Dharma World

January-March 2013, Volume 40

January-March 2013, Volume 40(PDF)

Religions Coping with Prejudice

Greed, Desire, and the Lotus Sutra by Miriam Levering

The English word greedis usually defined as the passionate desire to possess more than a person or family needs or deserves, especially at the expense of others. We are taught from childhood that we should not take two cupcakes when the hostess has prepared only one per child. Yet we are not taught not to desire.

Miriam Levering, Professor Emerita of Religious Studies and Asian Studies at the University of Tennessee, is an international advisor to Rissho Kosei-kai. She received her PhD from Harvard University in 1978. She has edited a book called Rethinking Scripture, a study of the concepts and uses of sacred texts in the major religious traditions, and has written many articles on women and gender in Chan and Zen Buddhism.

Institutionalized Greed by David R. Loy

Much of our problem with greed today is that to increase corporate profits and keep the economy growing, we are conditioned into finding the meaning of our lives in buying and consuming. In fact, this has become such an essential part of our lives that perhaps it is no exaggeration to talk about consumerism as a new religion.

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. His articles appear regularly in the pages of Buddhist magazines, includingTricycle, Shambhala Sun, and Buddhadharma, as well as in scholarly journals. Loy’s most recent book is The World Is Made of Stories (Somerville, MA: 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.

We Do Not Need to Live Like Rats Fighting for Scraps by Mark Hulsether

In a society premised on hypercompetition for success and radical insecurity for “failures,” large amounts of stress and suffering are hardwired into the system. It is obvious how this blights the lives of the most vulnerable – homeless military veterans, minimum-wage workers with sick children, people living in unsafe and polluted neighborhoods. But it also causes suffering for the middle class. There is an enormous amount of room for improvement in quality of life.

Mark Hulsether is Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in American Studies at the University of Tennessee. He has authored a wide range of articles on intersections between religion and public culture in the fields of US history, American studies, and religious studies. His most recent book is Religion, Culture, and Politics in the Twentieth-Century United States (Columbia University Press, 2007).

Wisdom, Greed, and Generosity: Christian and Buddhist Perspectives by Leo D. Lefebure

Both the Buddhist and Christian traditions have long viewed uncontrolled greed as a deadly poison whose allure arises from ignorance. Both traditions see the promises made by greed as illusory and challenge their followers to true wisdom that nurtures lives of generosity.

Leo D. Lefebure is Matteo Ricci, SJ, Professor of Theology at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. 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 coauthored, with Peter Feldmeier, The Path of Wisdom: A Christian Commentary on the Dhammapada (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2011).

A Path to Heal Our Troubled World by Kamran Mofid

A fundamental reappraisal of our place in reality is urgently called for in order to break the iron grip of materialism, consumerism, selfishness, greed, and individualism, thus freeing us to lead a life with heart and soul.

Kamran Mofid is founder of the Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative (www.gcgi.info) and a member of the International Coordinating Committee of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations.” In 1986 he received his doctorate in economics from the University of Birmingham, UK. Mofid’s work is highly interdisciplinary, and his writings have appeared in leading scholarly journals, popular magazines, and newspapers. His books include The Economic Consequences of the Gulf War and Globalisation for the Common Good.

Transforming Greed: An Interfaith Common Word by Martin L. Sinaga

Greed is said to describe a desire to acquire more material goods than necessary for human well-being. Greed is about exceeding the limit of basic human needs for a good life. It is about possessing all of a culture’s greatest riches and then exceeding the limits defined by the society itself.

Martin Lukito Sinaga is a lecturer at the Jakarta Theological Seminary (STT Jakarta) in Indonesia. He is also a pastor of the Simalungun Protestant Christian Church (GKPS). He worked from 2009 to 2012 as study secretary for theology and the church at the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Geneva. During his tenure at the LWF, he developed a socially engaged interfaith dialogue with Buddhism and Islam. He was awarded the inaugural Sakai Peace Contribution Award by the Japanese city of Sakai in 2008.


Putting One’s Mind in Order 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).

Founder’s Memoirs

The Period of Skillful Means and Divine Revelation 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.

Niwano Peace Prize

Peaceful Coexistence through Reconciliation An Interview with Rosalina Tuyuc Velásquez

The Niwano Peace Foundation awarded the twenty-ninth Niwano Peace Prize on May 10, 2012, to Mrs. Rosalina Tuyuc Velásquez, a human rights activist and political leader in Guatemala. She was honored for unflagging work that exemplifies the great potential and wisdom of indigenous peoples in marking paths to peace. The following interview was conducted with her on May 11 at the International House of Japan in Tokyo, by Rev. Kinjiro Niwano, chair of the Niwano Peace Foundation. They discussed how people can live in ways that nurture all life.

Rosalina Tuyuc Velásquez was born into a religious agricultural family in Guatemala. That country suffered an extended civil war between 1960 and 1996, during which more than 250,000 people died and 45,000 went missing. The conflict created more than 240,000 orphans and 50,000 widows. In 1988 Mrs. Tuyuc founded the National Coordinating Organization of Widows of Guatemala (CONAVIGUA), now a leading Guatemalan human rights organization. She has also served as a member of the Guatemalan congress.

The Threefold Lotus Sutra: A Modern Commentary (111)

The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law Chapter 20: The Bodhisattva Never Despise (3) by Nikkyo Niwano

This is the 111th installment of a detailed commentary on the Threefold Lotus Sutra by the founder of Rissho Kosei-kai, Rev. Nikkyo Niwano.

Dharma World

  1. Autumn 2019, Volume 46

    Manga, Anime, and Contemporary Religion

  2. Spring 2019, Volume 46

    Is Emptiness the Goal?

  3. July-December 2018, Volume 45

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

  4. January-June 2018, Volume 45

    Buddhism’s One Vehicle in a World of Many Religions

  5. July-December 2017, Volume 44

    Religions Tackling Extremism

  6. January-June 2017, Volume 44

    Religion and Animals

  7. October-December 2016, Volume 43

    Features: Listening

  8. July-September 2016, Volume 43

    Contemporary Ideas about Karma

  9. April-June 2016, Volume 43

    Buddhism and Food

  10. January-March 2016, Volume 43

    Dual Religious Identity: Can One Practice Two Religions?

  11. October-December 2015, Volume 42

    The Modern Significance of Meditative Practices in Religions

  12. July-September 2015, Volume 42

    Religious Rituals and Their Meaning for Today

  13. April-June 2015, Volume 42

    Religion's Contributions to Society

  14. January-March 2015, Volume 42

    Cultivating Hearts That Welcome the Other

  15. October-December 2014, Volume 41

    Buddhism and Language

  16. July-September 2014, Volume 41

    Life After Death

  17. April-June 2014, Volume 41

    Building an East Asian Community: Roles of Religions

  18. January-March 2014, Volume 41

    Aging Societies and Religion

  19. October-December 2013, Volume 40

    Nuclear Power and Contemporary Religion

  20. July-September 2013, Volume 40

    Where Does the Buddha Live Now?

  21. April-June 2013, Volume 40

    Modern Meanings of Festivals

  22. January-March 2013, Volume 40

    Transforming Greed

  23. October-December 2012, Volume 39

    Religions Coping with Prejudice

  24. July-September 2012, Volume 39

    The Significance of Religious Communities

  25. April-June 2012, Volume 39

    Buddhist Teachings on Spiritual Liberation

  26. January-March 2012, Volume 39

    The Meaning of Modern Pilgrimage

  27. October-December 2011, Volume 38

    The Evolution of Funerals in Japan

  28. July-September 2011, Volume 38

    Buddhism in North America

  29. April-June 2011, Volume 38

    Religion and the Power of Women

  30. January-March 2011, Volume 38

    What Is True Wealth?

  31. October-December 2010, Volume 37

    Dialogue Draws Religions Closer

  32. July-September 2010, Volume 37

    Tackling the Question "What Is the Lotus Sutra?"

  33. April-June 2010, Volume 37

    Religion's Role in Abolishing Nuclear Weapons

  34. January-March 2010, Volume 37

    Help in Overcoming Alienation

  35. October-December 2009, Volume 36

    Religion and Prayer

  36. July-September 2009, Volume 36

    Religion and Media

  37. April-June 2009, Volume 36

    Religion and Health

  38. January-March 2009, Volume 36

    The Changing Forms of the Family and the Role of Religion

  39. October-December 2008, Volume 35

    The Meaning of Giving in the Contemporary World

  40. July-September 2008, Volume 35

    Buddhism in the Face of Environmental Crisis

  41. April-June 2008, Volume 35

    The Many Forms of the Bodhisattva Kuan-yin

  42. January-March 2008, Volume 35

    Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution

  43. October-December 2007, Volume 34

    Buddhism and Bioethics

  44. July-September 2007, Volume 34

    Respect for Ancestors

  45. April-June 2007, Volume 34

    Self-Examination and Peace Work

  46. January-March 2007, Volume 34

    Buddhism and Social Responsibility: Boddhisattva Practice Today

  47. October-December 2006, Volume 33

    Buddishm in Dialogue

  48. July-September 2006, Volume 33

    Religions Working for Peace

  49. April-June 2006, Volume 33

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

  50. January-February 2006, Volume 33

    The Human Condition and Religion: A Global Future?

  51. November-December 2005, Volume 32

    Remembering Hiroshima

  52. September-October 2005, Volume 32

    Spirituality and Development

  53. July-August 2005, Volume 32

    Women in Contemporary Japanese Religion and Society

  54. May-June 2005, Volume 32

    Rissho Kosei-kai 67th

  55. March-April 2005, Volume 32

    "Thousand Buddhas," Sanbanggulsa Temple, South Korea

  56. January-February 2005, Volume 32

    Emerging Forms of Spirituality

  57. November-December 2004, Volume 31

    Peace Building Through Multi-Religious Cooperation

  58. September-October 2004, Volume 31

    The Increasing Importance of Dialogue and Cooperation

  59. July-August 2004, Volume 31

    Paths to Reconciliation

  60. May-June 2004, Volume 31

    Religion in Crisis

  61. March-April 2004, Volume 31

    Spiritual Friendship

  62. January-February 2004, Volume 31

    Resolving Conflict

  63. November-December 2003, Volume 30

    Dividing Good From Evil

  64. September-October 2003, Volume 30

    Common Truths: Cooperation Among Religions

  65. July-August 2003, Volume 30

    Niwano Peace Foundation

  66. May-June 2003, Volume 30

    Religionists United in Prayer for Peace

  67. March-April 2003, Volume 30

    Life is Larger Than Globalization

  68. January-February 2003, Volume 30

    Emerging Forms of Spirituality

  69. November-December 2002, Volume 29

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

  70. September-October 2002, Volume 29

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

  71. July-August 2002, Volume 29

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

  72. May-June 2002, Volume 29

    National Treasure Tapestry Illustrating Shakyamuni Sermon to the Faithful

  73. March-April 2002, Volume 29

    Celebration of the Anniversary of Shakyamuni's Birth

  74. January-February 2002, Volume 29

    Religious Delegates Gather in New York for WCRP Symposium