Ecological Ethics for China

With the growing environmental crisis in China there is a search for environmental worldviews and ecological ethics that are appropriate to the cultural context, says Yale Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar, Mary Evelyn Tucker in this lecture.

Yale Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar Mary Evelyn Tucker.

Yale Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar Mary Evelyn Tucker.

Clearly Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism have something to contribute in this regard. This lecture will present some aspects of Confucianism that may contribute to an ecological ethics. We recognize the limitations and problems of Confucianism (as are present in most religious and philosophical systems), along with the potential for articulating a more inclusive worldview.

This potential can be seen in the Confucian texts and the tradition. From the classical texts to the later Neo-Confucian writings there is a strong sense of nature as a relational whole in which human life and society flourishes. Indeed, Confucian thought recognizes that it is the rhythms of nature, which sustain life in both its biological needs and socio-cultural expressions. For the Confucians the biological dimensions of life are dependent on nature as a holistic, organic continuum. Everything in nature is interdependent and interrelated. Most importantly, for the Confucians, nature is seen as dynamic and transformational. The challenge is how to recover these Confucian perspectives against the onslaught on rapid modernization and relentless materialism.

Lecturer's bio: Mary Evelyn Tucker is co-director with John Grim of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale where they teach in a masters program between the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Divinity School. Together they organized 10 conferences on World Religions and Ecology at Harvard. They were series editors for the 10 resulting volumes from Harvard.

She co-edited Confucianism and Ecology, Buddhism and Ecology, and Hinduism and Ecology. She and Grim wrote, Ecology and Religion (Island Press, 2014). In 1998 they founded the Forum on Religion and Ecology, which is now at Yale. They also edited Thomas Berry’s books including Selected Writings (Orbis 2014). With Brian Thomas Swimme she wrote Journey of the Universe (Yale 2011) and with Grim produced the Emmy award winning film that aired on public television. The film, book, and conversations are now available in online courses via Coursera.

Published Sep. 24, 2018 2:46 PM - Last modified Sep. 24, 2018 2:46 PM