Reclaiming our Moral Agency through Healing: A Call to Moral, Social, Environmental Activists

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Final version published as: 

Bai, H. (2012) Reclaiming our moral agency through healing: a call to moral, social, environmental activists, Journal of Moral Education, 41:3, 311-327

Date created: 
Moral education

This paper makes the case that environmental education needs to be taken up as a moral educa- tion to the extent that we see the connection between harm and destruction in the environment and harm and destruction within human individuals and their relationship, and proceeds to show this connection by introducing the key notion of human alienation and its psychological factors of wounding, dissociation or split, self and other oppression and exploitation, all of which result in compromised moral agency. To this end, the paper further makes the case that we need to replace the culture of alienation with a culture of healing and reclamation of fundamental humanity manifest as compassion and wisdom, and presents an ideal of moral agency that would emerge when all parts and dimensions of one’s being——body–mind–heart– energetics——are aligned, attuned and integrated, having healed from the body–mind split, mind–heart split, body–spirit split and mind–matter split. Concepts and imagery borrowed from Asian philosophies, such as Buddhism and Daoism, are offered as illustrative resources for the project of reclaiming uncompromised moral agency and its manifestation through compassion and wisdom. These concepts include hungry ghosts, bodhicitta, sunyata and wu-wei.

Document type: 
You are free to copy, distribute and transmit this work under the following conditions: You must give attribution to the work (but not in any way that suggests that the author endorses you or your use of the work); You may not use this work for commercial purposes; You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work. Any further uses require the permission of the rights holder (or author if no rights holder is listed). These rights are based on the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License.