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Symposium: Nonviolence, Ecology and Humanistic Studies

This short symposium focuses on the relevance of nonviolence, specifically in relation to ecology and eastern philosophy, for Humanistic Studies. Keynote speaker is Christopher Key Chapple, Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

The symposium follows the public defence of the dissertation Profound Revolution: Towards an Integrated Understanding of Contemporary Nonviolence by Saskia van Goelst Meijer. Chapples contribution is entitled: Ecology, Nonviolence, and India: Three Ethical Worldviews.

From the time of India's antiquity, we possess texts that describe of a pristine environment, a densely forested subcontinent, one thousand miles deep and wide. The Vedas (ca. 1500 B.C.E. ff.) celebrate the great elements of earth, water, fire, air, and space, interlacing religious ritual with acknowledgement of deep relationship between the human and the cosmos. The Acaranga Sutra of Jainism (ca. 325 B.C.E.) discovers soul in plant and microscopic life as well as the five great elements, and provides specific moral guidance regarding the protection of life through nonviolence. The Jataka Tales of the Buddha's past lives (ca. 300 B.C.E.) use narrative to advise prudence when accessing natural resources.

The worldviews of these traditions differ significantly. Hindu traditions laud an underlying unity. Jainism emphasizes the integrity of individual souls. Buddhism seeks to extirpate all attachment to either oneness or self. All three advocate the efficacy of ethical comportment as key to the self-transformation and consequent goodness in the world.

A panel consisting of Christa Anbeek, Joachim Duyndam, Saskia van Goelst Meijer en Carmen Schuhmann will respond to Chapple's contribution discussing the relevance of nonviolence, ecology and the Indian traditions for Humanistic Studies. After the break, there will be ample room for contributors and audience to question and discuss.

Contactpersoon Saskia van Goelst Meijer
Locatie University of Humanistic Studies, room 0.38
Datum 27-8-2015
Openingstijden 13.00 – 16.00 hrs