Dharma World

July-September 2006, Volume 33

July-September 2006, Volume 33(PDF)

Religions Working for Peace

Introductory Essay

Interreligious Cooperation among Youth by Koichi Matsumoto

The Eighth World Assembly of the World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP VIII) is fast approaching. For the first time in the WCRP’s history, in addition to the plenary and workshop sessions to be held in Kyoto, a World Youth Assembly of the WCRP will also be held in Hiroshima and Kyoto. . . .

Koichi Matsumoto, director of the Youth Division of Rissho Kosei-kai, serves as a vice president of the International Youth Committee of the World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP).

Confronting Obstacles to Peace Interview with WCRP Secretary-General William F. Vendley

The Eighth World Assembly of the World Conference of Religions for Peace will be convened in Kyoto August 26-29, under the main theme of “Religions for Peace: Confronting Violence and Advancing Shared Security.” Dharma World interviewed the secretary-general of the WCRP, Dr. William F. Vendley, who was recently in Tokyo for the preparation of WCRP VIII, about the significance of the forthcoming World Assembly.

William F. Vendley has served as secretary-general of the World Conference of Religions for Peace/International since 1994. Dr. Vendley holds an M.A. in Religious Studies from the Maryknoll School of Theology and a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Fordham University.

Faith and Peace by Thomas Graham Jr.

A distinguished U.S. diplomat graphically demonstrates why it is urgent that the leaders of the world’s major religions put aside their differences and unite in search of peace and disarmament.Ambassador Thomas Graham Jr. is chairman of the board of the Cypress Fund for Peace and Security. Internationally known as one of the leading authorities in the field of international arms control and nonproliferation agreements designed to limit and combat the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, Ambassador Graham has served as a senior U.S. diplomat involved in the negotiation of every major international arms control and nonproliferation agreement for the past thirty-five years.

Religious Leaders Must Serve as Bridges to Peace by Eiin Yasuda

To construct a peaceful world of happiness for all, we have to begin by creating human beings with righteous hearts.

Ven. Eiin Yasuda is chief abbot of the temple Yakushiji in Nara and chief priest of the Hosso sect of Japanese Buddhism. At present, he also serves as the managing director of the Japanese Committee of the World Conference of Religions for Peace. He has written several books on Buddhism and lectures widely on issues of religion and peace.

Religion and Peace by Fumihiko Sueki

An abstract, universal ideal of peace cannot be successful. Peace must be considered from the standpoint of what sort is desirable and under what conditions.

Fumihiko Sueki obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo in 1994. Since 1995 he has been a professor in the university’s Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, where he teaches Buddhism, in particular Japanese Buddhism. He works mainly on the reconstruction of the intellectual history of Buddhism in Japan from ancient to modern times. He is an author of a number of books and articles, and his recent research also covers Zen philosophy and comparative studies of modern Buddhism.

Let Peace Conquer the World: Religious Learning for an Alternative Globalization by Johannes Lahnemann

Religions are learning communities. The time has passed when religious communities taught only within their own traditions. The global perspective leads us to transcend such boundaries.

Johannes Lahnemann is professor of religious education (Christian-Lutheran) at the University of Erlangen-Nurnberg in Germany. He is president of WCRP Nurnberg, a member of the Round Table of Religions in Germany, and chairman of the Peace Education Standing Commission (PESC) of the WCRP.

Religion, Spirituality, and Concern for Social Justice by Swami Agnivesh

Training people to practice justice is a basic religious calling. Only true spirituality can lead us out of darkness and untruth to the light of truth and justice.

Swami Agnivesh, who has spearheaded movements for the protection of human rights in India, has served as chairperson of the United Nations Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery and of Bandhua Mukti Morcha (Bonded Labor Liberation Front). At present, he also acts as working president of the World Council of Arya Samaj, a Hindu reform organization.


The Realization of True Wealth by Nichiko Niwano

Knowing what is sufficient and being satisfied with it means exercising control over the impulse to give in to our desires, thereby recognizing what is enough for our needs.

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).

Why Interreligious Cooperation Is Essential 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 practice of one’s daily 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.


Where Are You Staying? by Notto R. Thelle

People in the East have a unique awareness of religion as a path. Christianity, however, is the doctrine, not the “Way” of Christ. But perhaps we have transformed Christianity into an exceptionally complicated doctrine.

Notto R. Thelle, D.Th., is a professor in the Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo, Norway. After studying Buddhism at Otani University in Kyoto, he acted as associate director of the NCC (National Christian Council) Center for the Study of Japanese Religions in Kyoto 1974-85, where he was a visiting scholar 1999-2000. He is a widely published author. This essay was translated from one of his books, published in Norwegian.

Aspiring to Right Liberation by Santikaro

Robert D. Larson was a recent university graduate when he joined the U.S. Peace Corps in 1980 and went to Thailand. He was later ordained there, in 1985, as Santikaro Bhikkhu. He studied under the late Ajahn Buddhadasa Bhikkhu (1906-93), the most eminent Theravada monk-teacher in Thailand, translating his discourses and writings into English, leading meditation retreats, and participating in socially engaged Buddhist activities. After his teacher’s death, he returned to America and began a Dhammic community named Liberation Park outside Chicago, where people can pursue the realization of the essence of Buddhist teachings, thus bringing spiritual values back into the modern world. Although he has left the monkhood, Santikaro remains committed to helping transmit Ajahn Buddhadasa’s teachings as true guidelines for human life. Santikaro was recently in Japan, where he spoke of his experience in Thailand and his hopes for sharing the Dhamma among his fellow Americans.

Niwano Peace Prize

The Day Is Short and the Work Is Great by Ma’ayan Turner Chairperson of Rabbis for Human Rights

It is a great honor for me to be here to accept the 2006 Niwano Peace Prize on behalf of Rabbis for Human Rights. We feel today both pride and humility before you who have chosen our organization, and before God. I think that we have the right to feel proud of our accomplishments, small as they may be, in a region and a world that is still battered by inhuman conduct. Yet we are humbled by all that remains to be done and by the knowledge that we have not acted, and cannot act, alone. We are thankful for the recognition you have afforded us. Receiving the Niwano Peace Prize encourages, and indeed enables, us to do more. May we, with the help of Heaven, dedicate ourselves to human rights and peace with renewed vigor of spirit and strength of heart. . . .

The Stories of the Lotus Sutra

Kuan-yin by Gene Reeves

The name of the most popular of all the Buddhist bodhisattvas can be translated as “Regarder of the Cries of the World.” Associated with both wisdom and compassion, this bodhisattva has many different portrayals and manifestations, both male and female.

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.

Japanese Buddhist Folktales

The Threefold Lotus Sutra: A Modern Commentary (87)

The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law Chapter 11: Beholding the Precious Stupa (2) by Nikkyo Niwano

This is the eighty-seventh 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