Global perspectives on the vital relationship between ecology and religion
Some key case studies in Asia ( China ), the Middle East ( Israel), and South Africa show where the intersection of ecology and religion is becoming increasingly influential. In China, for example there has been a remarkable revival of Confucianism in the last several decades in response to the destruction of the tradition under Mao. We will highlight some of the features of this movement and relate it environmental issues. In China these efforts are being called the need to create the conditions for "ecological civilization." This term is used at the highest levels of government ( both central provincial) and it is in the Constitution as well. This idea reflects the growing awareness that China's current trajectory of economic growth has led to environmental devastation and pollution. A counterpoint to this is a cultural change of creating an ecological culture based on Chinese traditional values, especially Confucianism. This revival of Confucianism for ecology is being discussed in China on various levels - government, academic, and civil society. The Chinese are searching for a way to activate a Confucian based environmental ethics as a foundation for conservation as well as more sustainable modes of development.