Klaus K. Klostermaier (born 1933) is a prominent German-Canadian
Indian history and culture. He obtained
a PhD in philosophy from the
Gregorian University in
Rome in 1961, and
another in "Ancient Indian History and Culture" from the University of
Bombay in 1969.
An ordained Catholic priest, Klostermaier was a missionary and
theology teacher for nine years in India in the 1960s. His study of
Hindu texts and scholarship, while living with practicing Vaishnava
Hindus there, resulted in his Der Hinduismus published in 1965. The
expertise he gained then, led to him being appointed advisor to the
Papal office, in the Vatican, on non-Christian religions.
He joined the Department of
Religion at the University of Manitoba
(Canada) in 1970. He received a Rh-Institute Award for "Excellence in
the Humanities", of a Templeton Course Award in Science and Religion
and an Award for Excellence in Graduate teaching from the University
of Manitoba. He was the University Distinguished Professor in the
Department of Religious Studies at the
University of Manitoba
University of Manitoba in
Canada. He served as the Head of its Center for
Culture from 1986 to 1995.
In 1998, for his scholarship on Hinduism, he was elected as a Fellow
of the Royal Society of Canada, and was Head of the
Religion at the
University of Manitoba
University of Manitoba (Canada) from
1986 to 1997, and director of an "Asian Studies Center", 1990–1995.
He was the Director of Academic Affairs at the Oxford Centre for Hindu
Studies from 1997–1998. A festschrift in his honour was published in
2004. He has spent ten years in India and has researched primary
sources in various languages, including Sanskrit, Hindi, Pali, Latin,
Classical Greek, German, Italian and French.
1 Selected works
3 See also
He is the author of 53 works in seven languages listed at worldCat 
Hinduism: A Beginner's Guide (2008), ISBN 978-1-85168-538-7.
The Nature of Nature: Explorations in Science,
Philosophy and Religion
Hindu Writings: A Short Introduction to the Major Sources (2001);
A Survey of
Hinduism (3rd ed. 2007); ISBN 978-0-7914-7082-4.
Hinduism: A Short History (2000), ISBN 978-1-85168-213-3.
Buddhism: A Short Introduction (1999), ISBN 978-1-85168-186-0.
Indian Theology in Dialogue (1986);
Mythologies and Philosophies of Salvation in the Theistic Traditions
of India (1984), ISBN 978-0-88920-158-3.
Hindu and Christian in Vrindaban (1969), ISBN 978-0-334-00616-9.
In the paradise of Krishna; Hindu and Christian seekers,
A Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Oneworld,
A Short Introduction to
Hinduism (1998) ISBN 978-1-85168-163-1.
Indian theology in dialogue.
Kristvidya : A sketch of an Indian Christology.
Liberation, salvation, self-realization : A comparative study of
Hindu, Buddhist and Christian ideas.
The body of God : Cosmos - Avatara - Image.
Religious studies: issues, prospects, and proposals with Larry W.
Hurtado, ISBN 978-1-55540-623-3.
Masters of social thought with Ajit Kumar Sinha.
The Nature of Nature: Explorations in Science, Philosophy, and
The wisdom of Hinduism, ISBN 978-1-85168-227-0.
From end to beginning.
Freiheit ohne Gewalt.
Vedic Aryans and the Origins of Civilization: A Literary and
Scientific Perspective with Navaratna Srinivasa Rajaram, David
Frawley, ISBN 978-81-85990-36-1.
Many of his books have been peer reviewed in journals, some as
textbooks on Hinduism.
George M. Williams described Concise Encyclopedia of
Hinduism as an
"Excellent resource by top scholar featuring concise entries."
Harold Coward describes the 2nd edition of A Survey of
"This book offers the most comprehensive, balanced, accessible and yet
deeply scholarly presentation of
Hinduism in English," and that,
"Thomas Hopkins's, The Hindu Religious Tradition, the standard work
when it was published some twenty-five years ago, looks rather
primitive when compared with Klaus Klostermaier's A Survey of
Hinduism, already in second edition by 1994".
Klostermaier's Survey of
Hinduism is said to favour "Hindu voices" in
its presentation and thereby offer views that have little currency in
scholarship. For example, it states that the Indus Valley
Civilization is Vedic, which pushes back the
Vedic period by several
thousand years beyond the accepted chronology. Similar criticism
have also been voiced about the Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism.
Michael Witzel has called him a "recent convert to a Frawleyan view of
the world which pictures India as the unique cradle of civilization at
List of religion scholars
^ Arvind Sharma (1993), Today's Woman in World Religions, SUNY Press,
ISBN 978-0791416884, page 126
^ Anna King (2006), Indian religions : renaissance and
renewal : the Spalding papers in Indic studies, Equinox,
ISBN 978-1845531690, See chapter by Karel Werner and Klaus
Klostermaier, Publisher's Summary, Stanford University
^ a b c Karel Werner (1986), Review: Mythologies and Philosophies of
Salvation, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain &
Ireland (New Series), Volume 118, Issue 01, pages 132-134
^ a b Oneworld Publishers, Klaus Klostermair, Description of Klaus K
Klostermair biography (2014)
^ a b c
Harold Coward (2014), Fifty Years of Religious Studies in
Canada: A Personal Retrospective, Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press,
ISBN 978-1771121163, pages 98-100
^ The Royal Society of Canada, The Academies of Arts,
Sciences of Canada
^ Bocken, Iñigo Kristien Marcel, Wilhelm Dupré, and Paul van der
Velde. The Persistent Challenge: Religion, Truth, and
Scholarship : Essays in Honor of Klaus Klostermaier. Maastricht:
Uitgeverij Shaker Publishing, 2004. ISBN 978-90-423-0250-1
^ Archives &
Special Collections, University of Manitoba.
^ WorldCat, Klostermaier, Klaus K.
^ P Pratap Kumar (2010), Introducing Hinduism: The Master Narrative
— A Critical Review of Textbooks on Hinduism, Religious Studies
Review, Volume 36, Issue 2, pages 115–124
^ George M. Williams. Handbook of Hindu Mythology. Oxford University.
^ A Survey of Hinduism. SUNY Press.
^ Howard Coward (1996), Book Review: "Hindus: Their Religious Beliefs
and Practices", Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies, Volume 9, pages
^ Joel P. Brereton (1991). "A Survey of
Hinduism by Klaus K.
Klostermaier (Review)". Journal of Asian History. 25 (1): 86–87.
^ Knut A. Jacobsen (1997). "A Survey of
Hinduism by Klaus K.
Klostermaier (Review)". Numen. 44 (1): 97–98.
^ Patricia M. Greer (2002). "A Concise Encyclopedia of
Klaus K. Klostermaier (Review)". International Journal of Hindu
Studies. 6 (1): 92–94. JSTOR 20106796.
^ Witzel, Michael (2003). "Ein Fremdling im Rgveda". Journal of
Indo-European Studies. 31 (1 & 2): 107–185.
ISNI: 0000 0001 0903 6657
BNF: cb120528512 (data