Dharma World

January-March 2016, Volume 43Dual Religious Identity: Can One Practice Two Religions?

January-March 2016, Volume 43(PDF)

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

  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