Ecological Ethics for China

Lecture by Mary Evelyn Tucker

October 18, 2018
12:15 - 1:15pm

Niels Henrik Abels vei 36, 0316 Oslo, Norway

Hosted by East Asian Lunch Seminars

You are invited to the lecture "Ecological Ethics for China" by Yale Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar, Mary Evelyn Tucker.

With the growing environmental crisis in China there is a search for environmental worldviews and ecological ethics that are appropriate to the cultural context. 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.