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Hinduism and Ecology: The Intersection of Earth, Sky, and Water

Hinduism and Ecology: The Intersection of Earth, Sky, and Water


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This fourth volume in the series exploring religions and the environment investigates the role of the multifaceted Hindu tradition in the development of greater ecological awareness in India.

The twenty-two contributors ask how traditional concepts of nature in the classical texts might inspire or impede an eco-friendly attitude among modern Hindus, and they describe some grassroots approaches to environmental protection. They look to Gandhian principles of minimal consumption, self-reliance, simplicity, and sustainability. And they explore forests and sacred groves in text and tradition and review the political and religious controversies surrounding India's sacred river systems.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780945454250
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 11/30/2000
Series: Religions of the World and Ecology , #4
Pages: 656
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

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

Mary Evelyn Tucker is Senior Lecturer, Yale Divinity School.

O.P. Dwivedi teaches environmental policy and law and public administration. He has published twenty-six books and many articles and chapters in books. Former member (1986-89) of the Environmental Assessment Board of Ontario; past president of the Canadian Political Science Association; former vice president of the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration, Brussels; and chair of the Research Committee on Technology and Development of the International Political Science Association.

Ann Grodzins Gold is Professor of Religion and Anthropology at Syracuse University.

Philip Lutgendorf is Professor Emeritus of Hindi and Modern Indian Studies at the University of Iowa.

Pramod Parajuli teaches anthropology, ecology, and social movements at Syracuse University.

Table of Contents

  • Preface Lawrence E. Sullivan
  • Series Foreword Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim
  • Introduction Christopher Key Chapple

The Cultural Underpinnings: Traditional Hindu Concepts of Nature
  • Dharmic Ecology O. P. Dwivedi
  • The Five Great Elements (Pañcamahābhūta): An Ecological Perspective K. L. Seshagiri Rao
  • Nature Romanticism and Sacrifice in Rgvedic Interpretation Laurie L. Patton
  • State Responsibility for Environmental Management: Perspectives from Hindu Texts on Polity Mary McGee
  • Literary Foundations for an Ecological Aesthetic: Dharma, Ayurveda, the Arts, and Abhijñānaśākuntalam T S. Rukmani
  • Reading the Bhagavadgītā from an Ecological Perspective Lance E. Nelson
  • Can Hindu Beliefs and Values Help India Meet Its Ecological Crisis? Anil Agarwal

Gandhian Philosophy and the Development of an Indigenous Indian Environmental Ethic
  • Too Deep for Deep Ecology: Gandhi and the Ecological Vision of Life Vinay Lal
  • The Inner Logic of Gandhian Ecology Larry D. Shinn

Forests in Classic Texts and Traditions
  • The Natural History of the Rāmāyana David Lee
  • City, Forest, and Cosmos: Ecological Perspectives from the Sanskrit Epics Philip Lutgendorf
  • "Sacred Grove" and Ecology: Ritual and Science Fréderique Apffel-Marglin and Pramod Parajuli
  • "If You Cut a Branch You Cut My Finger": Court, Forest, and Environmental Ethics in Rajasthan Ann Grodzins Gold

Flowing Sacrality and Risking Profanity: The Yamunā, Gaʼngā, and Narmada Rivers
  • River of Love in an Age of Pollution David L. Haberman
  • Separate Domains: Hinduism, Politics, and Environmental Pollution Kelly D. Alley
  • The Narmada: Circumambulation of a Sacred Landscape Chris Deegan
  • Sacred Rivers, Sacred Dams: Competing Visions of Social Justice and Sustainable Development along the Narmada William F. Fisher
  • Green and Red, Not Saffron: Gender and the Politics of Resistance in the Narmada Valley Pratyusha Basu and Jael Silliman

Can Hindu Text and Ritual Practice Help Develop Environmental Conscience?
  • Rituals of Embedded Ecologies: Drawing Kōlams, Marrying Trees, and Generating Auspiciousness Vijaya Nagarajan
  • The Ritual Capsule of Durgā Pūjā: An Ecological Perspective Madhu Khanna
  • Ethical and Religious Dimensions of Chipko Resistance George A. James

  • Appendix 1 Harry Blair
  • Appendix 2 David Lee
  • Glossary
  • Select Bibliography
  • Notes on Contributors
  • Index

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