Dharma World

January-February 2006, Volume 33

January-February 2006, Volume 33(PDF)

The Human Condition and Religion: A Global Future?

The Global Crisis and Human Hubris by Tsuneya Wakimoto

Tsuneya Wakimoto, professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, acts as chairman of the board of directors of the International Institute for the Study of Religions. He is the author of Shukyogaku nyumon (An Introduction to Religious Studies), Shi no hikaku shukyogaku (A Comparative Religious Study of Death), Hyoden Kiyozawa Manshi (Manshi Kiyozawa: A Critical Biography), and other works.

Toward a “Civilization of Life” by Minoru Sanada

The root cause of all the serious problems facing our age resides in the loss of the essential view of life derived from the religiosity that is unique to human beings.

Minoru Sonoda is the head priest of the Chichibu Shrine in Saitama Prefecture and is a director of Japan’s Association of Shinto Shrines. He took his doctoral degree at the University of Tokyo in 1965. He was a professor at Kokugakuin University in Tokyo and then, until he retired in 2000, at Kyoto University, where he is now professor emeritus. He has published widely and has edited many collections and anthologies on Shinto.

From Private Profit to Public Good by Hiromasa Mase

Companies and religious organizations are both members of society. Both must place greater emphasis on activities that contribute to society as a whole.

Hiromasa Mase is head of the graduate program at Tohoku University of Community Service and Science in Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture. Until 2001 he was a professor in the Faculty of Letters at Keio University in Tokyo, where he is now professor emeritus. He is the author of numerous books and articles on the philosophy of religion.

Ancient Promises Cannot Be Ignored by C. W. Nicol

The essence of truly religious people lies in how they react and respond to other lives, both human and other.

From 1965 to 1967 C. W. Nicol, born in Wales, was marine mammal technician at the Arctic Biological Station of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada. After that he was game warden of the Simien Mountain National Park, Ethiopia, for two years. In 1972 he was appointed senior field technician in environmental impact studies for Environment Canada at the Freshwater Institute, Winnipeg. Since 1980 he has lived in Kurohime, Nagano Prefecture, as a writer. He received Japanese citizenship in 1995 and founded the C. W. Nicol Afan Woodland Trust in 2002.

Japanese Religion and Culture

Shugendo and Women by Gaynor Sekimori

The prohibition of women from sacred sites, the norm until 1872, remains in place in a small number of locations. There are still strong reminders that the relationship of women with Shugendo remains contested.

Gaynor Sekimori graduated in Oriental studies from the Australian National University in Canberra. She received her doctorate from the University of Cambridge in 2000. A translator of Buddhist works, she is presently managing editor of the International Journal of Asian Studies (Cambridge University Press) and an associate professor at the University of Tokyo. A specialist in the history of Japanese religion, with a particular interest in Shugendo, she was ordained at Mount Haguro in 2005.


Mere Ordinary People by Nichiko Niwano

Nichiko Niwano is president of Rissho Kosei-kai and the Niwano Peace Foundation, a president of the World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP), and chairman of Shinshuren (Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan).

Live Each Day as if It Were Your Whole Life by Yusai Sakai

What you do with all your might today will influence tomorrow. Tomorrow there will be an entirely new self. What happens from now on is immaterial-just live today to the fullest.

Yusai Sakai, born in 1926, is a priest of the Tendai sect of Japanese Buddhism and head of Iimuro Fudo-do at Enryakuji on Mount Hiei. He completed the thousand-day mountain-circuit practice in 1980, and later completed a second round of this practice in 1987. He was given the title Dai-Ajari (supreme teacher). In 1991, in cooperation with the Buddhist Association of China, he organized a joint pilgrimage of Japanese and Chinese monks to Mount Wutai, the first such event since Buddhism took root in East Asia.

The Lotus Sutra and World Peace by Nikkyo Niwano

This essay is part of a continuing series of translations from a volume of inspirational writings by the late founder of Rissho Kosei-kai. DHARMA WORLD will continue to publish these essays because of their lasting value as guidance for the daily practice of one’s faith.

Nikkyo Niwano, the late 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.


Finding Meaning in Life by Manuel Amoros

Our lives are an irreplaceable blessing granted to us by the grace of God. Thus we must always maintain an affirmative attitude toward life.

Manuel Amoros is a Catholic priest. He came to Japan from his native Spain in 1954 and taught the classics (Latin and Greek) and philosophical anthropology at Sophia University in Tokyo. Since his retirement in 1997, Dr. Amoros has headed the Spiritual Center Seseragi. He also engages in promoting religious dialogue with Buddhist and Shinto groups.

Agape and Bodhisattva Ideal in Shusaku Endo’s Silence by Elizabeth Cameron Galbraith

The famous novelist, a practicing Roman Catholic, portrayed his own interior conflict between his Christian self and his Japanese self, pondering the rejection of his foreign faith.

Elizabeth Cameron Galbraith is associate professor of religion at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota. She received her D.Phil. from the University of Cambridge Divinity School in 1992. In 1996 the book that grew out of her doctorate, Kant and Theology: Was Kant a Closet Theologian?, was published. Her longterm research interests are the problem of evil (theodicy in particular) and Asian Christianity.

Using Our Talents and Abilities for Others by Hachiro Kitagawa

Our skills truly shine when we utilize them to bring peace of mind, joy, and salvation to other people.

Hachiro Kitagawa, born in 1944, is a ceramic artist. Having set up a kiln at the foot of Mount Aso, Kumamoto Prefecture, where he also pursues organic farming, he has developed a unique style of glazing techniques.

The Stories of the Lotus Sutra

Seen with Joy by All the Living by Gene Reeves

The author believes that the Lotus Sutra does not actually teach that we should burn ourselves or our body parts. Suicide would go against the teachings of the sutra as a whole as well as the Buddha’s precept against killing.

Gene Reeves is currently studying, teaching, and writing on Buddhism in Tokyo. A consultant and teacher at Rissho Kosei-kai, he was recently a research fellow at Rikkyo University. Before coming to Japan in 1989, Dr. Reeves was the dean of Meadville/Lombard Theological School and professorial lecturer in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago.

Conference Report

The Anniversary of Nostra Aetate: Reanimating Buddhist-Christian Relations by Eva Ruth Palmieri

Buddhist Living

To Walk Beside Those Who Need Me

The faith of this member of Rissho Kosei-kai had helped her in the midst of personal trials, but she has now learned how to be of service to others simply by being there when they need her.

Mayumi Umeda is a member of the Hachioji Branch of Rissho Kosei-kai in Tokyo.

The Threefold Lotus Sutra: A Modern Commentary (86)

The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law
Chapter 11: Beholding the Precious Stupa (1) by Nikkyo Niwano

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

Dharma World

  1. Spring 2024, Volume 51

    Knowing Contentment

  2. Autumn 2023, Volume 50

    Religion and the Family

  3. Spring 2023, Volume 50

    Religion’s Role in Peacebuilding

  4. Autumn 2022, Volume 49

    Religion and Happiness

  5. Spring 2022, Volume 49

    The Impact of Cyberspace on a Variety of Religious Traditions and Practices

  6. Autumn 2021, Volume 48

    Religion's Potential for Advancing Sustainable Development

  7. Spring 2021, Volume 48

    What Is Prayer?

  8. Autumn 2020, Volume 47

    Religion’s Role in Building an Inclusive Society

  9. Spring 2020, Volume 47

    Violence in Buddhism

  10. Autumn 2019, Volume 46

    Manga, Anime, and Contemporary Religion

  11. Spring 2019, Volume 46

    Is Emptiness the Goal?

  12. July-December 2018, Volume 45

    The Buddhahood of Plants and Trees: The Environment and Buddha-Nature

  13. January-June 2018, Volume 45

    Buddhism’s One Vehicle in a World of Many Religions

  14. July-December 2017, Volume 44

    Religions Tackling Extremism

  15. January-June 2017, Volume 44

    Religion and Animals

  16. October-December 2016, Volume 43

    Features: Listening

  17. July-September 2016, Volume 43

    Contemporary Ideas about Karma

  18. April-June 2016, Volume 43

    Buddhism and Food

  19. January-March 2016, Volume 43

    Dual Religious Identity: Can One Practice Two Religions?

  20. October-December 2015, Volume 42

    The Modern Significance of Meditative Practices in Religions

  21. July-September 2015, Volume 42

    Religious Rituals and Their Meaning for Today

  22. April-June 2015, Volume 42

    Religion's Contributions to Society

  23. January-March 2015, Volume 42

    Cultivating Hearts That Welcome the Other

  24. October-December 2014, Volume 41

    Buddhism and Language

  25. July-September 2014, Volume 41

    Life After Death

  26. April-June 2014, Volume 41

    Building an East Asian Community: Roles of Religions

  27. January-March 2014, Volume 41

    Aging Societies and Religion

  28. October-December 2013, Volume 40

    Nuclear Power and Contemporary Religion

  29. July-September 2013, Volume 40

    Where Does the Buddha Live Now?

  30. April-June 2013, Volume 40

    Modern Meanings of Festivals

  31. January-March 2013, Volume 40

    Transforming Greed

  32. October-December 2012, Volume 39

    Religions Coping with Prejudice

  33. July-September 2012, Volume 39

    The Significance of Religious Communities

  34. April-June 2012, Volume 39

    Buddhist Teachings on Spiritual Liberation

  35. January-March 2012, Volume 39

    The Meaning of Modern Pilgrimage

  36. October-December 2011, Volume 38

    The Evolution of Funerals in Japan

  37. July-September 2011, Volume 38

    Buddhism in North America

  38. April-June 2011, Volume 38

    Religion and the Power of Women

  39. January-March 2011, Volume 38

    What Is True Wealth?

  40. October-December 2010, Volume 37

    Dialogue Draws Religions Closer

  41. July-September 2010, Volume 37

    Tackling the Question "What Is the Lotus Sutra?"

  42. April-June 2010, Volume 37

    Religion's Role in Abolishing Nuclear Weapons

  43. January-March 2010, Volume 37

    Help in Overcoming Alienation

  44. July-September 2009, Volume 36

    Religion and Prayer

  45. July-September 2009, Volume 36

    Religion and Media

  46. April-June 2009, Volume 36

    Religion and Health

  47. January-March 2009, Volume 36

    The Changing Forms of the Family and the Role of Religion

  48. October-December 2008, Volume 35

    The Meaning of Giving in the Contemporary World

  49. July-September 2008, Volume 35

    Buddhism in the Face of Environmental Crisis

  50. April-June 2008, Volume 35

    The Many Forms of the Bodhisattva Kuan-yin

  51. January-March 2008, Volume 35

    Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution

  52. October-December 2007, Volume 34

    Buddhism and Bioethics

  53. July-September 2007, Volume 34

    Respect for Ancestors

  54. April-June 2007, Volume 34

    Self-Examination and Peace Work

  55. January-March 2007, Volume 34

    Buddhism and Social Responsibility: Boddhisattva Practice Today

  56. October-December 2006, Volume 33

    Buddishm in Dialogue

  57. July-September 2006, Volume 33

    Religions Working for Peace

  58. April-June 2006, Volume 33

    Creating the World of the One Vehicle: The Centennial of the Birth of Rev. Nikkyo Niwano

  59. January-February 2006, Volume 33

    The Human Condition and Religion: A Global Future?

  60. November-December 2005, Volume 32

    Remembering Hiroshima

  61. September-October 2005, Volume 32

    Spirituality and Development

  62. July-August 2005, Volume 32

    Women in Contemporary Japanese Religion and Society

  63. May-June 2005, Volume 32

    Rissho Kosei-kai 67th

  64. March-April 2005, Volume 32

    "Thousand Buddhas," Sanbanggulsa Temple, South Korea

  65. January-February 2005, Volume 32

    Emerging Forms of Spirituality

  66. November-December 2004, Volume 31

    Peace Building Through Multi-Religious Cooperation

  67. September-October 2004, Volume 31

    The Increasing Importance of Dialogue and Cooperation

  68. July-August 2004, Volume 31

    Paths to Reconciliation

  69. May-June 2004, Volume 31

    Religion in Crisis

  70. March-April 2004, Volume 31

    Spiritual Friendship

  71. January-February 2004, Volume 31

    Resolving Conflict

  72. November-December 2003, Volume 30

    Dividing Good From Evil

  73. September-October 2003, Volume 30

    Common Truths: Cooperation Among Religions

  74. July-August 2003, Volume 30

    Niwano Peace Foundation

  75. May-June 2003, Volume 30

    Religionists United in Prayer for Peace

  76. March-April 2003, Volume 30

    Life is Larger Than Globalization

  77. January-February 2003, Volume 30

    Emerging Forms of Spirituality

  78. November-December 2002, Volume 29

    Roundtable Disscussion at the World Congress of the International Association for Religious Freedom

  79. September-October 2002, Volume 29

    Sixth Assembly of the Asian Conference on Religion and Peace, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

  80. July-August 2002, Volume 29

    The Most Reverend Samuel Ruiz Garcia, Recipient of the 19th Niwano Peace Prize

  81. May-June 2002, Volume 29

    National Treasure Tapestry Illustrating Shakyamuni Sermon to the Faithful

  82. March-April 2002, Volume 29

    Celebration of the Anniversary of Shakyamuni's Birth

  83. January-February 2002, Volume 29

    Religious Delegates Gather in New York for WCRP Symposium