The Dao of Civilization: A Letter to China


Author: Freya Mathews (Author)


Product description


Freya Mathews addresses huge themes with intellectual boldness and writes with enviable clarity and lucidity. The Dao of Civilization articulates a philosophy and practice for a human civilization in harmony with the planet. Essential reading for anyone concerned with environmental philosophy and the human place on Earth- Peter Reason, Professor Emeritus of Action Research at Bath Spa University, UK.

'For many of us working in the field of regenerative practice, Freya Mathews is the most important environmental philosopher writing today. In this book she sets out profound insights that challenge existing praxis as well as describing the new ways of thinking that will be necessary to shape an ecological civilization. It is hard to conceive of a more urgent task for humanity, and this book is sure to be one of the most illuminating for those that want to lead on that journey'
- Michael Pawlyn, co-author of Flourish: Design Paradigms for our Planetary Emergency and author of Biomimicry in Architecture.

'Freya Mathews has given us
The Dao of Civilization, an intellectually stunning work that opens new ways of coping with the existential crises of climate change by uncovering the ancient and untapped earth-based philosophies of ancient Chinese Daoism and Australian Aboriginal thought. Mathews persuades us, in her highly accessible and engaging style, that we are anything but helpless in our confrontation with a dramatically changing environment. This is a trailblazing work that will upend the way we think about the world and our place in it' - Thomas Michael, School of Philosophy, Beijing Normal University; author of In the Shadows of the Dao: Laozi, the Sage, and the Daodejing.

In this brief but richly multilayered volume, one of the deepest ecophilosophers of our age, Freya Mathews, integrates different strands of her work into a cogent whole. Mathews shows how mutually beneficial symbiosis, a fundamental principle of life's great abundance, might also form the foundation of a different kind of civilisation-an ecological civilisation-that could enable humans to flourish synergistically with all life. Tying these insights into the core principles of Daoist philosophy, Mathews offers a tantalizing hint of how China could conceivably shed its allegiance to the extractivism of global capitalism and instead lead the world on a path to a life- affirming future
- Jeremy Lent, author of The Patterning Instinct: a Cultural History of Humanity's Search for Meaning and The Web of Meaning: Integrating Science and Traditional Wisdom.

In this wonderfully written and deeply insightful book, ecophilosopher Freya Mathews shows us how profoundly feelingful relationships with land in a range of ancient and modern traditions - especially Law in Australian aboriginal culture, the Dao from ancient China and the more recent biosynergy approach, can help us navigate towards a world in which we humans can at last find our rightful and fruitful place within the living fabric of our animate earth. After reading this book, Freya's latest masterwork, I found myself praying that citizens and leaders of all stripes and colours all over the world will take its message deeply to heart, for nothing less gives us a chance of avoiding the worst of the ecological and climate mayhem which are the products of our modern nature destroying ways of living -
Dr Stephan Harding, Deep Ecology Research Fellow, Schumacher College, Dartington UK; author of Animate Earth.

About the Author

Freya Mathews is Emeritus Professor of Environmental Philosophy at Latrobe University in Australia.


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