By Donald S. Lopez, Jr.
Starting within the 19th century and carrying on with to the current day, either Buddhists and admirers of Buddhism have proclaimed the compatibility of Buddhism and technological know-how. Their assertions have ranged from modest claims concerning the efficacy of meditation for psychological health and wellbeing to grander declarations that the Buddha himself expected the theories of relativity, quantum physics and the massive bang greater than millennia ago.
In Buddhism and Science, Donald S. Lopez Jr. is much less drawn to comparing the accuracy of such claims than in exploring how and why those possible disparate modes of realizing the internal and outer universe were so again and again associated. Lopez opens with an account of the increase and fall of Mount Meru, the nice height that stands on the middle of the flat earth of Buddhist cosmography—and which used to be interpreted anew as soon as it proved incompatible with smooth geography. From there, he analyzes the way Buddhist suggestions of non secular the Aristocracy have been enlisted to aid the infamous technology of race within the 19th century. Bringing the tale to the current, Lopez explores the Dalai Lama’s curiosity in medical discoveries, in addition to the results of analysis on meditation for neuroscience. Lopez argues that via featuring an historical Asian culture as appropriate with—and even anticipating—scientific discoveries, ecu lovers and Asian elites have sidestepped the debates at the relevance of faith within the glossy global that begun within the 19th century and nonetheless flare this present day. As new discoveries proceed to reshape our knowing of brain and topic, Buddhism and Science should be vital analyzing for these interested by faith, technological know-how, and their frequently vexed relation. (20081113)
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Extra resources for Buddhism and Science: A Guide for the Perplexed (Buddhism and Modernity)
In the following year, Yang established a school to train Buddhist monks to serve as foreign missionaries. His contact with figures such as F. Max Müller (whom he had met during his time in England) and Dharmapāla had convinced him that Buddhism was the religion most suitable for the modern scientific world. The dilemma faced by Buddhists of China was different from that faced by the Buddhists of Sri Lanka. ” As a religion imported from abroad, Buddhism had periodically been regarded with suspicion by the state over the course of Chinese history and had been subjected to imperial persecution on four occasions (in 564, 567, 845, and 955 CE).
This Buddhism was the philosophy of the Buddha, as they understood him, an aristocratic teacher who rebelled against the corrupt priestcraft of his day to teach an ethical system that required no God, and which opened the path to freedom from suffering to all men. Asian Buddhists and European enthusiasts could thus claim Buddhism as the most modern of the world religions, able to uphold morality without the need for an angry creator God, and as the most scientific, fully in accord with the science of the day, which described a mechanistic universe of cause and effect.
28 This passage summarizes the multiple motivations of the Japanese delegation to the Chicago parliament. In addition to seeking to demonstrate the historical links between Buddhism and the Japanese imperial family as well as the relevance of Buddhism to the modern world (and hence its compatibility with Science), they were concerned to establish the legitimacy of the Mahāyāna (which they also referred to as Eastern Buddhism) as an authentic form of Buddhism, against the claims of 22 introduction both Theravāda delegates and the scholarly opinion of the day that the Pāli scriptures of the Theravāda most faithfully represented the Buddhism of the Buddha.
Buddhism and Science: A Guide for the Perplexed (Buddhism and Modernity) by Donald S. Lopez, Jr.