Taiwanese Buddhism and Environmentalism

A Mixed Method Study


In: Review of Religion and Chinese Society
Authors: Chengpang Lee1 and Ling Han1
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  • 1 Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Social Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
  • | 2 Assistant Professor, Gender Studies Programme, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
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Buddhism is often said to be an environment-friendly religion, but this thesis is rarely investigated. In this paper, we employ a mixed-method approach to examine this thesis in the case of Taiwan. We use data from the Taiwan Social Change Survey (tscs) and apply qualitative content analysis to examine practices among major Taiwanese Buddhist organizations. The findings suggest: (1) Buddhists in Taiwan engage significantly more in environment-friendly behavior than other religious members, and (2) members of different Buddhist organizations display similar levels of engagement in environment-related behavior. However, (3) Buddhist organizations engage very differently in environment-related activities. (4) Buddhist organizations engage more in nonpolitical environmental activities than they do in politically sensitive ones, and (5) among the four major Buddhist organizations, female-led Buddhist organizations show a higher level of environment-related practices than male-led organizations.

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