii, 533p.

(in preparation) Sanskrit, Logic, and Religion: Udayana’s Philosophy of Language


Edited books:

Voegeli, François, Danielle Feller, Vincent Eltschinger, Maria-Pierra Candotti, Bogdan Diaconescu, Malhar Kulkarni, eds. 2012. Devadattīyam: Johannes Bronkhorst Felicitation Volume. Bern: Peter Lang. xiv, 847p.


Articles and book chapters:

forthcoming. “On debates that could not end: Interwoven arguments on language and cognition in Indian philosophy.” In Concepts of Philosophy in Asia and the Islamic world. Vol. 2, edited by Angelika Malinar and Ulrich Rudolph. Leiden: Brill.

forthcoming. “Gautama.” Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Vol. 7, edited by Knut A. Jacobsen (Editor-in-Chief). Leiden: Brill.

forthcoming. “Kaṇāda.” Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Vol. 7, edited by Knut A. Jacobsen (Editor-in-Chief). Leiden: Brill.

2021. “Old topics, new formulations: Khaṇḍadeva and Navyanyāya (Studies in Vedic Hermeneutics in Early Modern India, 1).” Journal of Indian Philosophy 49.2: 291–321.

Bronkhorst, Johannes, Bogdan Diaconescu, Malhar Kulkarni. 2013. “The arrival of Navya-Nyāya techniques in Varanasi.” In An Indian Ending: Rediscovering the Grandeur of Indian Heritage for a Sustainable Life-Style. Essays in Honour of Professor Dr. John Vattanky SJ on Completing Eighty Years, edited by Kuruvilla Pandikattu SJ and Binoy Pichalakkattu SJ. Pp. 73–109. Delhi: Serials Publications.

2012. “On the new ways of the late Vedic hermeneutics: Mīmāṃsā and Navya-Nyāya.” Asiatische Studien/Études Asiatiques 66.2: 261–306.

bogdan diaconescu