A review of Zen Buddhism and Environmental Ethics [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Sophia 47 (1):75-77 (2008)
Simon P. James' Zen Buddhism and Environmental Ethics offers an engaging, sophisticated, and well-argued defence of the notion that Zen Buddhism has something positive to offer the environmental movement. James' goal is two-fold: first, dispel criticism that Zen (by virtue of its anti-philosophical stance) lacks an ethical program (because it shuns conventional morality), has no concern for the environment at large (because it adopts a thoroughly anthropocentric stance), and deprives living entities of any intrinsic worth (because it operates from the standpoint of the doctrine of emptiness); second, to argue that Zen's quietist stance in fact fosters the development of certain character traits (compassion, non-violence, selflessness, etc.) that in turn lead to having an enlightened attitude toward the environment.
|Keywords||Zen Buddhism Virtue Environment Ethics Morality|
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