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Dharma World Buddhist magazine

January-March, Volume 43

content of this issue of Dharma World Buddhist magazine


Dual Religious Identity: Can One Practice Two Religions?

Multiple Belonging by Gene Reeves

I believe we are called today . . . to move beyond our own tribalisms, our racial and ethnic and national and class smallness, and let our vision of human wholeness become a basis for a more genuine community, a model of what can be. One way [to do this] is by participating in multiple religious traditions.

Gene Reeves has researched and lectured on the Lotus Sutra worldwide for more than a quarter century. He was a visiting professor at Peking University and a professor at Renmin University of China in Beijing until retiring in 2012, and he serves as an international advisor to Rissho Kosei-kai. His recent works include The Lotus Sutra and The Stories of the Lotus Sutra (Wisdom Publications, 2008 and 2010).

Many Religions, One Reality by Joseph S. O'Leary

Here [when nonsectarian dialogue occurs] "religious identity" takes on a new meaning, pre-Buddhist and pre-Christian, and our belonging to either or both of the constituted traditions should be opened up to a deeper belonging that we share with all human beings.

Joseph S. O'Leary is an Irish Catholic theologian resident in Japan since 1983. He taught in the Department of English Literature at Sophia University in Tokyo, and currently holds the Roche Chair for Interreligious Research at Nanzan University in Aichi Prefecture. He is the author of Religious Pluralism and Christian Truth (Edinburgh University Press, 1996) and Conventional and Ultimate Truth (University of Notre Dame Press, 2015).

Buddhist-Christian Double Belongings by Kunihiko Terasawa

Double belongings might be necessary for us to deepen our understanding of reality, including the self and the world, through our ultimate and various religious experiences.

Kunihiko Terasawa received his PhD in Religious Studies from Temple University, Philadelphia. Dr. Terasawa is an Assistant Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Wartburg College, Iowa. He has been working for interreligious dialogue for peace, especially Buddhist-Christian dialogue, as well as doing critical research on religion, nationalism, war, and transnational dialogue of religion in the United States and East Asia.

Religions in Japan: Many or None? by Gaynor Sekimori

The dual religiosity of the Japanese is often illustrated by the existence in the family home of both a Buddhist altar (butsudan), where the family's memorial tablets are placed, and a Shinto shrine (kamidana).

Gaynor Sekimori is a Research Associate in the Centre for the Study of Japanese Religions at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and concurrently Visiting Professor at Kokugakuin University, Tokyo. She received her doctorate from the University of Cambridge in 2000. She was managing editor of the International Journal of Asian Studies (Cambridge University Press) and a member of the Institute of Oriental Culture at the University of Tokyo from 2001 to 2007.

Religious Syncretism in the African Diaspora by Terry Rey

Catholicism and African religious traditions tunefully blend in the Americas and are practiced as such by millions of people. Not only are these believers bireligious, but so are the divinities who inhabit their world and walk with them on life's way.

Formerly Professor of the Sociology of Religion at l'Université d'Etat d'Haïti, Terry Rey is Associate Professor of Religion at Temple University in Philadelphia. He is author or editor of Our Lady of Class Struggle, Bourdieu on Religion, Òrìsà Devotion as World Religion, Churches and Charity in the Immigrant City, and Crossing the Water and Keeping the Faith. Currently he is working on books about religion and the Haitian Revolution, Haitian churches and pilgrims in Pennsylvania, and Bourdieu and Islam.

On Being a Christian Influenced by Buddhism by Jay McDaniel

I think Zen can enrich the incarnational emphasis of Christianity, which likewise finds the infinite in the finite, the sacred in the ordinary, the word in the enfleshedness of daily life. Living Zen can help Christians enter more deeply into that form of living to which we aspire: life in Christ.

Jay McDaniel is Willis H. Holmes Professor of Religious Studies at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Postmodern Development of China. He edits and writes for the e-magazine Jesus, Jazz, and Buddhism: Process Thinking for a More Hospitable World. He is author or editor of more than ten books, including Of God and Pelicans and Living from the Center: Spirituality in an Age of Consumerism. His major concern is how religious and spiritual traditions can contribute to the common good of the planet in an age of global climate change, violence, poverty, and political oppression. He sees Buddhist-Christian dialogue as in service to that larger end. This essay originally appeared on the e-magazine.


Bringing Joy to Others by Nichiko Niwano

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


Buddhism and Social Engagement (3) Social Reform and Environmental Protection by Ranjana Mukhopadhyaya

Spiritual development underlies the economic development that Buddhists and development monks are working toward, in contrast to modern theories of economic development that ignore spiritual cultivation and growth.

Ranjana Mukhopadhyaya specializes in sociology of religion and Japanese religion. She is an Associate Professor at the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Delhi, teaching Japanese society, culture, and language. She received her doctorate in Religious Studies from the University of Tokyo in 2003 and has taught as an Associate Professor at Nagoya City University. She is the author of Nihon no shakai sanka bukkyō (Engaged Buddhism in Japan) (Tōshindō, 2005).


Islamic State and the Questions It Now Poses by Yoshiaki Sanada

Why have Islamic State and radical groups like it continued to engage in fierce armed combat despite strong criticism in the Islamic world of the non-Islamic nature of their military activity? How do Islamic militant groups and the religion of Islam interrelate, spiritually and politically?

Yoshiaki Sanada is director of the Peace Research Institute of Religions for Peace Japan and a Professor Emeritus of Chuo University, where until March 2007 he was a law professor. Dr. Sanada is also a former president of the Society for the Study of Legal Culture. He has also been a visiting professor at the Institute of Comparative Law of the China University of Politics and Law in Beijing. This essay originally appeared in Japanese in Candana, no. 262 (June 2015) (Tokyo: Chuo Academic Research Institute).

Seminar Report

The Lotus Sutra: Time, Space, and Culture by Adam Lyons

This is a report on the 2015 International Lotus Sutra Seminar, sponsored by Rissho Kosei-kai and held May 28-June 1, 2015, at the National Women's Education Center of Japan in the town of Ranzan, Saitama Prefecture.

Adam Lyons is a PhD student in the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard University and a visiting fellow at Waseda University in Tokyo. His dissertation deals with prison chaplaincy in Japan from the Meiji period (1868-1912) to the present day. He is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Association for Asian Studies, the Japanese Association for the Study of Religion and Society, and the Japanese Association for Religious Studies.

Founder's Memoirs

Twists and Turns on the Path to Peace 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 (123)

The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law Chapter 25: The All-Sidedness of the Bodhisattva Regarder of the Cries of the World (2) by Nikkyo Niwano

This is the 123rd installment of a detailed commentary on the Threefold Lotus Sutra by the founder of Rissho Kosei-kai, Rev. Nikkyo Niwano.

Dharma World Jan.-Mar. 2016, Dual Religious Identity: Can One Practice Two Religions?

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