Confucianism and Ecology: The Interrelation of Heaven, Earth, and Humans

Overview


Confucianism demonstrates a remarkable wealth of resources for rethinking human-earth relations. This second volume in the series on religions of the world and the environment includes sixteen essays that address the ecological crisis and the question of Confucianism from three perspectives: the historical describes this East Asian tradition's views of nature, social ethics, and cosmology, which may shed light on contemporary problems; a dialogical approach links Confucianism to other philosophic and religious ...
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Overview


Confucianism demonstrates a remarkable wealth of resources for rethinking human-earth relations. This second volume in the series on religions of the world and the environment includes sixteen essays that address the ecological crisis and the question of Confucianism from three perspectives: the historical describes this East Asian tradition's views of nature, social ethics, and cosmology, which may shed light on contemporary problems; a dialogical approach links Confucianism to other philosophic and religious traditions; an examination of engaged Confucianism looks at its involvement in concrete ecological issues.
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Editorial Reviews

Choice

The ethical thought of Confucianism is often understood as being grounded in a thoroughgoing anthropocentrism, emphasizing as it does the proper ways for humans in various institutional positions and social classes to relate to one another. This anthology provides a corrective to that view and demonstrates that it is at best a partial picture of Confucian thought. Sixteen papers are included, and together they give the reader a sense of the conceptual tools that Confucianism has at its disposal for thinking about ecology and current environmental problems. Many of the essays draw from historical sources; a few look at the relationship between environmental problems and contemporary Confucian thinking. The authors do not attempt to whitewash or paint an unrealistically rosy picture of Confucianism's relation to the environment. Rather, they represent intellectually honest and realistic attempts to come to terms with Confucianism's past relationships and to envision ways in which Confucian thought can offer help in resolving current environmental crises. Most of the papers presuppose no special or extensive background knowledge of either ecology or Confucianism.
— M. A. Michael

Choice - M. A. Michael
The ethical thought of Confucianism is often understood as being grounded in a thoroughgoing anthropocentrism, emphasizing as it does the proper ways for humans in various institutional positions and social classes to relate to one another. This anthology provides a corrective to that view and demonstrates that it is at best a partial picture of Confucian thought. Sixteen papers are included, and together they give the reader a sense of the conceptual tools that Confucianism has at its disposal for thinking about ecology and current environmental problems. Many of the essays draw from historical sources; a few look at the relationship between environmental problems and contemporary Confucian thinking. The authors do not attempt to whitewash or paint an unrealistically rosy picture of Confucianism's relation to the environment. Rather, they represent intellectually honest and realistic attempts to come to terms with Confucianism's past relationships and to envision ways in which Confucian thought can offer help in resolving current environmental crises. Most of the papers presuppose no special or extensive background knowledge of either ecology or Confucianism.
Booknews
Contributors demonstrate that Confucianism has significant intellectual and spiritual resources to offer discussions regarding attitudes toward nature, the role of the human, and environmental ethics. Topics include Enlightenment values and the present ecological crisis; the philosophy of Ch'i as an ecological cosmology; and how Confucianism can cope with some specific contemporary issues. Paper edition unseen, $24.95. Distributed by Harvard University Press. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780945454168
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 8/15/1998
  • Series: Religions of the World and Ecology Series , #2
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 428
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Evelyn Tucker is Senior Lecturer, Yale Divinity School.

John Berthrong is Associate Dean for Academic and Administrative Affairs, Boston University School of Theology.

Peter K. Bol is Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University.

Wm. Theodore de Bary is John Mitchell Mason Professor of the University, Emeritus and Provost, Emeritus of Columbia University.

Tu Weiming is Professor of Chinese History and Philosophy at Harvard University.

Lawrence E. Sullivan is Professor of the History of Religions, Harvard Divinity School, and Director of the Center for the Study of World Religions.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Lawrence E. Sullivan

Series Foreword

Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim

Introduction: Setting the Context

Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Berthrong

The Nature of the Critique

Beyond the Enlightenment Mentality

Tu Weiming

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