James Miller

 James Miller

Address99 University Avenue
Kingston, ON

Associate Professor of East Asian Traditions and Comparative Religion, Queen’s Theological College, Queen’s University

B.A., Durham University, England, 1990
M.A., Cambridge University, England, 1997
Ph.D., Boston University, 2000

James Miller is trained in comparative theology and Chinese religions. His academic specialization is the medieval Daoist religious movement known as Highest Clarity (Shangqing), and he has been involved in the contemporary movement to bring the resources of the world’s religious traditions to bear on the global problem of the environment.

He is the co-editor of Daoism and Ecology (Harvard 2001), a member of the advisory board of the Forum on Religion and Ecology, and editor of the website, www.daoiststudies.org.

Facing local and world tensions
“Public rioting when the world’s leaders converge on a single city to discuss the issues of globalization is a symptom of the tension between our sense of identity as citizens of the world community and our sense of identity as individual human beings rooted in a local culture. This conflict is the single most important problem of a multicultural Canada. The leaders of churches must be equipped to speak to both aspects of this tension.”

Gaining a broad understanding is critical challenge
“Leaders must be educated in the history of their tradition and their local community and they must be fluent in the symbols and rituals of their local institution; but they must also learn something of the language of Canada’s multiple religions and cultures, and have an understanding of the global problems of the environment, international finance, development and technology.”

Linking the past and the future
“I study an obscure aristocratic religious community in fourth century China at the same time as issues of the environment and the cross-cultural study of religion. I believe that to be a religious scholar or leader in the 21st century requires an active investment in understanding the detailed particularities of history and tradition at the same time as comprehending the sweeping effects of global issues such as climate change, international finance, biotechnology and mass communications.”

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