Typology of Buddhist Environmentalism

ISSN 1076-9005
Volume 2 1995

Getting to Grips With Buddhist Environmentalism: A Provisional Typology

Ian Harris
University College of St. Martin

This paper offers a survey of current writing and practice within the area of Buddhist environmental ethics. Consideration of the manner in which sections of contemporary Buddhism have embraced a range of environmental concerns suggests that four fairly distinct types of discourse are in the process of formation, i.e., eco-spirituality, eco-justice, eco-traditionalism and eco-apologetics. This fourfold typology is described and examples of each type are discussed. The question of the “authenticity”, from the Buddhist perspective, is addressed to each type in turn.

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