Motifs for a New Confucian Ecological Vision

John Berthrong

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Ecology

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780195178722
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

Motifs for a New Confucian Ecological Vision

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Philosophy and religious studies are becoming more global in scope, and therefore projects constructing comparative philosophy and theology are emerging as thinkers from the historic cultural regions of the North Atlantic world and west, south, and east Asia become aware of each others' histories and concerns. If Confucianism is to play an active role in the intellectual life of China and the world, it must learn how to address new as well as traditional issues that go beyond traditional concerns for conservation, though this is a good place to start. While it is hard to conceive of any form of New Confucianism that does not take personal self-cultivation and social ethics seriously, it is also now impossible to envision a New Confucianism that does not deal with questions of international human rights and responsibilities, the changing roles of women, and the ecological crisis. Any future Confucian ecology must be based on acceptable elements or motifs of the tradition, ideal types that are amenable to the search for a Confucian method for constructing a responsible ecology.

Keywords: Confucianism; New Confucianism; ecology; China; philosophy; social ethics; ecological crisis; theology

Article.  11028 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies ; East Asian Religions

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