Buddhism, Environment and Sustainability

Subject Overview

Buddhism, Environment and Sustainability examines the relationship between Buddhist traditions, including contemporary Buddhist practice, and global issues in sustainability and environment. It explores both classic and new sources of Buddhist environmentalism, as well as the position of environmentalism from other spiritual paths. Spiritual traditions have a key role in engaging creative responses to environmental and associated social challenges.

This subject will analyse scales of Buddhist environmentalism from the global to the personal, and situate them in both local and global geographic contexts. The subject places emphasis both on theory and on practice: apart from the study and critical examination of primary and secondary sources on Buddhist environmentalism, students will participate in field activities examining local environmental issues.


Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of global environmental issues and Buddhist environmental traditions
  • Critically analyse fundamental issues involved in global and local issues in environment and sustainability
  • Understand and situate the role and function of Buddhism in responding to environment and sustainability issues
  • Critically evaluate and reflect on the spectrum of attitudes and doctrinal beliefs on the environment which have developed throughout the history of Buddhism in its many schools
  • Develop understanding of issues and challenges arising from contemporary applications of Buddhist beliefs and practice to environmental issues in new contexts


Subject Structure

This subject runs for five weeks, with the following structure:

Week 1: Pre-reading of prescribed texts
Week 2: Digital Intensive Classroom (5 days x 8 hrs/day)
Weeks 3 – 5: Submission of assessments online



Nan Tien Institute (NTI) is a private, not for profit, government accredited higher education provider offering studies in the areas of Buddhist studies, health and wellbeing, within an environment that incorporates contemplative education.

NTI offers postgraduate programs in Applied Buddhist Studies, Health and Social Wellbeing, Humanistic Buddhism, and Mental Health as well as customised Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs and special interest subjects across the areas of meditation, mindfulness and health.

In accordance with the current restrictions our campus facilities are closed. You can continue to study online and our virtual library services remain available. Our academic and student services staff are online and by phone to assist you. Please stay safe.