The integration of science and religion is important to His Holiness the Dalai Lama–so much so that he requested a team of scientists and professors from Emory University to come to Dharamsala, India, where he and many of his followers are living in exile, to teach them the basics (and not so basics) of Western science. This pilot program, known as the Emory Tibet Science Initiative, is now in its second of five years. It was preceded by a similar program called “Science for Monks,” started in 2001. While the project is designed to bring science education to Tibetan monks, the Emory professors involved also benefit from the exchange, learning, for instance, about Tibetan Buddhist ideas about the relationship between the mind and the body. “There’s something lost in the West,” one professor told a New York Times reporter; the Initiative “is a healthy exchange that is as much for the scientists.” Emory Professor Arri Eissen at Religion Dispatches pointed out the importance of such initiatives in an increasingly flattening world. For Eissen the Initiative is an experiment in globalization–in confronting the challenge of learning and teaching across cultural and intellectual gaps. See story here and here.
By Paul K. Nietupski , John Carroll University
(Vol. 3, May 2008)
By Thomas Borchert , University of Vermont
(Vol. 2, August 2007)
By Robert A. Segal , University of Aberdeen
(Vol. 4, February 2009)