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Noted Christian Theologian Confers with President Niwano

February 2017

Dr. John B. Cobb, Jr., an American theologian, philosopher, and environmentalist, who is a professor emeritus at Claremont School of Theology, in Claremont, California, visited Rissho Kosei-kai headquarters in Tokyo on February 6 and conferred with President Nichiko Niwano in the Horin-kaku Guest Hall. Also present were Dr. Hiroshi M. Niwano, president of Rissho Kosei-kai's Gakurin Seminary, and Dr. Koichi Kawamoto, director of the Chuo Academic Research Institute, affiliated with Rissho Kosei-kai. Dr. Cobb is a noted authority on process philosophy and process theology. He was visiting Japan in February to attend an international symposium on environmental problems.

When Dr. Cobb asked Rev. Niwano about Rissho Kosei-kai's contributions to society, Rev. Niwano explained the organization's active engagement in interreligious cooperation through Religions for Peace, expressing his hope to promote the activities of the organizations that Founder Nikkyo Niwano had helped to found. Dr. Cobb referred to the North American Buddhist-Christian Theological Encounter Group, founded by Dr. Cobb and Dr. Masao Abe (1915-2006), a scholar of Japanese Buddhism well-known for his work in Buddhist-Christian dialogue. Dr. Cobb said the similarities between process theology and Buddhism shows the importance of studying both.

Dr. Cobb had visited Rissho Kosei-kai earlier, in May 2002, when he spoke at a service sponsored by the organization's International Buddhist Congregation.

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