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

Series: Religions of the World and Ecology Volume: 4

By: Christopher Key Chapple (Editor), Mary Evelyn Tucker (Author)

620 pages, 10 b/w photos

Harvard University Press

Hardback | Nov 2000 | #201742 | ISBN: 0945454252
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £37.95 $46/€43 approx

About this book

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 22 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 grass-roots 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.

"This book opens with the startling statement that India boasts the world's largest environmental movement, involving over 950 nongovernmental organizations [...] The central issue is whether the mores and tenets of Hinduism are compatible with the protection of the environment. The writers examine epics and sacred texts, arts and rituals, and the thoughts of Gandhi for what they show about the human use of nature in India [...] The quality of writing and scholarship is high. The writers are aware of parallels with the ecological crisis in the West; thus the book should be valuable to those interested in the global crisis. These lucid explanations of Indian thought and customs will help the Westerner to better understand India."
- W. C. Buchanan, Choice


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 (Pañcamaha-bhu-ta): 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 Abhijña-nas'a-kuntalam T S. Rukmani
    Reading the Bhagavadgi-ta- 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 Ra-ma-yana 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 Yamuna-, Ga'nga-, 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 Ko-lams, Marrying Trees, and Generating Auspiciousness Vijaya Nagarajan
    The Ritual Capsule of Durga- Pu-ja-: An Ecological Perspective Madhu Khanna
    Ethical and Religious Dimensions of Chipko Resistance George A. James

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


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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.

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