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Buddhism & Science: A Guide for the Perplexed (Buddhism and Modernity)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 Lamas 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.

Synopsis:

Beginning in the nineteenth century and continuing to the present day, both practitioners and admirers of Buddhism have proclaimed its compatibility with science. In Buddhism and Science, Donald S. Lopez Jr. explores how and why these two seemingly disparate modes of understanding the inner and outer universe have been so persistently linked. He argues that by presenting an ancient Asian tradition as compatible with—and even anticipating—scientific discoveries, European enthusiasts and Asian elites have sidestepped debates on the relevance of religion in the modern world that began in the nineteenth century and that 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.

            “In Buddhism and Science, Donald Lopez fills a major gap, and he does so with his trademark rigor, concision, and élan. No serious student of science-and-religion can afford to skip this book.”—Jack Miles, general editor, Norton Anthology of World Religions

About the Author

Donald S. Lopez Jr. is the Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan. He is the author or editor of a number of books, including Prisoners of Shangri-La, The Madmans Middle Way, and Critical Terms for the Study of Buddhism, all published by the University of Chicago Press.

 

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

1  First There Is a Mountain

2  Buddhism and the Science of Race

3  Two Tibetans

4  The Science of Buddhism

5  The Meaning of Meditation

Conclusion: Measuring the Aura

Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226493121
Author:
Lopez, Donald S
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Author:
Lopez Jr, Donald S.
Author:
Lopez, Donald S.
Subject:
History
Subject:
Buddhism and science.
Subject:
Buddhism -- History.
Subject:
Buddhism - General
Subject:
Religion & Science
Subject:
Religion Eastern-Buddhism
Copyright:
Edition Description:
1
Series:
Buddhism and Modernity
Publication Date:
20081131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
278
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects


Reference » Science Reference » General
Religion » Eastern Religions » Buddhism » General
Religion » Eastern Religions » General
Religion » World Religions » Religion and Science
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Primatology

Buddhism & Science: A Guide for the Perplexed (Buddhism and Modernity) Used Hardcover
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Product details 278 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226493121 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

Beginning in the nineteenth century and continuing to the present day, both practitioners and admirers of Buddhism have proclaimed its compatibility with science. In Buddhism and Science, Donald S. Lopez Jr. explores how and why these two seemingly disparate modes of understanding the inner and outer universe have been so persistently linked. He argues that by presenting an ancient Asian tradition as compatible with—and even anticipating—scientific discoveries, European enthusiasts and Asian elites have sidestepped debates on the relevance of religion in the modern world that began in the nineteenth century and that 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.

            “In Buddhism and Science, Donald Lopez fills a major gap, and he does so with his trademark rigor, concision, and élan. No serious student of science-and-religion can afford to skip this book.”—Jack Miles, general editor, Norton Anthology of World Religions

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