News

In Memoriam Ursula K. Le Guin

In memory of Ursula K. Le Guin who sadly passed away on Monday, I reproduce below her Dao Song, which she kindly contributed to Daoism and Ecology: Ways within a Cosmic Landscape (Harvard 2001). The book emerged out of a conference at Harvard in 1998, which she also attended as part of a forum that invited…

religion and ecological sustainability in china

New research on the relevance of culture and religion for understanding China’s environmental crisis and its transition towards sustainability has just been published in a collection of essays entitled Religion and Ecological Sustainability in China (Routledge 2014). The work, by leading scholars in the humanities and social sciences from China, Europe and North America, marks a milestone…

environmental philosophy in asian traditions of thought

Announcing a fantastic new resource for environmental philosophy, shortly to be published by SUNY press. There is a great section on China including new essays by scholars working on Daoism and Confucianism. Check out the publisher’s page here. Table of Contents Preface Introduction Section I: Environmental Philosophy in Indian Traditions of Thought 1. George Alfred James,…

the business of religion: buddhism, stock markets and the “authenticity” of religion

A recent news story on Reuters, headlined Thou Shalt Not Launch IPOs, China tells temples, reports that the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) has issued an injunction against temples listing on the stock exchange. SARA official Liu Wei is reported as staying: Such plans “violate the legitimate rights of religious circles, damage the image…

religious diversity and ecological sustainability

For the past six months I’ve been working with Dan Smyer Yu from the Max Planck Institute for Religious and Ethnic Diversity on a conference which is finally taking place next week at Minzu University in Beijing. The title of the conference is Religious Diversity and Ecological Sustainability in China. Here’s the conference rationale that…

daoism and technological innovation

As China overtakes Japan to be recognized as the world’s second largest economy, it is inevitable that Chinese religions will undergo change and transformation. But since Marx infamously compared the social function of religion to that of a narcotic, religion has consistently been framed in the modern imagination as backwards, anti-modern, and anti-science. China’s modernizers,…

green china rising

As the trailer for this new documentary from Mandarin Films makes clear, the global environmental crisis will be solved in China, not in America, for the simple reason that China has no other option. As I noted recently in my post on ecological civilization in China, there is a widespread recognition in China that the paradigm of industrial civilization must be changed so that China can bring economic development to its people without a correspondingly large increase in its ecological footprint.