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Zeynep B. Ugur


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


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


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


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.

Brian F. Snyder


The growth paradigm assumes that economic growth is objectively good because it leads to increased prosperity and utility maximization. Christian ethics oppose this worldview because it rejects the idea that economic prosperity is objectively good. Instead, Christian ethics are theocentric, assuming that God and the relationship with the divine is objectively good. Material prosperity is seen to interfere with this relationship. Still, there are at least two views of the human-divine relationship that have implications for environmental ethics. The first and most popular view argues that the human-divine relationship is mediated by the human-in-community relationship. Alternatively, individualistic theism posits that the human-divine relationship is individually available without community-centeredness. This individualistic view has been criticized as leading to an insufficient ethic of environmental care, however, here we argue that a radical dualism consistent with the Christian Gospels can lead to an ethos of environmental benevolence.

Explicit and Embedded Environmentalism

Challenging Normativities in the Greening of Religion

Amanda J. Baugh


The precise influence that religious outlooks have on environmental attitudes and behaviors is a matter of debate among scholars of religion and ecology. While some studies suggest that emergent ecofriendly interpretations of traditional religions offer a promising path for addressing the world’s ecological crisis, others advance more skeptical evaluations about institutional religions’ efficacy in advancing sustainability efforts. In this article I seek to shift the terms of this debate. Whether scholars suggest there is a correlation or insist there is not, these arguments envision environmentalism based on the model of the mainstream, white American environmental movement, assuming that religious environmentalism must entail explicit, concerted efforts to protect the earth. This assumption has led scholars to overlook embedded environmental expressions that are conveyed theologically rather than politically, especially among communities that do not identify with mainstream American environmentalism. By interrogating the assumption that religious environmentalism must involve concerted, political efforts, scholars of religion and ecology can better account for the ways religion influences environmental attitudes and behaviors among religious communities who are not affluent and white.