Janet Gyatso (Harvard), "Religion, Science, and the Ethical in the History of Tibetan Medicine"

September 19, 2014
Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 4:30pm
165 Thompson Library

Professor Janet Gyatso will deliver the third lecture in the 2014-2015 University Lectures on Religion series. She is Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies and Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs at the Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University. Her lecture, like all others in the Center for the Study of Religion-sponsored series, is free and open to all. There will be a brief question-and-answer session and a reception following the lecture. 

Abstract: The intellectual history of Tibetan medicine provides a rich site for exploring both the interpenetration of -- and the differences between -- “science” and “religion.”  This talk will reflect upon a few historical debates about the nature and the ethics of authoritative knowledge in medicine from the 13th through 17th centuries, in a tradition with no discernible influence from the West but with considerable imprint from Buddhism. It will contemplate the value of certain critical analytic categories that help us discern the potential reach of religion into human life, as well as the grounds upon which important distinctions allow a medical fidelity to reality.

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