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The Harmony Debates

Exploring a Practical Philosophy for a Sustainable Future
Edited by Nicholas Campion
Foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales
ISBN: 978-1-907767227
Paperback, ebook; 605 pages
Dimensions: 15.24 x 4.19 x 22.86 cm


The word Harmony appears in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development no less than three times, yet with no definition. This anthology gathers together an interdisciplinary array of experts, academics, and practitioners to explore what Harmony means and how we can use it.

One traditional view of Harmony holds that everything in the universe operates in a state of balance, another assumes the interconnectedness of all things – an idea central to ecological thought. Such thoughts also lead to action and policy decisions: for example, how do we conduct business, educate children, conduct business, protect the environment, resolve conflict and promote health and well-being in a world in which all things are fundamentally connected?

The chapters in this volume explore Harmony from a range of perspectives, historical and philosophical, academic and personal. Rather than suggesting fixed answers, the goal is to ask questions about how we relate to each other, engage with the wider environment, face the challenges of the modern world, and work towards holistic solutions for today’s problems. The volume was inspired by the publication in 2020 of Harmony: A New Way of Looking at our World by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, Tony Juniper, and Ian Skelly.

Download a PDF of the Prince of Wales’ Foreword
Download a PDF of Nicholas Campion’s Introduction
See the University’s Harmony Institute here
See the Harmony Project here


“The first UN Earth Summit in 1992 agreed ‘Humans have the right to live in harmony with Nature’ and yet we have patently failed to do that. Now activists the world over are searching for new ways to offer hope for future generations. Harmony as a core principle offers a way of seeing the world in inter-connected ways and thus offering inter-connected solutions. ‘The Harmony Debates’ open up new ways to explore meanings, solutions and practice – metaphysical, practical, ecological and spiritual – and will enrich your soul. Read and be inspired!”
~ Jane Davidson, author of #futuregen: Lessons from a Small Country
This is a fascinating and diverse collection of essays which explore the concept of harmony. In particular the essays examine the myriad of ways that the concept of harmony can make a substantial contribution to debates about environmental issues. The authors come from a wide range of disciplinary and practical backgrounds and this contributes to the richness of the volume. Harmony is discussed in a wide range of topics from sculpture to farming, from Plato to quantum physics and from Confucius to Aboriginal Dreamings. The book is a critical engagement with the ways that the universal idea of harmony can contribute to helping us all find more sustainable ways of living. 
~ Dr Steve Jacobs, University of Wolverhampton
The contributors to The Harmony Debates offer a wide range of theoretical, practical and ultimately inspiring ways for making our relationship with planet Earth more harmonious, from the way we produce our food to the way we educate our children and do business. A necessary book for our times. 
~ Dr Robert Wallis,The Open University
The Harmony Debatesis a fulsome and timely exploration into the concept of harmony. As Campion describes, harmony ‘assumes that everything in the universe is interconnected, interrelated, and existing in a state of balance’ and, perhaps now more than ever, thinking deeply about this notion across time and space, and how it can be embedded in practical action is crucial. In its forty-three chapters, the work also explores a vast diversity of subjects as they engage with the concept of harmony. From philosophical, religious, spiritual, cultural and ecological approaches, through science, business, agriculture and health, there are global examples that unpack the long lineage and contemporary thrust of theoretical and practical approaches to understanding and implementing relatedness which centre around the simple ethos that, as the Harmony Institute notes, ‘the well-being of one depends on the well-being of another’.
~ Dr Christina Welch, University of Winchester

Table of Contents

Foreword: Harmony
~ HRH the Prince of Wales

~ Nicholas Campion

‘Towards a Definition of Harmony in Music and Agriculture’
~ John Eliot Gardiner

‘The Principles of Harmony’
~ David Cadman

‘Mind, Body and Dance’
~ Wendy Buonaventura

‘Harmony and Sculpture’
~ Sophie Howard

‘A Harmony Bibliography’
~ Toto Gill

‘Difference, Beauty, and the Divine: Harmony in Religious Plurality’
~ Angus Slater

‘The Harmony of the Cosmos, the Soul, and Society in Plato’
~ Joseph Milne

‘The Connected Cosmos: Harmony, Cosmology and Theurgy in Neoplatonism’
~ Crystal Addey

‘Harmony and Judaism’
~ David Rubin

‘The Bible: A Guidebook for Harmony?’
~ Rhodri Thomas

‘Harmony in Islamic Cosmology: Subjugation, Sujūd and Oneness in Islamic Philosophical Thought’
~ M.A. Rashed

‘The Perennial Philosophy and the Recovery of a Theophanic View of Nature’
~ Jeremy Naydler

‘Harmony and Ecology: Notions of Harmony and Balance in Nature’
~ Jack Hunter

‘Nature’s Fragile Harmonies’.
~ Stephan Harding

‘Science and Spirituality’
~ Rupert Sheldrake

‘Harmonising with Land, Sea and Sky’
~ Ilaria Cristofaro

‘Peace from the Perspective of Harmony’
~ Scherto Gill

‘Rethinking Women and Leadership in Myanmar: A prerequisite of a Harmonious Society’
~ Sneha Roy

‘Harmony, Nostalgia and a Sense of Place’
~ Louise Emanuel

‘The Harmony of Place’
~ Eve Annecke

‘Learning By Heart: My Journey as a Pythagorean’
~ Kayleen Asbo

‘The Bigger Picture: Harmony and the Cosmos’
~ Nick Campion

‘Finding Sea Level: The concept of harmony in the culture of the Kággaba (Kogi) people of Colombia’.
~ Alan Ereira

‘Harmonising the Land and Sky in Aboriginal Dreamings’
~ Trevor Leaman

‘Harmony and the Farm as an Ecosystem’
~ Helen Browning

‘Harmony and Permaculture’.
~ Angie Polkey

‘The Food System’
~ Gunhild Stordalen

‘Mind the Gap! Exploring the Gap between Harmony and the Watery Materiality of Climate Change(s) in Rural Kenya’.
~ Luci Attala

‘Harmony and the Climate Crisis’.
~ John Sauven

‘Reflections upon Education for Sustainability: Supporting Students’ Knowledge, Understanding and Practice’,
~ Caroline Lohmann-Hancock and Nicola Welton

‘Early Years Education, Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship and the Principles of Harmony’
~ Glenda Tinney

‘Harmony in Education: Applying the principles of natural systems to learning’.
~ Richard Dunn and Emilie Martin

‘Harmony and Societal Challenges: Empowering Communities’
~ Rachel Parker

‘From Despair to Hope: Building Harmony in a Challenged Community’
~ Mike Durke

‘Harmony and Natural Capital’
~ Tony Juniper

‘Rediscovering the Human Purposes of Business’
~ Mark Goyder

‘The Circular Economy’
~ Dame Ellen MacArthur

‘Science and Spirituality’
~ Marc Andrus

‘A Reflection on Harmony’
~ Patrick Holden

Explore the rest of our catalogue