The project DHARMA The Domestication of “Hindu” Asceticism and the Religious Making of South and Southeast Asia—funded by an ERC Synergy Grant (ERC 809994)—is a consortium of three Host Institutions and one Partner Organization.

The CNRS is the corresponding Host Institution and hosts the project at the CEIAS/CESAH. The EFEO and Humboldt University are the two other Host Institutions. L’Orientale is our Partner Organization.

The CEIAS (Centre d’Études de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud—Centre for South Asian Studies), now merged with the CEH and become on Januray 1st, 2023, the CESAH (Centre d’études asiatiques et himalayennes—Centre for South Asian and Himalayan Studies) is the largest French research institute in social sciences dealing with the Indian subcontinent. Created in the mid-1950s by Louis Dumont, the CEIAS aim was to renew the study of South Asia by combining social science-based methods and findings with those of classical indology. CESAH scholars come from a variety of different academic backgrounds, covering a wide range of fields—social anthropology, demography, geography, economic, social and intellectual history, ancient and modern literature, linguistics, philosophy and history of science, political science, religion, sociology—and more. As for CEASH-specific activities, members work both individually and collaboratively, federating specialists from various backgrounds and fields to foster productive dialogue.

The CESAH (ex-CEIAS) is a UMR (unité mixte de recherche—joint research unit) of the EHESS (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales) & the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique).

The EFEO (École française d’Extrême-Orient—French School of Asian Studies), a public institution under the aegis of the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research, is charged with the mission of studying the classical civilizations of Asia through the humanities and social sciences. From India to China and Japan, and covering all of Southeast Asia, the EFEO’s research areas include almost all the societies that have been under Indian or Chinese influence in the course of history. Leading scholars working either at one of the EFEO’s 18 centres and branch offices in Asia or at its headquarters in Paris carry out the EFEO’s research agenda and are involved in teaching at various institutions of higher learning, both in Paris and in Asia. The EFEO counts 42 tenured scholars, 25 members of its administrative team in Paris, and 65 local staff members spread over its various locations in Asia.

Humboldt University of Berlin (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) was established by the Prussian king Frederick William III on the initiative of Wilhelm von Humboldt as the University of Berlin in 1809, and opened in 1810. The university is known for pioneering the Humboldtian principles of Higher education, i.e. the unity of research and teaching, the ideal of research without restrictions, and a comprehensive education for the students. The university is divided into nine faculties, has a student enrolment of around 32,000 students, and offers degree programmes in some 189 disciplines from undergraduate to postdoctorate levels. The Institute of Asian and African Studies (Institut für Asien und Afrikawissenschaften), belonging to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, comprises of five regional departments (i.e. Central Asian Studies, East Asian Studies, South Asian Studies, Southeast Asian Studies, and African Studies), as well as of three transregional departments.

The University of Naples “L’Orientale”, founded in 1732, is the oldest school of Sinology and Oriental Studies in Europe and has a strong tradition of language, cultural and social studies, relating to Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas and Oceania.1 As a centre for learning and research, L’Orientale aims to focus on similarities and differences between various cultures. The University is organized in three Departments, four Interdepartmental Centres and 14 Study Centres, a Seminar School on the island of Procida and 7 specialised Libraries. The academic staff participates in various national and international research programmes and the University works to promote technological transfer and the applied development of research results. L’Orientale has a consolidated experience through its connection with more than 250 universities, and as coordinator and partner in European projects within the programs such as Horizon 2020.2

  1. The University has Research groups working in the following areas: study of the Classical and Antique world; philology and literature; pedagogy and psychology; juridical studies; economics and statistics; social and political sciences; cultural and postcolonial studies; art and archaeology; anthropology; European and extra-European languages. []
  2. Other programs in which L’Orientale takes part are FP7, Tempus, Erasmus Mundus, LLP, Erasmus +, Culture Program 2007-2013, Creative Europe, EuropeAid, and Justice Program. []
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