- Introduction: Religion and Ecology—What Is the Connection and Why Does It Matter?
- The Earth as Sacrament: Insights from Orthodox Christian Theology and Spirituality
- The World of Nature according to the Protestant Tradition
- Jainism and Ecology: Transformation of Tradition
- Hindu Religion and Environmental Well-being
- The Greening of Buddhism: Promise and Perils
- Daoism and Nature
- Motifs for a New Confucian Ecological Vision
- Religion and Ecology in African Culture and Society
- Indigenous Traditions: Religion and Ecology
- Population, Religion, and Ecology
- Genetic Engineering and Nature: Human and Otherwise
- So Near and Yet So Far: Animal Theology and Ecological Theology
- Religious Ecofeminism: Healing the Ecological Crisis
- Science and Religion in the Face of the Environmental Crisis
- Religion and Ecology: Survey of the Field
- The Spiritual Dimension of Nature Writing
- Religion, Environmentalism, and the Meaning of Ecology
- Religious Environmentalism in Action
- Religion and Environmental Struggles in Latin America
- African Initiated Churches as Vehicles of Earth-Care in Africa
- The Scientist and the Shepherd: The Emergence of Evangelical Environmentalism
- Religion and Environmentalism in America and Beyond
Abstract and Keywords
This article examines the Jaina faith in light of its commitment to environmental values. After providing an overview of Jaina history and principles, it discusses contemporary Jain environmentalism, concentration on the elements and senses as vehicle for ecoawareness, and water in Jainism. This article also includes the author's reflections on his own practice of the Jain principles as interpreted through the tradition of classical yoga. At the time of its inception and until recent decades, the protection of ecology and environment did not play a significant role in the Jain way of life beyond a care to minimize any harm that one might inflict on others that would harm one's own soul. In contemporary times, Jainism has been reinterpreted as enhancing human-earth relations. The precepts of Jainism, particularly non-violence and non-possession, generally associated in their most rigorous forms with monastic men and women, have now been refigured and recast in an ecological mold.
Christopher Key Chapple is professor of theological studies and associate academic vice president at Loyola Marymount University. He has published several books, including Karma and Creativity; Nonviolence to Animals, Earth, and Self in Asian Traditions; and Reconciling Yogas. He has three books on the topic of religion and ecology: Ecological Prospects: Religious, Scientific, and Aesthetic Perspectives; Hinduism and Ecology: The Intersection of Earth, Sky, and Water (coeditor); and Jainism and Ecology: Nonviolence in the Web of Life. He serves on the advisory boards for the Green Yoga Association, the Forum on Religion and Ecology, the Global Ethics and Religion Forum, the Ahimsa Center, and the Yadunandan Center for India Studies.
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