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David Haberman received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in the History of Religions. He is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University. He has spent the last eighteen years studying the temple rituals, meditative techniques, pilgrimage activity, and environmental theology of the northern Indian region of Braj, a cultural area associated with the Hindu god Krishna. He has contributed many articles to academic journals, and is author of Acting as a Way of Salvation (1988), Journey Through the Twelve Forests (1994), and Ten Theories of Human Nature (co-authored with Leslie Stevenson, 1998). He has recently finished a translation of a sixteenth-century Sanskrit text on the aesthetics of devotion (Bhaktirasamrtasindhu), to be published as The Yoga of Divine Emotions (1999).

 

Abstract of paper given at Hinduism and Ecology conference:
River of Love in an Age of Pollution

For centuries the Yamuna River of northern India has been worshipped as a goddess. Today, however, the river is threatened by rapid development and severe pollution. This paper will examine the Yamuna, both as goddess and river, and the contemporary conflict between religious sensibilities associated with this river and the increasing pollution of its waters. It will draw on key texts to construct a theological portrait of Yamuna Devi to place her in a traditional world of Hindu religiosity, and will explore the growing awareness in India that this powerful and purifying goddess may be in need of purification herself. This investigation will seek to understand both how current environmental degradation is effecting the traditional "natural theology" associated with the Yamuna, and how this traditional theology is being mobilized to resist environmental degradation. current environmental degradation is effecting the traditional "natural theology" associated with the Yamuna, and how this traditional theology is being mobilized to resist environmental degradation.

 

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Hinduism and Ecology conference participants

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