Catholic Author Lectures on Significance of Buddhism and Spirit of Founder Niwano
Rissho Kosei-kai honored Rev. Cinto Busquet, a Catholic priest and a member of the Rome-based worldwide Catholic lay organization called the Focolare Movement, for the publication of his book Incontrarsi nell'Amore (Encounter in Love) by Città Nuova, Rome, by inviting him to lecture September 5 in an auditorium of the Great Sacred Hall at Rissho Kosei-kai's headquarters in Tokyo. Rissho Kosei-kai and the Focolare Movement have been closely allied since the 1970s.
The 74-member audience included senior officers of Rissho Kosei-kai based at the headquarters, members of the Focolare Movement living in Tokyo, and scholars of theology and religious studies from Sophia University, Tokyo, with whom Rev. Busquet worked from 1995 to 2001.
In his lecture, Rev. Busquet began by mentioning the significance of the lay-Buddhist movement in Japan from the perspective of Christian tradition. He outlined the background of the Vatican's initiative in inviting Founder Nikkyo Niwano to the Second Vatican Council in 1965 as the first non-Christian observer, and pointed out that the founder's meeting with Pope Paul VI inspired the founder's subsequent promotion of interreligious dialogue and cooperation for world peace.
Rev. Busquet then spoke of the differences between the Buddhist and Christian worldviews from the theological perspective of the Abrahamic faith tradition, and then emphasized the importance of recognizing the significance of interreligious dialogue and cooperation transcending religious differences. In conclusion, he stressed the importance of affirming Ms. Chiara Lubich's motto "A world living in unity" and Founder Niwano's motto "Many in body but one in spirit," according to which the two religious leaders embodied the spirit of "All religions have the same root or foundation" and promoted interfaith dialogue at all levels as an instrument of communication and unity.
Rev. Busquet originally wrote Incontrarsi nell'Amore as a doctoral dissertation for the Pontifical Lateran University in the Vatican. It focuses on what Christians can learn from Buddhism. with special emphasis on the Buddhist teaching of the One Vehicle, found in the Lotus Sutra, and on the spirit of Founder Niwano, who made that teaching the basis of his work for world peace through interreligious dialogue and cooperation with the Focolare Movement.
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