Indology is the academic study of India and its people: history, cultures, religions, languages, and literature. A specialist in Indology, or a professional on Indology is called Indologist.
Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, tenth edition, refers to the origin of the word in the year 1888.
Indian studies is interchangeably used with Indology, and it is a subset of Asian Studies. Indology is predominantly attributed to German scholars and some European universities over the Anglophone institutions in the West.
F. Max Muller is noted as one of the foremost scholars of Indology. Romila Thapar writes in AN HISTORY OF INDIA, volume one: ‘The discovery of the Indian past, and its revelation to Europe in the eighteenth century, was largely the work of Jesuits in India and of Europeans employed by the East India Company, such as Sir William Jones and Charles Wilkins. Soon the numbers of those interested in studying the classical languages and literatures of India grew, and the early nineteenth century saw considerable achievements in linguistics, ethnography, and other fields of Indology. Scholars in Europe expressed a keen interest in this new field of inquiry as is evident from the number of persons who took to Indology and of one of whom at least mention must be made – F. Max Muller.’