2010

In a fascinating article on metaphors for progressive politics, George Lakoff summarizes succinctly the message that progressives need to be communicating as regards the issue of sustainability: The economic crisis and the ecological crisis are the same crisis. It has been caused by short-term greed. I fully agree that the economic crisis and the ecological…

Read More sustainability as cultural and psychological transformation

I was in Beijing and Tianjin recently for a week of conferences related to “ecological civilization” (shengtai wenming 生态文明) an important new buzzword, the precise meaning of which thought leaders and government officials are vying to define. The first conference I attended was one on “Traditional Culture and Ecological Civilization”, held in conjunction with the…

Read More ecological civilization

Laozi Statue on Maoshan

In May this year I had the opportunity to visit Maoshan (Mt. Mao) a Daoist mountain sacred to the Shangqing (Highest Clarity) tradition of Daoism that I studied in my most recent book. Located in Jiangsu province, it is about an hour’s bus ride south of Zhenjiang, a stop on the main high speed railway…

Read More daoist religion and ecotourism: a visit to maoshan

The International Taoist Tai Chi Society celebrates its fortieth anniversary at Dundas Square, Toronto / Rick Eglinton / Toronto Star

For Danny Simmons, a Toronto musician and sound designer, Taoist tai chi has been a life-saver. Faced with the prospect of a double hip replacement, he took up this increasingly popular practice, and gradually regained strength and flexibility in his joints. “Taoist tai chi allowed me to take my health into my own hands,” he…

Read More Fortieth Anniversary of the International Taoist Tai Chi Society

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 James Miller. 2010. Religion, Nature and Modernization in China. Pp. 107-122 in Technology, Trust and Religion: Roles of Religion in Controversies on Ecology and the Modification of Life edited by Willem B. Drees. Leiden: Leiden University Press. One of most important concepts in the Weberian theory of modernity is summed up in the German term Entzauberung, usually…

Read More Religion, Nature and Modernization in China

In Sunday’s New York Times, Wayne Arnold published a column on the perennial topic “rethinking the measure of growth.” The story concerns attempts by Asian economists to come up with alternatives to GDP growth as the be-all and end-all of development. As is often the case with the New York Times, I found the most…

Read More chinese religions and economic sustainability

In a Wall Street Journal blog today, Christopher Carothers asks, “Is Daoism is losing its way?” He writes: Today, Buddhism is regaining its traditional place as the largest religion in Chinese society. Islam is expanding through the growth of Muslim families in the Hui and Uyghur minority ethnic groups. Protestantism and Catholicism are winning new…

Read More daoism’s quest for relevance

I was in LA last weekend to attend the Sixth Annual Conference on Daoist Studies which was organized by my former teacher, Livia Kohn, and LMU Professor Robin Wang. The conference drew the usual mix of academics and practitioners (which was itself the subject of an interesting meta-analysis by Elijah Siegler). My rationale for attending…

Read More new directions in religion and nature