Does Buddhism Offer Holistic Ecological Discourse ? — the case of Tzu Chi in Taiwan  (Wei-yi Cheng )
Many Buddhists or scholars promote Buddhism as holistically ecological. This view is popular and unquestioned for a long time so much so that there are terms such as ‘eco-Buddhism’ or ‘green Buddhism’. However, since the late twentieth century, this view has been challenged. Some scholars question whether Buddhism offer holistic and genuine discourse on ecology or it is a product of Buddhist apologists. This paper will use the case study of a Buddhist organization in Taiwan- Tzu Chi, to reflect on this debate. It will examine Tzu Chi’s environmental protection works through the standpoint of Niklas Luhmann’s systems theory. By so doing, I hope to offer a new perspective on the relationship between Buddhism and ecological discourse.

Keywords: Buddhist ecology, Niklas Luhmann, Tzu Chi, eco-religious communication





Department of Religious Studies, Hsuan Chuang University

Life Conservationist Association

HongShi Buddhist Cultural and Educational Foundation


Ministry of Science and Technology,Republic of China

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, R.O.C.

Ministry of Education, R.O.C.

Hsuan Chuang University


Hsuan Chuang University Research Center For Applied Ethics

Buddhist HongShi College