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SCIENCE AND THE HINDU TRADITION: COMPATIBILITY OR CONFLICT?

Authors

  • David L. Gosling

    1. David L. Gosling was until recently Principal of Edwardes College, University of Peshawar, Pakistan and is a Life Member and former Spalding Fellow of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 9AL, UK; e-mail: dlg26@cam.ac.uk.
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Abstract

Abstract While much has been written about science and the Abrahamic religious traditions, there is little about the Hindu tradition and science. We examine two recent authors who have explored the relationship between the two, in one case across the full spectrum of Indian history, and in the other with a specific focus on the Bhāgavata Purāṇa, a ninth- to eleventh-century CE document centered on the Lord Krishna.

These two publications are compared with a symposium of articles by scientists and scholars of the Hindu tradition that consider both science and religion heuristically in terms of “knowing the unknowable.” Each contribution explores this concept in accordance with the scientific or religious topic's internal self-understanding, without any cross-fertilization (“cherry picking”) across the boundaries.

Finally, we consider the author's own approach, which is intermediate between the previous mentioned in that it reviews the work of Hindu scientists who shaped the course of their research in accordance with their Vedāntic beliefs. These include Satyendra Nath Bose, who collaborated with Einstein on his quest for a unified field theory, and gave his name to a class of fundamental particles called bosons.

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