Short Portrait: Othmar Gächter

Othmar Gächter
Othmar Gächter

Dr. Othmar Gächter was born in Switzerland in 1941. His father worked as a cabinet maker and carpenter, his mother was a tailor. Due to his early decision to become a priest Gächter eventually joined the Steyler missionaries (SVD). He finished school in 1963 and took up his novitiate in St. Gabriel/Mödling, where he also studied Philosophy, Theology and Anthropology and additionally took courses at the University in Vienna. After becoming a priest in 1970 Gächter went to Belgium to do his master diploma of Theology and Religious Studies in Leuven. Eventually he moved to London in order to study Orient and African Studies as well as to learn Sanskrit.

In 1975 Gächter went to India for the first time and studied at the Banares-Hindu- University. Two years later he graduated with a thesis on »Hermeneutics and Language in Purvamimamsa« and moved back to Switzerland. Eventually he returned to India and gave academic lectures at several seminars and universities (e.g. in Hyderabad, Pune, Bombay), mainly dealing with philosophical and religious topics. The following eleven years Gächter stayed in India, where he also took part in several research projects and did service as a priest.

In 1986 Gächter returned to Europe and after a short period at the Vatican he began to work as a lecturer for the renowned anthropological journal »Anthropos«. Moreover he gave academic lectures at the Faculty of Theology in St. Augustin until his retirement in 2008.

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