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Japanese Environmental Philosophy$
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J. Baird Callicott and James McRae

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190456320

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190456320.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 December 2021

Nondualism after Fukushima?

Nondualism after Fukushima?

Tracing Dōgen’s Teaching vis-à-vis Nuclear Disaster

(p.243) Chapter 14 Nondualism after Fukushima?
Japanese Environmental Philosophy

Ishida Masato

Oxford University Press

Humans and environment form a single continuum, part of a larger cosmic life. This, however, seems to imply that we are continuous even with the radioactive waste produced by the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima. There is nothing surprising about this, since in Buddhism no substance is considered to have intrinsic self-nature such as “clean” or “dirty”—indeed radioactive waste is Buddha-nature in Dōgen’s worldview. On the other hand, there remains a clear distinction between purifying and nonpurifying acts, if Dōgen’s view of human agency in relation to the environment is correctly applied in our present-day context. Taking Fukushima as an example and scrutinizing Dōgen’s many passages on Buddha-nature, washing, and wrongdoing reveal our responsibility to participate in nature’s self-purifying process rather than making questionable appeals to “nondualism.”

Keywords:   Fukushima Daiichi, natural disasters, Buddhism, Zen practice, nondualism, Dōgen

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