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Kenneth Kraft is currently chairman of the Religious Studies Department at Lehigh University. He received his Ph.D. in East Asian studies from Princeton University. He is the author of Eloquent Zen (University of Hawaii Press, 1992) and the editor of Inner Peace, World Peace (State University of New York Press, 1992) and Zen: Tradition and Transition (Grove Press, 1988). His work on engaged Buddhism has led to an interest in the ethical and cultural significance of nuclear waste.

 

Abstract of paper given at Buddhism and Ecology conference:
Nuclear Energy and Engaged Buddhism: Making the Connections

This paper raises some questions prompted by the intersection of Buddhism and environmentalism. For example: Where do Buddhist environmentalists stand? If it were necessary to choose between devoting one's energy to the dharma and devoting one's energy to the environment, which would come first? Radioactive waste is presented as an illuminating case study, because nuclear issues pose unprecedented challenges to contemporary Buddhists (an non-Buddhists). The paper concludes with an argument for a "nuclear ecology" that incorporates all pertinent fields and resources, including religious ones.

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