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Jainism and Ecology: Nonviolence in the Web of Life (Religions of the World and Ecology)
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This Harvard three year series explores Word Religions and Ecology, asserting in the preface that religion and ecology are intimately webbed together. Religion’s role in impacting our attitudes, motives and actions toward the earth is a very significant one. While Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Taoism, etc., are explored in different volumes of this series, in this text, Jainism and Ecology, Jainism is the focus.
The Western anthropocentric world view with a creator God offers a challenge concerning divine-human-earth relations and developing a “nature as sacred” posture. The Eastern religions, especially Taoism and Confucianism argue the authors in the book’s forward, seem to fit more a life affirming appreciation of the world. However, despite the rich diversity and complexity of the Eastern and Western traditions, this series hopes to highlight the commonalities and establish some sense of a global ethic among the world religions (even though in one section the writers claim this was not the primary goal). The authors go as far as to suggest that “the fate of the earth as a religious responsibility,” and so “a new consciousness of the multiform religious traditions of humankind” needs to be developed. Jainism, it seems, has a lot to offer in this regard.
The collection of essays in Jainism and Ecology represents a variety of views on the topic of Jainism and Environmental Studies. Similar to the Jain’s doctrine of anekantavada, which prescribes one to entertain multiple views of Reality, this study investigates Jainism’s contribution to this topic from assorted perspectives, including essays which argue that Jainism fits with the environmental movement to ones that argue its world denying approach does not.Read more ›