pp 1–3 | Cite as

Giving Context Where Context Is Due: Review of Meditation, Buddhism and Science, edited by David McMahan and Erik Braun

New York: Oxford University Press, 2017, ISBN: 9780190495800, 272pp.
  • Edward ArnoldEmail author

The volume under review is a heterogeneous collection of essays whose authors, despite their different fields, take as their primary object of studying ‘Buddhism’ in some form. This in itself is telling, for it speaks to the penetration of Buddhism across various academic disciplines, as across American popular culture, that the volume recognizes as a recent phenomenon requiring tentative and preliminary conclusions. The title of the volume is telling: meditation is indeed the primary concept under examination, and its relationship to Buddhism and to science is the focus of each essay. Perhaps the volume’s lack of the ubiquitous subtitle announcing its allegiance to a perspective—whether ‘meditation’ is both Buddhist by tradition and scientific by methodology—signals that its contributors are unwilling to concede the techniques of meditation live up to the hype critiqued within the volume. Yet they also acknowledge those techniques, in their historical contexts and philosophical...


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ReligionColumbia UniversityNew York CityUSA

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