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      Annie Liontas 9781476789088

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Other titles in the Oxford Theological Monographs series:

Hindu Theology and Biology: The Bhagavata Purana and Contemporary Theory


Hindu Theology and Biology: The Bhagavata Purana and Contemporary Theory Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Western intellectual history has benefited from a rich and sophisticated conversation between theology and science, leaving us with centuries of scientific and theological literature on the subjects. Yet the Hindu traditions are virtually unused in responding to the challenging questions raised in the science and religion dialogue. This book replies to the sciences by drawing from an important Hindu text called the Bhāgavata Puraṇa, as well as its commentaries, and philosophical disciplines such as Saṁkhya-Yoga.

One of the greatest challenges facing Hindu traditions since the nineteenth century is their own self-understanding in light of science and technology. Hoping to establish the conceptual foundations for a mutually beneficial dialogue between the Hindu Theologies and the Western Sciences, Jonathan B. Edelmann faces that challenge directly. Since so much of the Hinduism-science discussion is tangled in misconstrual, Edelmann clarifies fundamental issues in each tradition, for example the definition of consciousness, the means of generating knowledge and the goal of knowledge itself. He argues that although Darwinian theory seems to entail a materialistic view of consciousness, the Bhāgavata's views provide an alternative framework for thinking about Darwinian theory. Furthermore, Edelmann argues that objectivity is a hallmark of modern science, and this is an intellectual virtue shared by the Bhāgavata. Lastly, he critiques the view that science and religion have different objects of knowledge (that is, the natural world vs. God), arguing that many Western scientists and theologians have found science helpful in thinking about God in ways similar to that of the Bhāgavata.

Table of Contents


Introduction: The Purpose and Possibility of Dialogue

A Dialogue Between Science and Religion?

The Meaning of Bhāgavata Theology

Types of Biological Texts

Anatomy of a Worldview

1. Setting the Scene

Bhāgavata Puraṇa Overview

Contemporary Evolutionary Theory Overview

2. Ontology of Body, Mind and Consciousness

Ontology of the Bhāgavata

Physicalism: Views From Darwin and Neuroscience

Reconciling Physicalism and the Ontology of the Bh?gavata

3. Toward a Bhāgavata Theory of Knowledge

The Instruments of Knowledge

Relationships Between the Instruments of Knowledge

Testimony, Nonsensory Perception and Practice

4. The Study of Nature as Vaishnava-Yoga

Cosmic Body



5. Seeing Truth, Hearing Truth

Objectivity in the Natural Sciences

Testimony in the Sciences

Transforming Vaishnava Theology: Reflections on Hermeneutics

6. Moving from Nature to God

From Scientific Theory to God

Closer Comparisons

Science as a Form of Religious Practice

Closer Comparisons


Product Details

Edelmann, Jonathan B.
Oxford University Press, USA
Religion & Theology | Hinduism
Publication Date:
6.4 x 9.3 x 0.9 in 1.244 lb

Related Subjects

Religion » Eastern Religions » Hinduism » General
Religion » Western Religions » Theology
Religion » World Religions » Religion and Science
Science and Mathematics » Biology » General

Hindu Theology and Biology: The Bhagavata Purana and Contemporary Theory New Hardcover
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