Varadaraja V. Raman, Ph.D., professor emeritus, Rochester Institute of
Technology, has been named as 2004-2005 Metanexus Senior Fellow. In this
capacity, Dr. Raman will give a series of six talks at the Hillel Center on
the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. The series ‘Indic Religions in
an Age of Science’ will be composed of three lectures this fall and three
more in the spring.
The Metanexus Board of Directors made the appointment at the organization¹s
June 2004 board meeting in Philadelphia. Dr. Raman will follow Rev. Dr.
Philip Hefner, who served as the first Senior Fellow in 2003-2004. The
Senior Fellow position was created to honor those who have made significant
intellectual contributions to the growing encounter between science and
In his talks, Dr. Raman will focus on Hinduism, but also draw on Buddhist
and Jaina insights, in conversation with modern science. He will discuss and
interpret traditional Indic visions and worldviews with references to modern
scientific theories, even as he explores Indic contributions of civilization, for instance in theories of mind and consciousness, cosmology,
medicine, and epistemology.
As in the West, many contemporary Indian thinkers see both conflict and
concordance between science and religion. Many secularist Indian
intellectuals and scientists regard some of the traditional belief systems
like astrology and vastushastra as unscientific, and reject the claims that
the insights of modern science are derived from ancient Indian scriptures.
Others see in Indic civilization significant achievements in science, such
as yoga and Ayurvedic medicine that have been expropriated or ignored by the
West. Many have also attempted to integrate science and religion in the
Indic context. The vast majority of Hindus practice their religion in its
multifaceted modes, while little about it is taught formally in schools and
universities. Some of these issues will also be discussed in the lectures.
In his first lecture, October 18, 2004, 'Science-Religion Perspectives:
Traditional, Modern, and Post-modern,' Dr. Raman will present the framework
of Indic culture and discuss aspects of classical Hindu scientific visions
with references to modern and postmodern perspectives on Hindu science, some
aspects of which are both popular and controversial.
The second lecture, 'Cosmology and Forces in the Physical World' is
scheduled for November 8, 2004. Questions pertaining to the origin and
purpose of the universe are of perennial interest to the inquiring mind.
This lecture will discuss some Indic answers to these question, and consider
their relevance in the modern context.
The mysteries of the human mind have intrigued thinkers and scientists all
through the ages. In his third lecture 'Theories of the Mind and
Consciousness' on December 6, 2004, Dr. Raman will examine some of the
theories of the mind that have been presented by Indic inquirers, and show
how these theories served in the formulation of philosophical systems and
In the remaining three lectures of the series, which will take place in the
winter/spring of 2005, Dr. Raman will continue his exploration of Indic
religions with talks on the nature of consciousness, levels of reality, and
theories of knowledge and future visions.
Dr. Raman is a physicist, philosopher, and scholar. He holds a Master's
Degree in applied mathematics from the University of Calcutta, and a Ph.D.
in theoretical physics from the University of Paris. He served as professor
of physics and humanities at Rochester Institute of Technology. He has
authored numerous papers, articles, and books on science, on Hindu culture,
and on science-religion issues. Currently, he serves on the executive
council of IRAS (Institute on Religion in an Age of Science) as well as on
the board of the Metanexus Institute.
All talks will take place from 5:00-6:00 PM in the auditorium of the Hillel
Center, 215 South 39th Street, Philadelphia. There is on street parking or
in the lot on the East side of 38th Street between Walnut and Chestnut
Streets. The series is free of charge. For further information, please
contact us at 215.789.2200 or email@example.com.
The Metanexus Institute is a membership organization that advances
research, education, and outreach on the constructive engagement of science and
religion. We seek to create an enduring intellectual and social movement by
collaborating with persons and communities from diverse religious
traditions and scientific disciplines. In a spirit of humility and with deep concern
for intellectual rigor, the Metanexus Institute promotes a balanced and
exploratory dialogue between science and religion. While mindful of the
complexities of this endeavor, we work to develop integrative approaches
that enrich the domains of both science and religion. Some of the projects
of the Metanexus Institute are the Local Societies Initiative, the Templeton
Research Lectures, the Spiritual Transformation Scientific Research Program,
and the Spiritual Capital Research Program.
For further information about the Institute and its programs, please go to
www.metanexus.net for contact Julia Loving at