Stephen Kaplan

Stephen Kaplan

Professor

Department : Religious Studies

Email : stephen.kaplan@manhattan.edu

Phone : 718-862-7113

Office : MGL 430

Education

Ph.D. Religious Studies, Temple University

M.A.  Religous Studies,  Temple University

B.A.   Religious Studies, Pennsylvania State University

Research

Dr. Kaplan specializes in Indian and comparative religions with a specific focus on the Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism and the Yogacara school of Buddhism.  In addition a number of his works have been interdisciplinary engaging holography as well as the neurosciences as heuristic tools for understanding traditional philosophical issues.  He has used the holographic model of David Bohm, quantum physicist, to create a model for religious pluralism in which there are more than one ultimate, not penultimate, reality (Different Paths, Different Summits: A Model for Religious Pluralism 2002 Landham: Rowman and Littlefield).  In addition, he has compared the holonomic model of the brain put forth by Karl Pribram, neuroscientist, with the Advaita theory of mind (Hermeneutics, Holography, and Indian Idealism 1987 Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass).

Professional Experience

American Academy of Religion

Faculty Seminar in Comparative Philosophy, Columbia University

Faculty Seminar in Buddhist Studies, Columbia University

 

 

Publications & Professional Activities

In addition to his books, Kaplan has published articles in a number of edited volumes and leading journals such as Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Philosophy East and West, Journal of Indian Philosophy, Journal of Asian Philosophy, Zygon, Journal of Religious Pluralism, International Journal of Hinduism, and Eastern Buddhist.  His most recent work, "Scientific Approaches to Mysticism," appears in the Oxford Research Encylopedia of Religion.  He is currently working on a book entitled "Advaita Vedanta, the Neurosciences, and the Problem of Reductionism: What does it mean to be human?"

Honors & Awards

Dr. Kaplan received a 2002 Science and Religion Course Award from the Center for Theology and Natural Sciences. This grant was for the design and implementation of Mind, Brain and the Search for the Self - an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approach to understanding human nature, utilizing materials from religion, philosophy, the neurosciences and the field of artificial intelligence. In 2006, Kaplan was a Senior Investigator at the Mind & Life Summer Research Institute exploring the intersections of Buddhist thought and the neurosciences.

Other

In addition to his scholarly pursuits, Stephen Kaplan was involved for many years in New York City public school reform. He has chaired the development and establishment of an alternative elementary school - PS 51. He also received a New Vision II Award to open a public middle school in New York City. This school, the Jonas Bronck Academy, an educational collaboration with Manhattan College, originally located on the MC campus, has moved to a new location in the Bronx. Kaplan was engaged as a community organizer for over a decade working on the redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory, an enormous abandoned building, as a commercial, recreational, and educational center.

Most recently, he initiated a new program at Manhattan College for veteran-students--Veterans @ Ease. Working in collaboration with Warriors at Ease, a non-profit dedicated to stress-reduction for veterans, and the Sivananda Ashram and Yoga Retreat (Bahamas), all incoming veteran-students are eligible to enroll in the introductory Religious Studies course (RELS 161).  This course not only introduces student to the different ways to study religion and to a variety of different religions, but these particular sections introduce the students to Indic theories of mind and yoga. With this background, each veteran-student is invited, at MC expense, to attend a 4 day retreat run by Warriors at Ease at the Sivananda Ashram and to participate in follow-up sessions on campus.  The goals of this program are 1) to faciliate the successful transition to civilian-academic life, 2) to introduce stress reduction techniques for daily use, and 3) to provide avenues for veteran-students to bond with other veteran-students.

Courses Taught/Teaching

RELS 110      The Nature and Experience of Religion

RELS 161      The Nature and Experience of Religion -- Stress Reduction 

RELS 314      Hinduism: What is it?

RELS 321      Psychology and Religion

RELS 354      Buddhism: Its Development and Interpretation

RELS 357      Religions of China and East Asia

RELS 358      Religions of India

RELS 361      Yoga: Philosophy, Praxis and Art

RELS 400      Free Will?

Personal Website

Scientific Approaches to Mysticism