In this episode we speak with Caley Smith about the ancient and fascinating world of Vedic Sanskrit. We discuss some theories and debates about the origins of Sanskrit, its relationship with other Indo-European languages, the nature and scope of the Vedas, Vedic notions of authorship, comparisons between Classical Sanskrit and Vedic, the importance of orality, and much more. We conclude the conversation with a preview of Smith's upcoming online course, SKT 303 | Vedic Sanskrit
. Speaker Bio
Dr. Caley Smith is a scholar of early South Asian religious history and political imagination. His work focuses primarily on the conceptual continuities and disruptions between the Vedas and emergent ascetic and householder traditions. He is taking a new position this August as the S&R Palvia Endowed Veetraag Vigyaan Professor in Jain Studies at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Georgia. His current book project, The Invisible Mask
, explores the ritual impersonation of the god Indra its influence on the impersonation-recitation traditions of early Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism.