Traditions of Science

Cross-Cultural Perspectives

By Bilimoria, Purushottama
December 2008
Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers
Distributed by Coronet Books Inc.
ISBN: 9788121511773
346 pages
$77.50 Hardcover

The frontiers of Traditional Knowledge and Science have long attracted the minds of scientists, theologians, intellectuals, and students, who have been arguing both their similarities and dissimilarities, apparent contradictions, and the possibility of an ultimate harmony between the two. In ancient and medieval India - as in much of the Non-Western world - there was only one word for tradition and science, namely, vidya. Vidya encompassed what in the modern historically-sensitive inquiries is called "knowledge-systems".

However, in the modern West, placing science and tradition side-by-side has become something of an anathema, for many in the post-Enlightenment era regard tradition to be a left-over from the Dark Ages, science, in contrast, with its systematic approach to studying and understanding of all there is, has been considered to be unassailable. But even this impenetrable divide may be showing signs of rupture in the twenty-first century: there is now growing evidence of a line of continuity and creative engagement in a "third space" between science and traditional knowledge. Individuals and learned organizations are making enormous contributions in this interactive exploration. The Sir John Templeton Foundation, based in Philadelphia, USA, is one such international organization.

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