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M. David Eckel is associate professor of religion in the Department of Religion at Boston University. He is the author of To See the Buddha: A Philosopher's Quest for the Meaning of Emptiness (Harper San Francisco, 1992) and the Buddhism editor for The Harper Collins Dictionary of Religion, general editor, Jonathan Z. Smith (Harper San Francisco, 1995).

 

Abstract of paper given at Buddhism and Ecology conference:
The Issue of Anthropocentrism: On Emptiness and the Concept of Nature

In the literature of the environmental movement, the Buddhist tradition is often treated as a significant and positive counterweight to the more anthropocentric traditions of the West. This paper will explore the issue of anthropocentrism in the Buddhist tradition, through sources drawn largely from India and Tibet, and will develop a less stark, more nuanced, and, it is hoped, more useful view of Buddhist attitudes toward nature.

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