In October, the Dalai Lama said that the practical outcome of a partnership program with Emory University is the creation of textbooks on science translated into Tibetan.
The three-day visit to Emory began with a press conference where the Dalai Lama accepted four new English/Tibetan science textbooks that were authored as part of the Robert A. Paul Emory-Tibet Science Initiative. This initiative brings together Western science and Tibetan Buddhist intellectual traditions to create new knowledge for the benefit of humanity, according to Emory. Emory faculty work with Tibetan Buddhist scholars in creating a science curriculum specifically for Tibetan monastics.
Monks learn Western sciences such as biology, physics and neuroscience as part of the project. The science and religion integration was the brainchild of the Dalia Lama, who wants the monks and nuns of Tibet to become modernized. The coursework with the monks and nuns began in 2008, and for those involved in Emory the openness to learning science has been refreshing in that religious faith is not seen as an obstacle to science.
The overarching themes of the program are: Cosmology, Life Sciences and Neuro/Cognitive Science.
“I have long believed in and advocated a dialogue and cross-fertilization between science and spirituality, as both are essential for enriching human life and alleviating suffering on both individual and global levels,” says the Dalai Lama.