Buddhism and Science: A Guide for the Perplexed (Google eBook)
Beginning in the nineteenth century and continuing to the present day, both Buddhists and admirers of Buddhism have proclaimed the compatibility of Buddhism and science. Their assertions have ranged from modest claims about the efficacy of meditation for mental health to grander declarations that the Buddha himself anticipated the theories of relativity, quantum physics and the big bang more than two millennia ago.
In Buddhism and Science, Donald S. Lopez Jr. is less interested in evaluating the accuracy of such claims than in exploring how and why these two seemingly disparate modes of understanding the inner and outer universe have been so persistently linked. Lopez opens with an account of the rise and fall of Mount Meru, the great peak that stands at the center of the flat earth of Buddhist cosmography—and which was interpreted anew once it proved incompatible with modern geography. From there, he analyzes the way in which Buddhist concepts of spiritual nobility were enlisted to support the notorious science of race in the nineteenth century. Bringing the story to the present, Lopez explores the Dalai Lama’s interest in scientific discoveries, as well as the implications of research on meditation for neuroscience. Lopez argues that by presenting an ancient Asian tradition as compatible with—and even anticipating—scientific discoveries, European enthusiasts and Asian elites have sidestepped the debates on the relevance of religion in the modern world that began in the nineteenth century and still flare today. As new discoveries continue to reshape our understanding of mind and matter, Buddhism and Science will be indispensable reading for those fascinated by religion, science, and their often vexed relation.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Abhidharmakośa ancient appears Aryan Asia Asian birth bodhisattva brahmans British Buddha Buddhism and Science Buddhist doctrine Buddhist monk Buddhist texts called caste Ceylon chapter Chicago China Christian claim cosmology D.T. Suzuki Dalai Lama described dharma Dharmakīrti Dharmapāla dhism dhist disciples discourse of Buddhism earth ence enlightenment Esoteric Buddhism essay Eugène Burnouf Europe European existence famous four Gendun Chopel Hīnayāna Hindu Hodgson human Ibid India Japan Japanese karma knowledge language letter Lopez Jr Madame Blavatsky Mahāyāna Max Müller meditation mind missionaries modern Mount Meru mountain Nāgārjuna nature nineteenth century nirvā.na Olcott omniscient one’s orientalists original Pāli passage path philosophy Press published question race Realm rebirth refers religion Śākyamuni Sanskrit scholars scientific scriptures sentient Sinhalese Sinnett Society spiritual Sri Lanka sūtras Taixu tantras taught teacher teachings term Theosophical Theravāda things Tibet Tibetan Tibetan Buddhism tion tradition trans translation truth University Vajrayoginī wisdom Yogācāra