Heinrich von Stietencron (* 18 June 1933 in Ronco sopra Ascona, Switzerland, † 12 January 2018 in Tübingen, Germany) was Professor and Director of the Institute of Indology and Comparative Religion. He was a life member of the Academy of Sciences, Heidelberg and an honorary member of the Société Asiatique, Paris. He was awarded "Padma Shri" by the President of India in 2004. In 2015 he received the "Distinguished Indologist Award" by the Indian government. The award ceremony of this newly created prize was connected to the three-day "World Indology Conference" and was taking place on November 21, 2015 in Delhi; President Pranab Mukherjee personally presented the award. For details see here.
From 1957 till 1965, Heinrich von Stietencron studied Indology, Old Iranian and Philosophy in Munich and London at the School of Oriental and African Studies. After completing his dissertation in 1966 he was research assistant at the South Asia Institute of the University of Heidelberg. He habilitated in Indology after receiving a grant by the German Research Foundation for a one-year-fieldwork in India with a thesis on the river goddesses Ganga and Yamuna. From 1970 till 1973 he worked at the Department of Religion and Philosophy of the South Asia Institute at the University of Heidelberg. From 1973 till 1998 he held the chair of Indology and Comparative Religion at the University of Tübingen. He has been a visiting professor in 1983/84 in Philadelphia, in 1989 in Roma and in 1993 in Paris.
From 1970 to 1976, Heinrich von Stietencron worked in a project about the Jagannath cult in Orissa in collaboration with Indian scholars. From 1999 till 2005 a second part of the project, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), focused on sacred centres and religious communities in Orissa ("Sakrale Zentren und religiöse Gemeinschaften", a subproject of "Umstrittene Zentren: Konstruktion und Wandel sozio-kultureller Identitäten in der indischen Region Orissa"). He compiled a webinterface for the databank "Temples in Orissa". From 1982 till 1988 and from 1995 till 2000 he worked in a team of scholars on a Puranic and Epic bibliography in two projects, funded by the German Research Foundation.
Obituary of Heinrich von Stietencron
Publiched in the Newsletter Uni Tübingen aktuell Nr. 1/2018: Leute unter the title "Indologe von internationalem Rang, Mittler zwischen den Kulturen: Zum Tode von Professor Dr. Heinrich von Stietencron ein Nachruf von Heike Oberlin".