Religion and Ecology in India and South East Asia / Edition 1

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What part can Hindu and Buddhist traditions play in resolving the ecological problems facing India and South East Asia? David Gosling's exciting study, based on extensive fieldwork, is of global significance: the creation of more sustainable relationships between people and the natural world is one of the most urgent social and environmental problems of the new millennium. David Gosling looks at the religions historically and from a contemporary perspective.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415240314
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Age range: 18 years
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

David L. Gosling trained as a nuclear physicist and more recently was the first Spalding Fellow in Religions at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, where he is currently based. He was Director of Church and Society at the World Council of Churches at the University of Geneva and has published widely on environmental issues in south Asia.

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Table of Contents

List of figures x
Foreword xi
Acknowledgements xii
1 Introduction 1
The Asian viewpoint 2
Ecology 4
Religion 6
Methodology 8
Main arguments 10
Religion at Rio 13
2 Ecology and Hindu tradition 16
Modes and habitats 17
Nomads and settlers 18
The early Vedic period 21
The Upanishads 24
The post-Vedic period 27
A contemporary approach 29
3 Ecology and modern India 34
Extracting resources 35
The Reformers 36
The impact of science 40
Indian scientists 42
Jagadish Chandra Bose 43
Gandhian ethics 45
4 Struggles for the forests 51
The Himalayas 52
Colonial forestry 54
Early opposition 56
Chipko and Appiko 58
Sunderlal Bahuguna 61
Anna Hazare 63
5 Ecology and Buddhism 68
Early Buddhism 69
The Mahayana 72
The spread of Buddhism 74
Southeast Asia 76
Ladakh 78
Bhutan 82
6 Thailand: a case study 86
Environmental parameters 88
Ashoka's legacy 89
Monastic reforms 91
Buddhadasa Bhikkhu 92
Social and environmental activities 96
Urban sects and movements 100
The culture of gender 103
7 India since Independence 110
The secular state 111
'Abolish poverty' 113
Patterns of resource use 116
Environmental politics 118
The Hindu Right 122
Restructuring society 126
Beyond liberalization 131
8 Signs of hope 136
Global-level initiatives 137
Personal initiatives 140
North India 143
South India 145
Points of view 148
Karan Singh 148
M. C. Mehta 150
Amartya Sen 153
Sacred groves 155
9 Expanding our horizons 159
Priorities and perceptions 159
Religious misconceptions 160
Continuities 162
Transformations 165
Public-interest science 169
Environmentalists at the crossroads 171
Secular India 173
Appendix A Medicinal plants identified in Thailand 176
Appendix B Indian non-governmental organizations 181
Select glossary 188
Notes 190
Select bibliography 201
Index 205
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