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Dharma World Buddhist magazine

October-December, Volume 40

content of this issue of Dharma World Buddhist magazine


Nuclear Power and Contemporary Religion

Nuclear Power Tests Our Humanity by Yoshiaki Sanada

The Fukushima nuclear disaster demands that we answer fundamental questions about what it means to be human, what it means to live, what happiness is, what society and the state are, and what civilization is.

Yoshiaki Sanada is director of the Peace Research Institute of Religions for Peace Japan. He is a professor emeritus of Chuo University in Tokyo, where he was a professor of law until 2007. He has also been a visiting professor at the Institute of Comparative Law of the China University of Politics and Law in Beijing.

The Three Nuclear Poisons by David R. Loy

If institutions attain a life of their own, does it also mean that they have their own motivations? That brings us to the crucial question: can we detect institutionalized greed, aggression, and delusion in the promotion of nuclear power?

David R. Loy is a professor, writer, and Zen teacher in the Sanbo Kyodan tradition of Japanese Zen Buddhism. He is a prolific author whose essays and books have been translated into many languages. Loy's most recent book is The World Is Made of Stories (Wisdom Publications, 2010). He teaches nationally and internationally on various topics, focusing primarily on the encounter between Buddhism and modernity and what each can learn from the other.

Nuclear Power and Contemporary Religion: A Catholic Viewpoint by Theodore Mascarenhas

If it is the dignity of the human person that is to be placed at the very heart of progress and development and all political, social, and economic decision making, then nothing takes higher priority than the very safety of the life and health of the peoples for whom this development is meant.

Theodore Mascarenhas, a Pilar father based in Rome, is head of the Departments of Asia, Africa, and Oceania of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture. He is a member of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses. He holds a doctorate in sacred scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute and is a professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (all in Rome) and the Pilar Theological College, Pilar, Goa.

Japan and the Four Noble Truths of Nuclear Energy:
A Buddhist Response to Social Injustice
by Jonathan S. Watts

Socially Engaged Buddhists have over the years developed a way of understanding dukkha (suffering), and the Buddha's Four Noble Truths on the arising and cessation of dukkha, as a particularly Buddhist approach to the problem of social injustice. This approach seeks to extend the liberatory practices of Buddhism, which appear to center on the individual, to the collective level.

Jonathan S. Watts is a Research Fellow at the International Buddhist Exchange Center in Yokohama and serves on the Executive Committee of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB). He is presently working on a follow-up volume to This Precious Life: Buddhist Tsunami Relief and Anti-Nuclear Activism in Post 3/11 Japan on Buddhism and nuclear energy, which will be published in November 2013.

The TEPCO Nuclear Disaster and the Responsibilities of Religions by Martin Repp

It is time that religious individuals and organizations in Japan liberate themselves from feudal structures and struggle against the terror of the nuclear industry, the sale of contaminated food under the pretext of false "patriotism," the burning of contaminated waste, the insufficient evacuation of citizens, and the failure to treat cancer patients in Fukushima.

Martin Repp is a representative in Frankfurt of the Church of Hessen and Nassau (Germany) for dialogue with Asian religious organizations and a lecturer on religious studies at Heidelberg University. From 1988 to 2009 he worked at the National Christian Council in Japan's Center for the Study of Japanese Religions, in Kyoto. From 2004 to 2009 he was also Professor of Comparative Religious Studies at Ryukoku University in Kyoto. His research focuses on Buddhism, religious reform, and interreligious communication. His books include Honens religiöses Denken (Honen's religious thought).

Our Sins and Responsibilities: What the Fukushima Accident Has Revealed by Tetsuya Takahashi

We face the profound contradiction that, in our excessive desire for the good life, we have saddled ourselves with a large quantity of things that could make living our lives impossible. It would in no way be wrong to say that this is a sin.

Tetsuya Takahashi, born in 1956 in Fukushima Prefecture, is a professor at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of the University of Tokyo. His fields of teaching center on philosophy and ethics. He also teaches human security and other subjects. He is the author of many books, including the best-selling Yasukuni mondai ("The Yasukuni Shrine issue," 2005). In 2012 he published Gisei no shisutemu: Fukushima, Okinawa (The system of sacrifice: Fukushima and Okinawa).

Nuclear Energy and Ethics: The Lessons of Fukushima by Yukio Yamaguchi

Besides following a spirit of inquiry, scientists must take ethical responsibility for their discoveries and not allow their discoveries to force sacrifices on others. This means that the majority of people must press for reform of the world of knowledge.

Yukio Yamaguchi, PhD in Engineering (University of Tokyo), is co-director of the Citizens' Nuclear Information Center (CNIC) in Tokyo. He specializes in solid-state physics and has been a research fellow at Northwestern University and has taught in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Tokyo, Hosei University, and several other schools. CNIC is an antinuclear public interest organization dedicated to securing a safe, nuclear-free world. The center was formed to provide reliable information and public education on all aspects of nuclear power to ultimately realize this goal.

Heeding the Voices of Foxes and Brown Dippers by Sarah M. Strong

With our human intelligence . . . we have developed technologies that have made the frightening kamui of nuclear reactions an ongoing presence in our human world. Much as we long for perfect control over this power, there is no way we can achieve that with certainty.

Sarah M. Strong is Professor of Japanese Language and Literature at Bates College, Lewiston, Maine. She received her PhD in Japanese literature from the University of Chicago. As a scholar she has focused on works that portray Japan's natural beauty and rich ecosystems. Her studies and translations of the works of Kenji Miyazawa, a Japanese poet and author of children's literature, have appeared in both the United States and Japan. Her most recent book is on Ainu oral traditions, Ainu Spirits Singing: The Living World of Chiri Yukie's Ainu Shin'yoshu.


Everyone Is Wonderful by Nichiko Niwano

Nichiko Niwano is president of Rissho Kosei-kai and a president of the World Conference of Religions for Peace. He also serves as special advisor to Shinshuren (Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan).

Prism of the Lotus Sutra

Prism of the Lotus Sutra (2) The Udumbara Flower / The Mandarava Flower by Atsushi Kanazawa

Atsushi Kanazawa is a Professor in the Faculty of Buddhism at Komazawa University, Tokyo. He specializes in the Indian philosophy of language and the history of Indian philosophy and culture.


A Catholic Appreciation of Buddhists and Buddhism:
A Personal Journey
by Leo D. Lefebure

The voices of Shakyamuni Buddha and Jesus Christ are clearly not the same, but their overtones intermingle and flow together into our ears.

Leo D. Lefebure is Matteo Ricci, SJ, Professor of Theology at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. He received his PhD in Christian theology from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 1987 and is a trustee of the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions. He is the author of four books and numerous articles and has coauthored, with Peter Feldmeier, The Path of Wisdom: A Christian Commentary on the Dhammapada (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2011).

Founder's Memoirs

Designation of the Second President by Nikkyo Niwano

Nikkyo Niwano, the founder of Rissho Kosei-kai, was an honorary president of the World Conference of Religions for Peace and was honorary chairman of Shinshuren (Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan) at the time of his death in October 1999. He was awarded the 1979 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.

The Threefold Lotus Sutra: A Modern Commentary (114)

The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law Chapter 21: The Divine Power of the Tathagata (2) by Nikkyo Niwano

This is the 114th installment of a detailed commentary on the Threefold Lotus Sutra by the founder of Rissho Kosei-kai, Rev. Nikkyo Niwano.

Dharma World Oct-Dec 2013, Nuclear Power and Contemporary Religion

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