Books  General Natural History  Philosophy, Ethics & Religion 

Buddhist Biology: Ancient Eastern Wisdom Meets Modern Western Science

Finds several areas of compatibility between two unlikely partners: modern biology and ancient Buddhism
Compellingly written and filled with personal narrative by David Barash, author of 29 books and a practicing biologist and Buddhist

By: David P Barash (Author)

Oxford University Press

Hardback | Dec 2013 | #206901 | ISBN-13: 9780199985562
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £19.99 $25/€24 approx

About this book

An eye-opening look at the crossroads of religion and science, illuminating the unexpected common ground shared by biology and Buddhism. Many high-profile public intellectuals-such as the well-known "New Atheists" Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and the late Christopher Hitchens-have argued that religion and science are highly antagonistic, two views of the world that are utterly incompatible. David Barish, a renowned biologist with thirty years of experience, largely agrees with them-with one very big exception. And that exception is Buddhism.

In this fascinating book, Buddhist Biology, David Barash highlights an intriguing patch of common ground between scientific and religious thought, illuminating the many parallels between biology and Buddhism, allowing readers to see both in a new way. Indeed, he shows that there are numerous places where the Buddhist and biological perspectives coincide. For instance, the cornerstone ecological concept-the interconnectedness and interdependence of all things-is remarkably similar to the fundamental insight of Buddhism. 

Indeed, a major Buddhist text, the Avatamsaka Sutra-which consists of ten insights into the "interpenetration" between beings and their environment-could well have been written by a trained ecologist. Barash underscores other similarities, including a shared distrust of simple cause-and-effect analysis, a recognition of life as transient and as a "process" rather than permanent and static, and an appreciation of the "rightness" of nature along with a recognition of the suffering that results when natural processes are tampered with.

After decades of removing predators to protect deer and elk herds, ecologists have belatedly come to a Buddhist realization that predation-and even forest fires-are natural processes that have an important place in maintaining healthy ecosystems. Buddhist Biology sheds new light on biology, Buddhism, and the remarkable ways the two perspectives come together, like powerful searchlights that offer complementary and valuable perspectives on the world and our place in it.


Contents

Chapter 1: A Science Sutra
Chapter 2: Non-Self (Anatman)
Chapter 3: Impermanence (Anitya)
Chapter 4: Connectedness (Pratitya-Samutpada)
Chapter 5: Engagement, Part 1 (Dukkha)
Chapter 6: Engagement, Part 2 (Karma)
Chapter 7: Meaning (Existential Biobuddhism?)

Appendix


Write a review

There are currently no reviews for this product. Be the first to review this product!


Biography

David P. Barash, PhD is Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington. An evolutionary biologist by training, he has been involved in the development of sociobiology, and is the author or co-author of 29 books.

Bestsellers in this subject

Downward Causation and the Neurobiology of Free Will

NHBS Price: £108.00 $136/€129 approx

The Mushroom at the End of the World

NHBS Price: £22.95 $29/€27 approx

Walden: 150th Anniversary Edition

NHBS Price: £7.95 $10/€9 approx

Birdscapes: Birds in Our Imagination and Experience

NHBS Price: £14.95 $19/€18 approx

The Nature of God's Acre

NHBS Price: £4.99 $6/€6 approx