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Chinese Traditions and Ecology: Survey Article

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image of Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

The increasing degradation of the natural environment, and the associated dangers to all life on the planet, very well might represent the greatest challenge to humankind. In response to such projections of impending danger, scholars and activists from a variety of fields are in the midst of investigating cultural resources as a means to understand both how humans went wrong and how humans can amend the damage. Out of this inquiry has emerged a vast body of literature exploring the various intersections between Chinese traditions, such as Confucianism, Daoism, Feng-Shui and folk practice; and the natural environment, ecology, and environmental ethics. This paper is a survey of this literature, seen through the lens of religious studies and ecology. Rather than offer critical evaluation of the field, this essay is meant to offer a broad survey of the material presented in an accessible manner as a tool for those new to, but interested in pursuing, this field of study. This paper is, therefore a guide.


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