Center for the Study of World Religions
The Center for the Study of World Religions has particular interest in the historical and contemporary interrelationships among religions, and the theological, philosophical, comparative, political, and ethical challenges facing religious communities and those who study them today. It primarily engages the academic community, beginning with the faculty, students, and staff of Harvard Divinity School, and then the wider scholarly community, but also welcomes religious practitioners, policymakers, and the wider public that is interested in religion.
Below is a list of in-print works in this collection, presented in series order or publication order as applicable.Sort by title, author, format, publication date, or price »
This collection provides a rich, multilayered analysis of a long-neglected branch of early Christian apocryphal literature that examines the relationship between tradition and redaction, uses of language, and the fluid border between literary criticism and motif analysis.
The phenomenon of ancestors is common to all humans, but while prominent in most indigenous traditions, it has been suppressed in western cultures. This volume articulates crucial issues in the study of post-contact religion through the themes of the ancestral ordering of the world, intense personal attachments to forebears, and the catastrophes of colonization.
Place and orientation are important aspects of human experience. The distinguished contributors to this volume invite us to reflect on the significance of places, real and imagined, in the religious traditions they study and on how places are known, imagined, remembered, and struggled for.
In this book, 20 religionists and environmentalists examine Buddhism’s understanding of life’s web. In noting the cultural diversity of Buddhism, they highlight aspects of the tradition that may help formulate an effective environmental ethics, citing examples from Asia and the U.S. of socially engaged Buddhist projects to protect the environment.
These 16 essays address the ecological crisis and the question of Confucianism from three perspectives: the historical describes the tradition’s views of nature, social ethics, and cosmology; a dialogical approach links Confucianism to other traditions; an examination of engaged Confucianism looks at its involvement in concrete ecological issues.
What can Christianity as a tradition contribute to the struggle to secure the future well-being of the earth community? This collaborative volume, the third in the series on religions of the world and the environment, explores problematic themes that contribute to ecological neglect or abuse and offer constructive insight into and responsive imperatives for ecologically just and socially responsible living.
This fourth volume in the series exploring religions and the environment investigates the role of the multifaceted Hindu tradition in the development of greater ecological awareness in India. The twenty-two contributors ask how traditional concepts of nature in the classical texts might inspire or impede an eco-friendly attitude among modern Hindus, and they describe some grassroots approaches to environmental protection.
The authors consider the intersection of Daoism and ecology, looking at the theoretical and historical implications associated with a Daoist approach to the environment. They also analyze perspectives found in Daoist religious texts and within the larger Chinese cultural context in order to delineate key issues found in the classical texts.
The authors, a diverse group of indigenous and non-native scholars and environmental activists, address urgent questions facing indigenous communities as they struggle with threats to their own sovereignty, increased market and media globalization, and the conservation of endangered bioregions.
The twenty-five-hundred-year-old tradition of Jainism, which emphasizes nonviolence as the only true path leading to liberation, offers a worldview seemingly compatible with the goals of environmental activism. But can Jainism adopt a sociocentric environmentalism without compromising its own ascetic principles and spiritual tradition? The voices in this volume reflect the dynamic nature of the Jain faith and its willingness to engage in discussion on a modern social issue.
Jewish ecological discourse has shown that Judaism harbors deep concern for the well-being of the natural world. However, the movement has not articulated a Jewish theology of nature, nor has it submitted the sources of Judaism to a systematic, philosophical examination. This volume intends to contribute to the nascent discourse on Judaism and ecology by clarifying diverse conceptions of nature in Jewish thought and by using the insights of Judaism to formulate a constructive Jewish theology of nature.
The articulation of an Islamic environmental ethic in contemporary terms is all the more urgent because Western-style conservation efforts do not fit all cultural and philosophical traditions. This volume outlines the Islamic view of the cosmic order and reviews the ways an Islamic world view can be interpreted, reassessed, and applied to such environmental problems as pollution and water scarcity.
Seven major scholars discuss the perspectives that the fields of literature, history, religion, philosophy, environmental ethics, and anthropology bring to the natural environment and our place in it. The book represents a continuation of the Center for the Study of World Religions’ highly regarded Religions of the World and Ecology series.
In this volume, prominent Buddhist scholar Donald Swearer posits that the future requires a radical shift toward living in recognition of the interdependence of all life forms and the consequent ethic of communality and a life style of moderation or “enoughness” that flows from that recognition, which he calls “an ecology of human flourishing.”
This volume provides a comparative consideration of attempts to manage and resolve nationalist conflicts in Bosnia, Sri Lanka, and Sudan—with two prominent thinkers examining each case—and examines how lessons from those situations might inform similar efforts in Iraq.