By Sonya S. Lee (Associate Professor of Art History, East Asian Languages & Cultures, and Religion | Director of East Asian Studies Center)

In recent years, several high-profile restorations of centuries-old Buddhist monuments in southwest China have raised questions about the value and method of preserving religious icons in a society that reveres tradition but also has a long history of heritage destruction. Focusing on the case of the Laitan Buddha in Hechuan, this lecture brings a sustainability perspective to the debate by discussing how conservation practices and community involvement can contribute to a religio-environmental ethics that encompasses both nature conservancy and cultural preservation.

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