Science and the Dao
From the Big Bang to Lived Perfection
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This book presents a comprehensive examination of core Daoist facets from the point of view of modern science. Exploring its cosmology, physiology, psychology, cultivation, and visions of immortality in the light of astrophysics, particle physics, paleoanthropology, behavioral kinesiology, cell biology, and more, the book enhances the credibility of traditional Daoist ideas and practices, thereby making them more accessible to modern people. The work also offers additional perspectives to scientific understanding as well as new dimensions of practical application, offering a new and enhanced level of translation—of Daoism into Western science as well as of theory into practice—with beneficent effects for both. It is an absolute must for scholars, practitioners, and anyone interested in the interface of religion and science.
Livia Kohn, Ph.D., is Professor Emerita of Religion and East Asian Studies at Boston University. The author or editor of over 40 books, she now lives in Florida, serves as the executive editor of the Journal of Daoist Studies, and runs various workshops and conferences.
This is a remarkable book bringing together the cosmology of Daoism with modern science. A tour de force.—Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University, co-author, Journey of the Universe
I can say without fear of contradiction that Livia Kohn is the currently most thorough and careful scholar, taking Daoist claims seriously by moving toward an increased integration of science and religion. Science and the Dao consistently explores the interface between Daoism and the hard sciences of physics, biology, and chemistry, reaching well beyond her earlier edited collection Living Authentically, which first brought critical study of Daoism’s sources and practices into the grammar of contemporary psychology. Kohn is not only the most respected scholar of traditional Daoism working in English, she is also an active practitioner of the Daoist way of purification, long life, and immortality. I do not hesitate to use this language, and those who read her chapters on “The Physics of Immortality” and “Be as Gods” will fully appreciate why. To scholars and practitioners of Daoism alike I say bluntly: This work is a must read.—Ronnie Littlejohn, Belmont University
In her latest book, Science and the Dao, renowned Daoist specialist Livia Kohn successfully approaches ancient Daoist teachings and esoteric energetic philosophies from a strong Western scientific approach. In this highly illuminating work, she provides solid, modern research and scientific data that support ancient Daoist teachings and practices. The scope of useful information and depth of research in this thought-provoking work are exceptional, while its comprehensive presentation follows an easy format to follow. Covering widely disparate yet eminently relevant topics, such as astrophysics, particle physics, neuroscience, behavioral kinesiology, psychology of meditation, cellular biology, cognitive science, and much more, the book is comprehensive, informative, well presented, and enlightening. It is a joy to read, offering a veritable treasure trove of insights that will influence the hearts and minds of thousands for years to come.—Dr. Jerry Alan Johnson, International Institute of Medical Qigong, Tian Yun Gong Zhengyi Daoist Temple