The Buddha’s Footprint: An Environmental History of Asia

The Buddha’s Footprint: An Environmental History of Asia

Johan Elverskog - Altshuler University Distinguished Teaching Professor & Chair of Religious Studies, Southern Methodist University

Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Room 202, Henry R. Luce Hall See map
34 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511

Contrary to popular imaginings the Dharma has not historically been an inherently environmental religion. Rather, early Buddhism was a prosperity theology that succeeded largely on account of its willingness to exploit both people and natural resources on the commodity frontier. As such, by investigating the links between Buddhism and agricultural expansion this talk will explore how Buddhists radically transformed Asia’s environment.

Johan Elverskog is Altshuler University Distinguished Teaching Professor and Chair of Religious Studies at SMU. He is the author of numerous books and articles, all of which focus on the history of Buddhism across Asia. During 2014-2015 he is a visiting fellow at the Center for Buddhist-Muslim Understanding at Mahidol University, Bangkok.

China, Transregional, Mongolia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Tibet