Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Ecotheology 11.2 June 2006

Preservation by 'Letting Go': Buddhist Impermanence (Anicca) in Ruether's Ecotheology

Annette Ahern
Issued Date: 24 Feb 2007


Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism contain rich teaching and motivational
resources that pertain directly to the struggle for environmental
justice in this age of what Engaged Buddhist leader Sulak Sivaraksa identifies
as global militaristic capitalism. Guided by the work of ecofeminist
theologian Rosemary Ruether and Buddhist scholar Rita Gross, this paper
explores meanings and symbols within Judaism, Christianity, and Buddhism
that promote environmental values and practice. The paper begins
with an overview of Ruether’s interpretation of the covenantal and sacramental
traditions in Judaism and Christianity (1992 and 2000) followed by
a close look at the dialogue between Gross and Ruether (2001) in which the
relevance of the Buddhist teachings concerning impermanence (anicca) and
interdependence for the environmental movement is unfolded. This article
concludes by articulating a different interpretive strategy for accessing the
Christian community than that provided by Ruether while at the same
time building on her work.

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DOI: 10.1558/ecot.2006.11.2.212


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