Throughout history, Buddhist teachings have demonstrated a remarkable adaptability by integrating with and benefiting the diverse cultures it encounters. These teachings continue to bear fruit; in particular, in encouraging critical thinking and the study and examination of reality, finding fertile ground by inspiring individuals to question and reassess the underlying assumptions that guide human behavior and lifestyle choices.
The Buddhist Universities of Nālandā and Vikramaśilā, prominent during the time of the Pala Indian Empire, are still regarded as exemplary centers of education due to their dedication to knowledge and openness to dialogue. It is precisely these qualities that still allow Buddhism, to this day, to intertwine and strengthen its dialogue with the Sciences and Humanities. The challenges faced by the world in recent years only serve to highlight the urgency of finding radical new ways of thinking about humanity and its place in the ecosystem. Now, more than ever, the contributions of contemplative traditions such as Buddhism become increasingly crucial in offering alternative, healthy and future-oriented ways of thinking and acting that can be incorporated into daily life.
In recent decades, there has been a growing recognition within most fields of the crucial importance of adopting interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approaches: an epistemological revolution that is proving necessary not only to address the complexity of reality – in light of the advances in science, technology, and so forth – but also to ensure that advancements in knowledge are accompanied by a method for personal, community, and ecosystem development that is both constructive and ethical.
The Research Center was established to promote such a transformation through collaboration with existing academic institutions, allowing the richness and scope of the Buddhist tradition to interact with the fundamental questions of our time.