Buddhism and Ecology: The Interconnection of Dharma and Deeds

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Given the challenges of the environmental crisis, Buddhism's teaching of the interrelatedness of all life forms may be critical to the recovery of human reciprocity with nature. In this new work, twenty religionists and environmentalists examine Buddhism's understanding of the intricate web of life. In noting the cultural diversity of Buddhism, they highlight aspects of the tradition which may help formulate an effective environmental ethics, citing examples from both Asia and the United States of socially engaged Buddhist projects to protect the environment. The authors explore theoretical and methodological issues and analyze the prospects and problems of using Buddhism as an environmental resource in both theory and practice. This groundbreaking volume inaugurates a larger series examining the religions of the world and their ecological implications which will shape a new field of study involving religious issues, contemporary environmental ethics, and public policy concerns.

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Editorial Reviews

Twenty essays, five previously published, examine Buddhism's understanding of the intricate web of life choosing from the wide cultural diversity of adherents those aspects that might be helpful in formulating an effective environmental ethics. Identifies socially engaged projects to protect the environment in Asia and the US, and explores some of the theoretical and methodological issues relating to such a project. The series is an outgrowth of a series of conferences at Harvard University, 1996-98. Paper edition (unseen), $19.95. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
...[I]f only one text could be used in a classroom, this is perhaps the most complete text for the scholar and student because of its sophisticated essays on methodological issues, statements from adherents, and various descriptions of practical, real world problems.....It may not be a definitive exploration, but it is an important and particularly long step in a journey that promises to continue in the coming centuries.
Journal of Buddhist Ethics
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780945454137
  • Publisher: Harvard Center for World Religions
  • Publication date: 1/15/1998
  • Series: Religions of the World and Ecology Series
  • Pages: 504
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.33 (h) x 1.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Evelyn Tucker is Senior Lecturer, Yale Divinity School.

Duncan Ryuken Williams is Associate Professor of Japanese Buddhism, University of California, Berkeley.

Christopher Key Chapple is Navin and Pratima Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology, Loyola Marymount University.

Malcolm David Eckel is Associate Professor of Religion at Boston University.

Donald K. Swearer is Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School, and Professor Emeritus of Religion, Swarthmore College.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword
Overview: Framing the Issues
Buddhism and Ecology: Collective Cultural Perceptions 3
Theravada Buddhism and Ecology: The Case of Thailand
The Hermeneutics of Buddhist Ecology in Contemporary Thailand: Buddhadasa and Dhammapitaka 21
A Theoretical Analysis of the Potential Contribution of the Monastic Community in Promoting a Green Society in Thailand 45
Mahayana Buddhism and Ecology: The Case of Japan
The Jeweled Net of Nature 71
The Japanese Concept of Nature in Relation to the Environmental Ethics and Conservation Aesthetics of Aldo Leopold 89
Voices of Mountains, Trees, and Rivers: Kukai, Dogen, and a Deeper Ecology 111
Buddhism and Animals: Indian and Japan
Animals and Environment in the Buddhist Birth Stories 131
Animal Liberation, Death, and the State: Rites to Release Animals in Medieval Japan 149
Zen Buddhism: Problems and Prospects
Mountains and Rivers and the Great Earth: Zen and Ecology 165
The Precepts and the Environment 177
American Buddhism: Creating Ecological Communities
Great Earth Sangha: Gary Snyder's View of Nature as Community 187
American Buddhist Response to the Land: Ecological Practice at Two West Coast Retreat Centers 219
The Greening of Zen Mountain Center: A Case Study 249
Applications of Buddhist Ecological Worldviews
Nuclear Ecology and Engaged Buddhism 269
Buddhist Resources for Issues of Population, Consumption, and the Environment 291
Buddhism, Global Ethics, and the Earth Charter 313
Theoretical and Methodological Issues in Buddhism and Ecology
Is There a Buddhist Philosophy of Nature? 327
Green Buddhism and the Hierarchy of Compassion 351
Buddhism and the Discourse of Environmental Concern: Some Methodological Problems Considered 377
Bibliography on Buddhism and Ecology 403
Notes on Contributors 427
Index 433
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