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How Much is Enough?: Buddhism, Consumerism,…
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How Much is Enough?: Buddhism, Consumerism, and the Human Environment

by Richard Payne

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This book contains ten essays presented at a symposium in Berkeley, in 2003. The authors all seem to take an academic perspective rather than speaking from a committed point of view. Some of the articles focus on modern Japan, some on the modern West, and some on ancient Buddhism.

There seemed to be a general theme through these talks that Buddhism is not so simply aligned with a modern ecological perspective. Look at modern Asian countries - they've got their share of environmental problems! Buddhism tends to view a human life as more spiritually valuable than an animal life.

But these observations are balanced with examples of actions by modern Buddhist teachers and organizations that promote environmental values, and by facets of Buddhist doctrine that support a less domineering relationship to nature.

This isn't a book that will get a person impassioned to march out and commit to any sort of environmental crusade. This is a book that gets a person thinking. It sheds light on the complexity of the problem. Just exactly what the right answer is - I became less sure that I knew, by reading this book. Probably that is not such a bad thing! ( )
  kukulaj | Jul 9, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 086171685X, Paperback)

The massive outpouring of consumer products available to most people living in the West today might alone lead one to ask "How much is enough?" But at the same time, if we allow ourselves to see the social, political, economic, and environmental consequences of the system that produces such a mass of "goods," then the question is not simply a matter of one’s own personal choice, but points to the profound interconnectedness of our day-to-day decisions. The ease with which we can acquire massive quantities of food, clothing, and various electronic goods directly connects each of us with not only environmental degradation and with sweatshops and child labor in India or Africa, but also with the ongoing financial volatility of Western capitalist economies, and the increasing discrepancies of wealth in all countries. How Much is Enough? confronts these issues with brilliant critiques.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:42 -0400)

"In this book, the effects of our own decisions and actions on the human environment are examined from several different perspectives, all informed Buddhist thought. The contributors are all simultaneously Buddhist scholars, practitioners, and activists - and this powerful collection demonstrates an integral unity of theory and practice on these urgent topics."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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