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China Sacred Mountains book launches this week

April 9, 2014:

Sacred Mountain will launch on Friday, April 11, 2014 at Mr Bs bookshop, Bath, UK. Please come, and let Mr Bs know.

China's ever-growing levels of environmental degradation represent a terrifying threat to both the Chinese people and the global ecosphere. But this exploitation has been challenged from a source that at first thought seems unlikely: one of the oldest philosophical traditions in Chinese culture.

Sacred Mountains unfolds the story of Daoism, the ancient Chinese tradition that was harshly repressed by the cultural revolution in the 1960s only to re-emerge as a means of guidance to a better, greener future for China.

It's a remarkable and unlikely story that is still unfolding and the book tells it in fascinating detail thanks to the unique perspective of its author, Allerd Stikker, a man whose own life has itself been remarkable.

As a Dutch businessman Allerd's work took him to Taiwan in the 70s where he became intrigued by Daoism . As his life progressed he became more and more involved in environmentalism and the need to somehow balance economy and ecology. In developing his ideas on this theme through writing and researching the environmental conditions in Taiwan he found the Daoist principles of balance rooted in nature increasingly relevant to identifying solutions, however unpopular with officialdom.

One of Rosa Vitalie's beautiful illustrations from Sacred Mountains
But it was a chance 2002 encounter with ARC's Martin Palmer that led to Allerd’s involvement with the source of Daoism itself. Their shared enthusiasm for both the Chinese philosophy and environmentalism sealed a working partnership that enabled Allerd to become involved in ARC’s work helping establish the Daoist Ecology Temple Alliance. This network provided support to those religious leaders most keenly applying Daoist principles to addressing environmental needs as well as aiding the restoration of ancient Daoist sites in the sacred mountains that give his book its title.

What started as a rescue mission, however, proved to be the beginning of renewal and a process by which the Daoist religion began to reassert itself. While the country's economy boomed its ancient religion emerged from the shadows to become a source of guidance and wisdom. Throughout the whole fascinating process Allerd has been there with ARC, actively supporting the Daoists as they have moved from the mountain tops to the heart of political thinking. 'Sacred Mountains' tells their story - and his.

Allerd Stikker, author of Sacred Mountains
Palmer recalls the importance of their partnership: “It has been my delight to work with Allerd for a decade as (often literally) side by side we have watched the Daoist leaders and thinkers of today delve deep into their teachings and begin to apply their insights to tackling the huge crises that face China's ecology," he writes in the Foreword.

“Without Allerd ARC could never have achieved a fraction of what this book will tell you about the developments in China. Without his friendship neither I nor my colleagues could have been able to help the Daoists rise to become one of the greatest environmental champions of China.”

It's a tale of personal dedication to an inspirational cause told from the inside of what may prove one of the most significant environmental movements of the 21st century. As Allerd Stikker writes: "We have not yet reached our final destination but every step towards the top of the mountain is another step closer and the views along the way are simply breathtaking."

HRH Prince Philip discusses Sacred Mountains with Martin Palmer during an audience at Buckingham Palace


Sacred Mountains – How the revival of Daoism is turning China’s ecological Crisis around is published in the UK by Bene Factum Publishing.ISBN 978-1-909657-56-4

Sample chapter.

Allerd Stikker and Martin Palmer will both be launching the book on April 11, 2014 at Mr Bs bookshop, Bath, UK. Please come, and let Mr Bs know.

Order from Amazon UK

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Aril 8, 2014:
A new ARC resource of environmental prayers and meditations
A carefully chosen selection of inspirational and thoughtful devotions about creation and conservation from different religious traditions.
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November 19, 2013:
Article on Daoism and Confucianism protecting China's environment
Article by Martin Palmer on the emerging roles of Daoism and Confucianism in tackling China's environmental issues - on the influential bilingual China Dialogue website.