Consciousness and science: An advaita-vedantic perspective on the theology-science dialogue

Bharath Sriraman, Walter Benesch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In modern science, the synthesis of “nature/mind” in observation, experiment, and explanation, especially in physics and biology increasingly reveal a “non-linear” totality in which subject, object, and situation have become inseparable. This raises the interesting ontological question of the true nature of reality. Western science as seen in its evolution from Socratic Greece has tried to understand the world by “objectifying” it, resulting in dualistic dilemmas. Indian “Science,” as seen in its evolution from the Vedic times (1500—500 BCE) has tried to understand the world by “subjectifying” our consciousness of reality. Within the Hindu tradition, the Advaita-Vedanta school of philosophy offers possibilities for resolving not only the Cartesian dilemma but also a solution to the nature of difference in a non-dualistic totality. We also present the Advaita-Vedanta principle of superimposition as a useful approach to modern physical and social science, which have been increasingly forced to reject the absolute reductionism and dualism of classical differences between subject and object.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-54
Number of pages16
JournalTheology and Science
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2005

Keywords

  • Advaita-Vedanta
  • Consciousness
  • Dualism
  • Hindu philosophy
  • Hindu theology
  • Indian science
  • Monism
  • Shankara
  • Super-imposition
  • Upanishads
  • Vedas

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