Spiritual practices of peacemaking, Michael Battle says, are essential to, crucial for, the mystical process of losing and finding identity in God who constantly invites us toward relationship and community. Any spirituality of nonviolence in the community of peacemaking faces formidable challenges.
The 2500-year-old tradition of Jainism, which emphasizes nonviolence as the only true path leading to liberation, offers a worldview seemingly compatible with the goals of environmental activism. But can Jainism adopt a sociocentric environmentalism without compromising its own ascetic principles and spiritual tradition? How does traditional Jain cosmology view the natural world? How might a Jain ethical system respond to decisions regarding the development of dams, the proliferation of automobiles, overcrowding due to overpopulation, or the protection of individual animal species? Can there be a Jain environmental activism that addresses both the traditional concern for individual self-purification and the contemporary dilemma of ecosystem degradation? The voices in this volume reflect the dynamic nature of the Jain faith and its willingness to engage in discussion on a modern social issue.