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Buddhism and Sustainable Development

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Part of the The GeoJournal Library book series (GEJL,volume 69)

Abstract

The attempt to study and evaluate development in Thailand within the framework of sustainable development raises the philosophical question of the extent to which Buddhism in Thailand might be amenable to the adoption of a sustainable development approach. I contend that a Buddhist approach to development affirms the core elements of sustainable development and so ought to be receptive to its implementation. In the course of my chapter, I briefly explain the basic ideas of Theravada Buddhismthe form of Buddhism in Thailand; isolate what I believe are the core objectives of sustainable development; clarify what prominent Thai monks and scholars believe are the limitations of traditional western liberalism; and, finally, suggest that sustainable development and Buddhism emphasize different dimensions of sustainability and hence can learn much from each other. Proponents of sustainable development have focused primarily on the realm of policy making and formulation of specific indicators to measure scientifically the sustainability of policies and practices, whereas Buddhists in Thailand have focused far more on attaining moral and spiritual awareness and have neglected the importance of public policy making. Both dimensions are essential to truly free and sustainable societies.

Keywords

  • Sustainable Development
  • Moral Virtue
  • Sustainable Society
  • Ozone Layer Depletion
  • Buddhist Tradition

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© 2002 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

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Matz, L. (2002). Buddhism and Sustainable Development. In: Romanos, M., Auffrey, C. (eds) Managing Intermediate Size Cities. The GeoJournal Library, vol 69. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-2170-7_2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-2170-7_2

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht

  • Print ISBN: 978-90-481-6103-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-94-017-2170-7

  • eBook Packages: Springer Book Archive