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:
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.