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David Barnhill received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in religious studies, with a minor in Japanese literature. He is currently Associate Professor of Intercultural Studies and chair of the Religious Studies Department at Guilford College in North Carolina. He has published articles on the Japanese poet Basho as well as other aspects of Japanese religion and literature. He has served as Co-Chair of the Religion and Ecology Group of the American Academy of Religion. He is the editor of At Home on the Earth, a collection of writings on the sense of place (forthcoming, 1999).

 

Abstract of paper given at Buddhism and Ecology conference:
Great Earth Sangha: Gary Snyder's Buddhist View of the Land and its Implications for Environmental Ethics

Gary Snyder views the land as a Buddhist community that encompasses both wilderness and the unconscious in Indra's organic net. His vision of nature's community embraces human society and its structures, and is thus an antidote to the often rancorous dichotomy between deep ecologists and social ecologists. The Hua-yen character of his view of the land also avoids the common dichotomy between individuals and holism as well as the amoral presentation of the Gaia theory.

 

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