Dharma World

October-December 2006, Volume 33

October-December 2006, Volume 33(PDF)

Buddhism in Dialogue

The Obligations of Religions in the Twenty-first Century by Yasutaka Watanabe

Yasutaka Watanabe is the chief executive for dissemination affairs at Rissho Kosei-kai.

From Disagreements to Dialogue and Understanding by Yasuaki Nara

From his own wide range of experience, the author has become convinced that meaningful dialogue can help to bring about mutual understanding, compassion, and self-reform.

Until he retired in March 2006, Yasuaki Nara served first as president and later as chancellor of Komazawa University, where he is now a professor emeritus. The author of numerous books on Buddhism, he received a Litt.D. from the University of Tokyo in 1973 and taught the history of Buddhist culture at Komazawa University. He is currently a member of the Peace Research Institute of the Japanese Committee of the World Conference of Religions for Peace.

Buddhism in Dialogue: Without Suspicion and Fear by Gerhard Koeberlin

Recent examples of dialogue in action in Germany have involved Muslims and Buddhists there acting on their common environmental responsibility, especially involving climatic change.

Gerhard Koeberlin, now retired, is the former director of studies at the Academy of Mission at the University of Hamburg. A minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria, he is a founding member of the European Network of Buddhist-Christian Studies 1996 and chairperson of the German Asia Foundation in Essen.

We’re All Together on the Alluvial Plain: Anecdotal Accounts of the Necessity for, and Challenges to, Interreligious Dialogue by Kenneth K. Tanaka

Our world seems to have become closer and smaller with technological advancements in communication and transportation, a state aptly described by the well-known phrase “global village.” The Internet, for example, enables us to be in touch with people everywhere, exchanging large amounts of information quickly and inexpensively. More people around the globe are traveling greater distances more frequently. . . .

Kenneth K. Tanaka is a professor at Musashino University, Tokyo. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in Buddhist Studies. In 1978 he was ordained a Jodo Shinshu priest and currently serves as president of the International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies. He has been an active member of the International Buddhist-Christian Theological Encounter sessions centered at Purdue University in Indiana.

Buddhist-Islamic Dialogue: Present Status and Future Outlook by Yoshiaki Sanada

True interreligious dialogue does not mean people of different faiths merely tolerating or coexisting with one another. Even less does it mean simple exchanges of information or simple insistence on one’s own point of view.

Yoshiaki Sanada is a professor of law who has taught Western legal history and comparative law based on Islamic law at Chuo University’s School of Law in Tokyo. Since 1994 he has been a guest professor at the Institute of Comparative Law of the China University of Politics and Law in Beijing. He is also director of the Peace Research Institute of the Japanese Committee of the World Conference of Religions for Peace.

“To Forget the Self and to Serve Others” by Stephen Covell

In the modern period, the priesthood and institutions of Temple Buddhism have been challenged to recreate or reinvigorate Buddhist practice. One avenue pursued has been to engage society through such means as interfaith dialogue. Ven. Etai Yamada (1895-1994), the 253rd head priest (zasu) of the Tendai sect, played an instrumental role in addressing this challenge. . . .

Stephen Covell is an assistant professor at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, teaching comparative religion. Until the summer of 2003 he was a visiting scholar at the University of Tokyo, where he was working on a project concerning Buddhism and morals education in Japan. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2001. He is the author of Japanese Temple Buddhism: Worldliness in a Religion of Renunciation (University of Hawaii Press).

Notes from Nerima: Putting Interfaith Dialogue into Practice by Kotaro Suzuki

Members of a local Rissho Kosei-kai branch in Tokyo have become actively involved in meaningful interreligious dialogue with representatives of other faiths who are also their neighbors.

Kotaro Suzuki, head of the Nerima branch of Rissho Kosei-kai in Tokyo, acts as the secretary of the Nerima Interreligious Forum.

Faith in Art

American Muslim Diversity Seen as a Sign of Hope by Jacqueline Ruyak

An Indian-born artist, now living in the U.S., overcomes a birth defect to achieve success as a producer of multicultural greeting cards.

Jacqueline Ruyak lived in Japan, including Kyoto, for many years. She now divides her time between Pennsylvania and Tono in northeastern Japan. Her essays on religion and Japanese arts, crafts, and social topics appear frequently in Japanese and American magazines.


The Death and Resurrection of Our Words by Notto R. Thelle

It is said that the Buddha proclaimed his teaching for fifty years but never said one single word. When words crumble away, we can find the silence wherein God’s mystery is vibrantly alive.

Notto R. Thelle, D.Th., is a professor in the Faculty of Theology, 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, where he was a visiting scholar in 1999 and 2000. He is the author of numerous books and articles. This essay is a translation of part of his book, which was published in Norwegian.

Why Rules Are Important by Kinzo Takemura

Another meaning for “rule” is good habits. Bad lifestyle habits can have unexpectedly serious results.

Kinzo Takemura, now retired, was the director of the Overseas Mission Office (now the International Faith Dissemination Group) of Rissho Kosei-kai and the president of Kosei Publishing Company. He served for many years as chief secretary to the late Rev. Nikkyo Niwano, founder of Rissho Kosei-kai.

The Stories of the Lotus Sutra

The Family of King Wonderfully Adorned by Gene Reeves

Sometimes it is the children who, in a reversal of the usual role, are able to lead a parent to the truth.

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.


Helping One Another by Nichiko Niwano

Although we take our daily lives for granted, we owe a great debt of gratitude to many people and things, and to all of nature.

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).

Achieving True Equality and Harmony 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 Threefold Lotus Sutra: A Modern Commentary (88)

The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law Chapter 11: Beholding the Precious Stupa (3) by Nikkyo Niwano

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

Japanese Buddhist Folktales

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