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Between Buddhism and Science, Between Mind and Body


The Tung Lin Kok Yuen Perspectives on Buddhist Thought and Culture series and the Department of Historical and Cultural Studies are pleased to invite you to a free public lecture entitled, Between Buddhism and Science, Between Mind and Body.

Given by the 2012-2013 TLKY Distinguished Visiting Scholar Dr. Geoffrey Samuel, the lecture will take place on Friday, April 12, 2013 at 5:30pm in the Instructional Centre (IC) Building. Admission to the lecture is free and everyone is welcome to attend. Light refreshments will also be served.

In his lecture, Dr. Samuel asks how far Buddhism is really compatible with Western science. The influence on Buddhist on the ecology movement and the recent explosion of Mindfulness therapies in psychiatry and related areas suggests that it might be, but the versions of Buddhism used in these contexts have already undergone extensive modernist rewriting, and many of the more critical aspects of Buddhist thought and practice have been sidelined. By contrast, in the Dalai Lama's Mind and Life Institute, a largely unmodernised Tibetan Buddhism confronts Western scientists and scholars on more equal terms. Is the highly sophisticated yet radically other world of Tantric Buddhist thought really compatible with contemporary science? Can the subtle body and Buddhist understandings of rebirth be reconciled with contemporary neuroscience, with its physicalist approach to consciousness?

Please RSVP for the lecture at or contact Arts & Events Programming at

About Dr. Geoffrey Samuel:

Dr. Geoffrey Samuel is a Professor in the School of History, Archaeology and Religion at Cardiff University in Wales, and Director of the Body, Health and Religion (BAHAR) Research Group, an international research network based at Cardiff.

His academic background is in physics and social anthropology and his PhD, based on field research with Tibetans in Nepal and India, was on Tibetan religion and society. His subsequent fieldwork, focusing on religion and on medical and health practices, has included several further research trips to India, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan, and shorter visits to other Asian societies.

Recent research projects have included studies of Tibetan medicine and of Tibetan yogic health practices, and research on Tibetan ritual dance. He is author of a number of books, including Mind, Body and Culture (1990), Civilized Shamans (1993), The Origins of Yoga and Tantra (2008) and Introducing Tibetan Buddhism (2012), and is co-editor of the journal Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity.

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