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EMF Studies

18 July 2017

China’s Religious Revival Fuels Environmental Activism

" 'China doesn’t lack money — it lacks a reverence for the environment,' Abbot Yang said. 'Our morals are in decline and our beliefs have been lost.'... Xuan Jing, a Taoist monk, said Western notions of the environment were focused on treating symptoms of a problem, not the underlying disease. 'You must cure the soul before you can cure the symptoms,' he said. 'The root lies with human’s desires.' " 


A statue of Lao-tzu, the founder of Taoism, at the new
Mao Mountain temple complex near Nanjing, China.
Credit: Adam Dean for The New York Times
China’s Religious Revival Fuels Environmental Activism
点击查看本文中文版

by Javier C. Hernández, The New York Times, 12 July 2017

MAO MOUNTAIN, China — Far from the smog-belching power plants of nearby cities, on a hillside covered in solar panels and blossoming magnolias, Yang Shihua speaks of the need for a revolution.

Mr. Yang, the abbot of Mao Mountain, a sacred Taoist site in eastern China, has grown frustrated by indifference to a crippling pollution crisis that has left the land barren and the sky a haunting gray. So he has set out to spur action through religion, building a $17.7 million eco-friendly temple and citing 2,000-year-old texts to rail against waste and pollution.

“China doesn’t lack money — it lacks a reverence for the environment,” Abbot Yang said. “Our morals are in decline and our beliefs have been lost.”

Hundreds of millions of people in China have in recent years turned to religions like Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam, seeking a sense of purpose and an escape from China’s consumerist culture.

Now the nation’s religious revival is helping fuel an environmental awakening.

Spiritual leaders are invoking concepts like karma and sin in deriding the excesses of economic development. Religious followers are starting social service organizations to serve as watchdogs against polluters. Advocates are citing their faith to protest plans to build factories and power plants near their homes.

Continue reading:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/12/world/asia/mao-mountain-china-religion-environment.html

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