Science and the Indian Tradition: When Einstein Met Tagore

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During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, India experienced an intellectual renaissance that owed as much to the influx of new ideas from the West as to traditional religious and cultural insights.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"... splendid new book. It is very exciting and contains much more than the exchange between Einstein and Tagore....It really is a very great achievement". John Bowker, Emeritus Professor of Theology, University of Cambridge.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415402095
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 6/19/2007
  • Series: India in the Modern World Series
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr David L. Gosling is the principal of Edwardes College, Peshawar University, Pakistan, and also teaches ecology in the University of Cambridge, where he was the first Spalding Fellow at Clare Hall. He has been the Director of Church and Society of the World Council of Churches, and is the author of Religion and Ecology in India and Southeast Asia.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations xi

Acknowledgements xiii

1 Introduction 1

Science in India 1

Science and the environment 3

Society and tradition 5

Science and religion 7

Einstein meets Tagore 8

Methodology 8

Conclusion 10

2 Science in India's intellectual renaissance 12

Macaulay's Minute 12

The secularization of belief 14

The Reformers 17

The Ramakrishna Mission 18

Raja Yoga 20

Vivekananda and reincarnation 21

Aurobindo Ghose 23

Rejecting the past 24

Science and the Muslims 25

Rabindranath Tagore 27

Conclusion 30

3 Tradition redefined 32

A temple vignette 32

Ved&abar;ntic origins 35

The inverted tree 37

Christianity vindicated 40

The Hindu-Catholic fire-eater 44

Conclusion 46

4 Worldviews in encounter 48

Early Indian science 49

External influences 52

Classical Indian science 54

Science under Islam 56

European philosophy and science 59

Darwin, evolution and progress 60

The nature of the universe 64

Conclusion 66

5 Relativity and beyond 68

The road to relativity 68

Quantum theory 70

General relativity 71

Bose-Einstein statistics 73

The Uncertainty Principle 74

Towards a unified field 77

A road less travelled 78

State of the art 79

Conclusion 82

6 Indian science comes of age 84

Science becomes institutionalized 84

The rediscovery of ancient science 86

Eminent scientists 88

Conclusion 100

7 An investigation into the beliefs of Indian scientists 102

Framing the hypotheses 103

Previous research 105

Results of the investigation 106

Religious affiliation 108

The relationship between science and religion 109

Investigation of the hypotheses 114

Comparison between Hindus and Christians118

The influence of science 119

Issues of historical significance 122

Discussion of the results and conclusions of investigation 127

8 How clear is reason's stream? 130

Tagore's major themes 130

The God of humanity 132

Einstein's religion 135

Spinoza's God 137

Meeting of minds 138

Dialogue in context 140

Another view of science 141

Contemporary perspectives 143

Conclusion 149

9 Looking to the future 151

Avoiding the pitfalls 155

Hidden unity 156

Appendix A The nature of reality 161

Appendix B Investigation questionnaire (Chapter 7) 165

Select glossary of terms 167

Notes 169

Select bibliography 180

Index 183

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