Religion and Ecological Sustainability in China: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Religion and Ecological Sustainability in China

1st Edition

Edited by James Miller, Dan Smyer Yu, Peter van der Veer


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This book sheds light on the social imagination of nature and environment in contemporary China. It demonstrates how the urgent debate on how to create an ecologically sustainable future for the world’s most populous country is shaped by its complex engagement with religious traditions, competing visions of modernity and globalization, and by engagement with minority nationalities who live in areas of outstanding natural beauty on China’s physical and social margins. The book develops a comprehensive understanding of contemporary China that goes beyond the tradition/ modernity dichotomy, and illuminates the diversity of narratives and worldviews that inform contemporary Chinese understandings of and engagements with nature and environment.


"This volume makes a unique and valuable contribution to our understanding of the interactions between religion and nature/environment in China, both past and present. Not only does it cover Chinese religion in its multiplicity (not being restricted to Buddhism, Daoism, or Confucianism alone), it also turns a critical eye on how these two interact."

Worldviews - Seth Clippard Hung Kuang University, Taiwan

Table of Contents

Introduction Dan SmyerYu, James Miller and Peter vanderVeer Part 1: Ecology and the Classics 1. Ecology and the Classics Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim 2. Conceptualization of Earth and Land in Classical Chinese Texts Deborah Sommer 3. "The Great Virtue of Heaven and Earth:" Deep Ecology in the Yijing Joseph A. Adler 4. "Hard-Hearted" and "Soft-Hearted" Ecologies: A Rereading of Daoist and Confucian Classics Chen Xia, Peng Guoxiang and James Miller 5. Gods and Nature in Highest Clarity Daoism James Miller 6. When the Land is Excellent: Village Feng Shui Forests and the Nature of Lineage, Polity, and Vitality in Southern China Chris Coggins Part 2: Imagining Nature in Modernity 7. Finding Nature in Religion, Hunting Religion from the Environment Rebecca Nedostup 8. Globalizations and Diversities of Nature in China Robert P. Weller 9. Is Chinese Popular Religion Compatible with Ecology? A Discussion of Fengshui Ole Bruun 10. Ecological Migration and Cultural Adaptation: A Case Study of the Sanjiangyuan Nature Reserve, Qinghai Province Qi Jinyu 11. Reverse Environmentalism: Contemporary Articulations of Tibetan Culture, Buddhism, and Environmental Protection Emily T. Yeh 12. Earthwork, Home-Making, and Eco-Aesthetics among Amdo Tibetans Dan Smyer Yu

About the Editors

James Miller is Professor of Chinese Studies and Religious Studies at Queen’s University, Canada.

Dan Smyer Yu is the Research Group Leader at the Department of Religious Diversity at Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Germany.

Peter van der Veer is Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Germany.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies