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Abstract

Despite years of international criticism and domestic policy making, China still plays a key role in illegal wildlife trafficking. Although the country has begun a transition from the mindless exploitation of nature towards an envisioned Ecological Civilisation, basic tenets in traditional medicine and popular cosmology continue to have highly adverse ecological consequences, both at home and abroad. Evaluating recent trends in international wildlife trade, Chinese policy making, and popular cosmology in China, this article aims to throw light on why wildlife substances continue to play such important role in the modern society, as well as to reflect on the preconditions for broader value change. The article goes on to argue that in order to get a better understanding on how nature and wildlife are viewed in a Chinese context, one is compelled to reflect not only on the impact of popular cosmology but also of authoritarian governance on conservation.

In: Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

Abstract

This article criticizes the so-called “stewardship paradigm,” which forms the theological basis for Catholic environmentalism, and argues that Thomas Berry’s cosmology provides a more theologically palatable platform for developing Catholic environmentalism. The substantive ethical shift emerging from Berry’s cosmology is the displacement of human well-being as the proximate norm for human behavior in favor of promoting biodiversity on planet Earth. In other words, biodiversity is the primary ethical good, and human well-being is secondary.

In: Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

Abstract

This study aims to increase understanding of whether spiritual dimensions of nature experiences are connected to sustainability by examining the relationship between yoga, sensory awareness, and pro-environmental behavior among comparative groups of yoga and non-yoga practitioners in South Florida. According to affective and perceptual theories of human environmental care, the heightened perception of and attention to one’s natural environment through enhanced sensory awareness that yoga practitioners describe experiencing should engender a closer inclination to nature and its protection, as measured by pro-environmental acts. South Florida yoga practitioners describe increased sensory awareness after yoga, yet they practiced common natural resources protective actions like recycling and reducing fossil fuel use no more frequently than their non-yoga counterparts. Practitioners’ other yoga-based and meditation-enhanced spiritual experiences like non-evaluation and non-attachment to physical and mental phenomena, as well as yoga’s inward self-focus on the physical body, may divert aspirants from proactive environmental behavior.

In: Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology
In: Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

Abstract

Attitudes toward ecological consumption can trigger environmentally responsible intentions and behaviors. Understanding how ecological messages can influence attitudes is essential to mitigate climate change. This paper analyzes how religious affiliation (or lack of), can influence attitudes toward green advertising and explores the role of religious affiliation in the effectiveness of ecological messages. The findings indicate that religious affiliation has an influence on the degree of effectiveness of each message. So, green communications can be a useful tool to persuade atheists to develop more sustainable attitudes when they are exposed the benefits that can be achieved with green behavior. However, persuasive environmental messages, in general, do not generate major changes of attitude among Catholics. Businesses, NGO s, states, educators and society in general should acknowledge that environmental discourses fostering sustainable behavior. Furthermore, messages depicting the problems of environmental behavior have no repercussion on atheists and little on Catholics.

In: Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

Abstract

Following Lynn White’s thesis of 1967 which indicted some Christian values for the current ecological crisis, many studies have been conducted on the connection between religion and environment/ecological crisis. These studies have sought to know whether religious beliefs and values influence environmental/climate change perceptions of people. However, while these studies have been geographically biased, their results have remained inconclusive. This study therefore examined this age-long debate with evidence from Nigeria. The study involved 30 church leaders drawn from Catholic, Anglican and Pentecostal churches in five geographical zones in Nigeria. The data was analyzed using descriptive analytical method. Findings show that religious values/schemas in forms of Eschatological/End-Time beliefs, Dominion beliefs, Theological fatalism, Pessimism etc. influenced climate change perceptions among the church leaders. The study also found that religious affiliation and theology mattered with respect to the influence of some religious beliefs. The implications of findings for the research on religion-environmental/climate change connection are discussed.

In: Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

Abstract

Mitchell (2016) proposes shared stories and religious background are unimportant to hiker spiritual experience on John Muir National Trail, USA. This study analyzes surveys from 265 volunteer day-hikes in three settings: urban, suburban natural area, and wildland; representing three modes of hiking: goal-directed, nature observation, and meditative. Overall, setting produced more statistically significant differences (22 of 25) among locale descriptors than the mode did (3 of 25). Sacred was more closely associated with descriptors of lack of human presence, than those related to biodiversity. Association of the sacred with higher elevations and mountain wildlands rather than with wetlands implies a pre-existing shared story. Nature oriented and meditative hiking accentuated perception of values, such as educational, humbling, sacred and wondrous, providing evidence that religious practice influences hiker perception. Suburban natural areas, which are more accessible to urban residents than wildlands, received ratings competing with wildlands in terms of personal benefits.

In: Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

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.

In: Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

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.

In: Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology