Dharma World

July-September 2008, Volume 35

July-September 2008, Volume 35(PDF)

Buddhism in the Face of Environmental Crisis

“Green” Cooperation among Religions: A Proposal by Isao Fukada

The major faiths could work together on the urgent, essential task of protecting and restoring the threatened forests of the world.

Isao Fukada is director of the Ome Retreat Center of Rissho Kosei-kai in Tokyo and is a member of the Commission on Development and Environment of the Japanese Committee of the World Conference of Religions for Peace.

Walking with the Earth: The Environmental Crisis and Buddhist Responses by John Clammer

The good news is that many people as individuals and as parts of organizations of many kinds are beginning to formulate creative responses.

John Clammer is advisor to the rector and director of international courses at the United Nations University headquarters in Tokyo. He was previously a professor at Sophia University, where he taught sociology and Asian studies. His current work involves studies of ecology-society relationships and the contribution of religious thinking to environmental issues. In this latter capacity he is executive director of ecology and sustainable development of Meeting Rivers, an NGO that promotes interreligious dialogue on environmental issues and a sustainable future.

Reintegrating the World in Japanese Buddhist Poetry by Jean-Noël Robert

Human beings who reach enlightenment awaken through themselves the whole surrounding world. This is a daring elevation to its ultimate meaning of an older tenet of Buddhism.

Jean-Noël Robert is teaching in the Department of History of Religions at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Sorbonne, Paris) and is a member of the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on Gishin, the second patriarch of the Japanese Tendai school. He recently published a translation of four short treatises on Tendai, Quatre courts traites sur la Terrasse Celeste (Paris, 2007), and a commentary on Jien’s Buddhist poems, La Centurie du Lotus de Jien, will be published this year.

Considering the “Rights of Nature” by Nobuyuki Sato

The concept was originally proposed in the United States as a topic in environmental ethics. Two perspectives must be kept in mind when considering the concept.

Nobuyuki Sato is a professor of law in the Chuo Law School at Chuo University in Tokyo. He received his Ph.D. from Chuo University in 2000. His specialties are legal research, information law, and public law in North America and the United Kingdom. He is coauthor of several books on legal studies, including guides to the Constitution of Japan.

Promoting Global-Warming Countermeasures with Japan in a Leadership Role by Masaru Machida

The problem encompasses the entire planet, and the victims are also the perpetrators. Energy-saving technologies developed in Japan can help.

Masaru Machida is an environmental counselor officially registered in the Ministry of the Environment of Japan, and serves as president of the 21e-net Co., Ltd., which develops environment monitoring systems and environmental business. In 2000, as a specialist in the field of environmental conservation, he set up 21e-common, an environmental NGO, to plan programs for the prevention of environmental pollution. He is also a member of Rissho Kosei-kai.

The Greening of Buddhist Practice by Kenneth Kraft

With increased communication and cooperation among Buddhists around the globe, Buddhist-inspired environmentalism is also becoming manifest in national and international arenas.

Kenneth Kraft is a professor of religious studies at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He is a scholar of Japanese Zen and a leading interpreter of contemporary Buddhism. Dr. Kraft’s numerous books include The Wheel of Engaged Buddhism and, as coeditor, Dharma Rain: Sources of Buddhist Environmentalism.

Being Grateful for Our Meals by Nichiko Niwano

Many activities are being launched to teach children how precious our food is and why we should be thankful for it.

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

Environmental Issues and Buddhism’s Potential by Mamiko Okada

Environmental problems are serious because there is no external enemy for us to rally together and fight. We ourselves have been the number-one offenders in bringing about these awful problems.

Mamiko Okada is a professor at the School of Human Science and Environment, the University of Hyogo. She earned a D.Phil. at Bonn University, Germany. She is a trustee of the Japanese Association for Religious Studies and serves as a member of numerous governmental committees. Dr. Okada is actively involved in social activities and is on the Ethics Committee of Western Kobe Medical Center.

Buddhism Shares Concepts with the Environmental Protection Movement by Margaret Suzuki

The biggest, and in recent years most symbolic, example of our interconnectedness with the planet is climate change.

Margaret Suzuki, who lives in Shikoku, has long been involved in Japan’s environmental movement and works as a translator on environmental issues for nongovernmental organizations, researchers, and government offices. She was coeditor of the Japan Environment Monitor (published 1989?99) and serves on the steering committee of the Japan Wetlands Action Network (JAWAN).

Buddhist Environmentalism Today: A Focus on Japan by Duncan Ryuken Williams

Japanese Buddhists are beginning to make structural changes that have a direct impact upon the environment. “Conservative conservationism” seems to be one model for a hypercapitalist Japan.

Duncan Ryuken Williams, Ph.D., is associate professor of Japanese Buddhism and chair of the Center for Japanese Studies of the University of California, Berkeley. He works primarily on Japanese Buddhist history, Buddhism and environmentalism, and American Buddhism. He is the author of The Other Side of Zen: A Social History of Soto Zen Buddhism in Tokugawa Japan and editor of three volumes, including Buddhism and Ecology: The Interconnection of Dharma and Deeds.


Ridding Ourselves of Greed 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.


The Tale of a Modern Pilgrim by Notto R. Thelle

The search for treasure led him back to what he had left behind.

Notto R. Thelle, D.Th., is a professor in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Oslo, Norway. Having studied 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 from 1974 to 1985. He was also a visiting scholar at the center in 1999 and 2000. This essay is a translation from the author’s 1991 book (in Norwegian) whose title translates as “Who Can Stop the Wind? Travels in the Borderland between East and West.”

The Threefold Lotus Sutra: A Modern Commentary (94)

The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law Chapter 13: Exhortation to Hold Firm (3)
by Nikkyo Niwano

This is the ninety-fourth 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