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Zeynep B. Ugur

Abstract

Theoretically, the teachings of Islam can promote environmentally conscious behavior. As the only Muslim majority country to take part in the International Social Science Survey (ISSP), we study indicators of environmental consciousness in Turkey using ISSP 2010. Among all ISSP 2010 participating countries, a cross-country comparison does not provide evidence to support the argument that Islamic religiosity promotes environmental consciousness. In an analysis of individual level data, our overall findings failed to discover a statistically significant relationship between religiosity and environmental consciousness. Yet, this gap between the teachings of Islam and practices of Muslims may be identified as an unexploited potential to foster environmental consciousness in Turkey through a well-articulated religious education that brings together the book of scripture and the book of nature.

Ampere A. Tseng

Abstract

The impact of Buddhist vegetarianism views on the equivalent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE s) is evaluated. The vegetarianism views from three major Buddhist schools in China are first presented, since different views on vegetarianism can dictate the assessment of the equivalent of GHGE reduction. The populations of Chinese Buddhists in these three Buddhist schools are then estimated. A correlation formula is used to evaluate the equivalent GHGE reductions attributed to the vegan and vegetarian populations in the Chinese Buddhists from 2017 to 2027. The reduction results enable us to conclude that Chinese Buddhists with vegan or vegetarian diets account for the equivalent GHGE reduction of 54.560 MtCO2e in 2017 and 60.927 MtCO2e in 2027 with an average annual growth rate of 1.11 %. The reductions of 54.560 and 60.927 MtCO2e equal to 11.66 % and 13.02 % of the total GHGE s from the United Kingdom in 2016, respectively.

Cross-Cultural Comparisons between the Mughal Tomb Garden of Taj Mahal in Agra (India) and the Dry Landscape Garden of the Ryoan-Ji Zen Monastery in Kyoto (Japan)

An Analysis of Cultural and Religious Layers of Meaning in Two Cases of Classical Garden Landscape Architecture

Lourens Minnema

Abstract

Gardens have always meant a lot to people. Gardens are as much about nature as they are about culture. The extent to which gardens carry and embody both similar and different layers of meaning will be demonstrated by comparing two classical gardens, the Taj Mahal tomb garden of the Mughal rulers in Agra, India, and the Ryoan-ji dry landscape garden of the Zen monks in Kyoto, Japan. Parallels will be drawn by offering a (diachronic) analysis of the historical accumulation of layers of meaning associated with each one of these two gardens, and (synchronic) structural comparisons will be drawn by raising two thematic issues in particular, the inside-outside relationship and the nature-culture relationship. The roles that Islam and Zen Buddhism play in the religious meaning making of these two classical gardens turn out to be strikingly similar, in that they confirm rather than transform other layers of cultural meaning.

Christopher Key Chapple

Russell C. Powell

Abstract

An emotion like shame is endowed with special motivational force. Drawing on Ralph Waldo Emerson’s concept of shame, I develop an account of moral motivation that lends new perspective to the contemporary climate crisis. Whereas religious ethicists often engage the problem of climate change by re-imagining the metaphors, symbols, and values of problematic cosmologies, I focus on some specific moral tactics generated by religious communities who use their traditions to confront climate destruction. In particular, Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries, a Christian non-profit organization that seeks to infuse a renewed commitment in church parishes to bioregions and watersheds, effectively employs shame in the context of its Christian practice and leadership. My analysis of Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries demonstrates both the efficacy of shame to motivate environmentally responsible behavior as well as the advantage to religious ethics of considering contextual practices over abstract cosmologies.

Alemu Asfaw Nigusie and Mohammed Seid Ali

As an alternative development track, developmental state ideology has been openly introduced in the public policy makings of the Ethiopian state only after 2000. In essence, developmental state ideology could be understood as building the capacity of a state to address its diverse development challenges. As such, it is basically about creating enabling normative, structural, institutional, technical, and administrative environments in a given state to achieve its national development vision. In this regard, there are five defining features to evaluate as to whether a given state is indeed developmental: democratic nation building practices with committed political leadership, autonomous and effective bureaucracy, coordinated national development planning, sound social policy, and institutional capacity. In light of these conceptualizations and characterizations of the fundamentals of developmental state, the paper aims to contribute to our understanding of the actual state of developmental state ideology in Ethiopia by critically exploring and evaluating its actual performance. Accordingly, the findings of this paper reveal that Ethiopia fails to satisfy the basic standards of being a developmental state as it claims to be. Thus, the paper argues that the so-called ‘developmental state’ in Ethiopia is something that is mirage, and not actually or really embraced and practiced.

Mohammed Sulemana and Kingsford Gyasi Amakye

The concept of decentralisation has shaped development thinking in contemporary times in both developed and developing countries. Indeed, the demand for decentralisation is strong throughout the world because of its link to community development and improving the quality of life of mass of the people in the rural areas. Decentralisation is globally recognised as the way of ensuring community participation and local development. However, some authors argue that the purported benefits of decentralisation leading to community development are not as obvious as proponents of decentralisation suggest. In Africa, decentralisation is implemented in various forms by governments across the continent. Indeed, in West Africa, it is difficult to find a country that does not have decentralisation programme. In Ghana, decentralisation has been practiced since 1988 and the populace has come to embrace it as the best way of ensuring development and local participation in governance. Nevertheless, after nearly three decades of implementing decentralisation, which has generated rather elaborate structures and processes, Ghana still struggles to realise the expected developmental progress, or achieve the envisioned structural and procedural effectiveness. This paper explores the relationship between decentralisation and community development in Sekyere Central District. Again the paper seeks to find out the contributions decentralisation has brought to the communities in Sekyere Central District and finally investigate whether decentralisation is working as it should in the district. This paper was carried out using a mixed method approach. Purposive sampling technique was adopted to select all the assembly members in Sekyere Central District. Both primary and secondary data were collected from the relevant sources in an effort to meet the objectives of the study. The regression analysis of all the assembly members indicated that, the calculated value F is 28.25 at 5% alpha level of significant (0.000). It shows that there is significant relationship between decentralisation and community development.

National Face and Facework in China’s Foreign Policy

A Corpus-Assisted Case Study of Chinese Foreign Affairs Press Conferences

Maria Marakhovskaiia and Alan Partington

The Goffman (1967) and Brown and Levinson (1987) socio-pragmatic theory of face was first devised through speculating on and observing the interaction of individuals. Later research has looked at the phenomenon of group-face (e.g. Spencer-Oatey 2007). In this research we examine how face and facework theory can also be applied to communications made by state actors to the outside world, in other words, whether facework theories could also be applied to national face. To this end we compiled a corpus of all press conferences held by the Ministry of Chinese Foreign Affairs in 2016 and subjected it to quantitative and qualitative analysis, as well as comparative analysis with US White House press briefings. Chinese government statements were felt to be a promising genre partly because of the particularly intricate relations China has with its geographically close partners and neighbours and partly because of the supposed special importance accorded to face in Chinese culture (Kádár et al 2013; Chen and Hwang 2016). The techniques we employ in the analyses derive from the field of corpus-assisted discourse studies (Partington, Duguid and Taylor 2013).