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Religion and Agriculture: Sustainability in Christianity and Buddhism

By Lindsay Falvey

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Book Id: WPLBN0002170108
Format Type: PDF eBook:
File Size: 1.28 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005

Title: Religion and Agriculture: Sustainability in Christianity and Buddhism  
Author: Lindsay Falvey
Language: English
Subject: Non Fiction, Science, Reference
Collections: Philosophy, Most Popular Books in Bratislava, Science Fiction Collection, Logic, Authors Community, Religion, Agriculture, Engineering, Favorites from the National Library of China, Environmental Economics, Cultural Studies, Sociology, Literature, Economy, Law, Most Popular Books in China, Favorites in India, Science, Education, History
Publication Date:
Publisher: Institute for International Development, Adelaide
Member Page: Lindsay Falvey


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Falvey, B. L. (2005). Religion and Agriculture: Sustainability in Christianity and Buddhism. Retrieved from

Religion is a powerful expression of culture that is most obviously expressed in our relationships with nature. As our major meeting point with nature is food, this provides a fertile field for cultivating the wisdom that Professor Falvey concludes is the essence of all sustainability. By bringing sustainability, agriculture, global issues, Buddhism, Christianity and a host of other factors into play, we see that our motivations belie our rhetoric – in environmental actions through to trade and aid. This open-spirited book contains a wealth of analysis and alternative logics that make it essential to serious readers about nature, the environment, spirituality and religion, Asia and ourselves. Beginning with science and spirituality, the discussion moves from immortality to theology to literal misinterpretations and unifies these themes around unacknowledged Western core values. Shifting to philosophy, ethics, and rights, an ecological argument about our selective ‘liberation’ of nature is proffered as an introduction to global issues, including traditional values of poor countries and lost traditions in the West. An engrossing hybrid Oriental-Western dialectic allows chapters to be read alone or as part of an accumulating thesis. Thus Buddhist and Christian teachings are applied to agriculture and sustainability – and they are found to be at one with each other. Whether it is biblical metaphor, karmic logic or enlightened self-interest, the continuous thread of a strong suture stitches a complex set of subjects into a coherent sutra that will vivify the current moribund dialogue between agriculture, science and religion. 'I have read all of Dr. Falvey's books and this is his magnum opus - a tour de force across subjects previously left unrelated – it is critical to our understanding of science, sustainability and man. It must be read and discussed. John Espie Leake, CEO, Institute for International Development This work is unique and fills the gap that neither theologians nor scientists will readily attempt to fill; it has not been done before and is critically important. Will Johnston, late of University of Massachusetts, currently of Melbourne College of Divinity … the sutra of sustainability in the final chapter will certainly become a classic … Gabriel Fragnière, Ancien Recteur du Collège d’Europe (series editor ‘Dieux, Hommes et Religions’ Professor Lindsay Falvey is currently Visiting Fellow, Clare Hall, University of Cambridge. He was previously Chair of Agriculture and Dean of Land and Food at the University of Melbourne. He holds degrees from Latrobe, Melbourne and Queensland Universities, including two doctoral degrees, and is the author of some ten books and more than 100 professional papers on themes relating to society, food production and international development. Three of his recent works relate to religion and wise agricultural practice on a global basis. He has also managed and consulted for international development companies working in some 20 countries, particularly in Asia and especially in Thailand. He was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 1997 and of his profession’s institute in 1991, and has received several national and international awards for his contributions to international and rural development, including the Australian Centennial Medal in 2003.

Table of Contents
Contents Page Introduction 1 Chapter 1 10 Seeking Agricultural Sustainability: Science and Spirituality Chapter 2 20 Immortality: Sustaining Ourselves? Chapter 3 31 Agricultural Theology: Why we are Fascinated with Sustainability Chapter 4 47 Literal and Historical Christianity and Agriculture: Our Manipulations and Our Undoing Chapter 5 57 Some Influencers of the Church: Prophets and Sustainable Agriculture Chapter 6 71 From Luther to Jung: Broadening the Insights Chapter 7 82 West Meets East: The Salvation of Agriculture Falvey - Religion and Agriculture: Sustainability in Christianity and Buddhism vi Chapter 8 90 Pantheistic Agriculture: Investing the Gods in Agriculture Chapter 9 98 Agricultural Philosophy and Rights: From Natural Rights to Rights for Nature Chapter 10 105 Sustainable Agriculture and Secular Environmentalism: Emerging Ecological Understanding Chapter 11 112 The Religion of Sustainable Agriculture: Philosophy and Ethics Chapter 12 125 Liberating Nature: Our Rising Awareness Chapter 13 134 Sustainable Development: Having it All? Chapter 14 138 Sustaining Our Role: Global Sustainable Development Chapter 15 145 Words versus Actions in Global Agriculture: Sustainability in Less-Developed Countries vii Falvey - Religion and Agriculture: Sustainability in Christianity and Buddhism Chapter 16 154 Learning Sustainability from Less-Developed Countries: Lost Traditions? Chapter 17 160 The Emerging Spirit of Sustainable Agriculture: Changing the Western Worldview? Chapter 18 166 Unity in Diversity of Views? Spirituality in Modern Agriculture Chapter 19 177 Bridging the Break: Reconnecting Through Religion Chapter 20 185 Communicating with the Orient: Eastern Sustainable Agriculture Chapter 21 192 Non-violence to the Environment: Active Sustainability? Chapter 22 203 Sustained Change: The Conditions of Sustainability Chapter 23 211 Avoiding the Extremes: Karmic Sustainable Agriculture Falvey - Religion and Agriculture: Sustainability in Christianity and Buddhism viii Chapter 24 220 Enlightened or Self-Interested? Sustainable Agriculture as Selfish Chapter 25 227 Enlightening Agricultural Sustainability: Seeing More Clearly Chapter 26 235 Practical Buddhism: From Scripture to Sustainable Agriculture Chapter 27 243 Buddhism and the Environment: Wishful Ascription of Sustainability Chapter 28 253 In, Not Of, the World: The Spirit of Agriculture Chapter 29 260 Tying the Thread: The Sutra of Sustainability Sustainability Sutra 272 References 273


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