Dharma World

October-December 2013, Volume 40

October-December 2013, Volume 40(PDF)

Nuclear Power and Contemporary Religion

Nuclear Power Tests Our Humanity by Yoshiaki Sanada

The Fukushima nuclear disaster demands that we answer fundamental questions about what it means to be human, what it means to live, what happiness is, what society and the state are, and what civilization is.

Yoshiaki Sanada is director of the Peace Research Institute of Religions for Peace Japan. He is a professor emeritus of Chuo University in Tokyo, where he was a professor of law until 2007. He has also been a visiting professor at the Institute of Comparative Law of the China University of Politics and Law in Beijing.

The Three Nuclear Poisons by David R. Loy

If institutions attain a life of their own, does it also mean that they have their own motivations? That brings us to the crucial question: can we detect institutionalized greed, aggression, and delusion in the promotion of nuclear power?

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. Loy’s most recent book is The World Is Made of Stories (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.

Nuclear Power and Contemporary Religion: A Catholic Viewpoint by Theodore Mascarenhas

If it is the dignity of the human person that is to be placed at the very heart of progress and development and all political, social, and economic decision making, then nothing takes higher priority than the very safety of the life and health of the peoples for whom this development is meant.

Theodore Mascarenhas, a Pilar father based in Rome, is head of the Departments of Asia, Africa, and Oceania of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture. He is a member of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses. He holds a doctorate in sacred scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute and is a professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (all in Rome) and the Pilar Theological College, Pilar, Goa.

Japan and the Four Noble Truths of Nuclear Energy:
A Buddhist Response to Social Injustice by Jonathan S. Watts

Socially Engaged Buddhists have over the years developed a way of understanding dukkha (suffering), and the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths on the arising and cessation of dukkha, as a particularly Buddhist approach to the problem of social injustice. This approach seeks to extend the liberatory practices of Buddhism, which appear to center on the individual, to the collective level.

Jonathan S. Watts is a Research Fellow at the International Buddhist Exchange Center in Yokohama and serves on the Executive Committee of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB). He is presently working on a follow-up volume to This Precious Life: Buddhist Tsunami Relief and Anti-Nuclear Activism in Post 3/11 Japan on Buddhism and nuclear energy, which will be published in November 2013.

The TEPCO Nuclear Disaster and the Responsibilities of Religions by Martin Repp

It is time that religious individuals and organizations in Japan liberate themselves from feudal structures and struggle against the terror of the nuclear industry, the sale of contaminated food under the pretext of false “patriotism,” the burning of contaminated waste, the insufficient evacuation of citizens, and the failure to treat cancer patients in Fukushima.

Martin Repp is a representative in Frankfurt of the Church of Hessen and Nassau (Germany) for dialogue with Asian religious organizations and a lecturer on religious studies at Heidelberg University. From 1988 to 2009 he worked at the National Christian Council in Japan’s Center for the Study of Japanese Religions, in Kyoto. From 2004 to 2009 he was also Professor of Comparative Religious Studies at Ryukoku University in Kyoto. His research focuses on Buddhism, religious reform, and interreligious communication. His books include Honens religiöses Denken (Honen’s religious thought).

Our Sins and Responsibilities: What the Fukushima Accident Has Revealed by Tetsuya Takahashi

We face the profound contradiction that, in our excessive desire for the good life, we have saddled ourselves with a large quantity of things that could make living our lives impossible. It would in no way be wrong to say that this is a sin.

Tetsuya Takahashi, born in 1956 in Fukushima Prefecture, is a professor at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of the University of Tokyo. His fields of teaching center on philosophy and ethics. He also teaches human security and other subjects. He is the author of many books, including the best-selling Yasukuni mondai (“The Yasukuni Shrine issue,” 2005). In 2012 he published Gisei no shisutemu: Fukushima, Okinawa (The system of sacrifice: Fukushima and Okinawa).

Nuclear Energy and Ethics: The Lessons of Fukushima by Yukio Yamaguchi

Besides following a spirit of inquiry, scientists must take ethical responsibility for their discoveries and not allow their discoveries to force sacrifices on others. This means that the majority of people must press for reform of the world of knowledge.

Yukio Yamaguchi, PhD in Engineering (University of Tokyo), is co-director of the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center (CNIC) in Tokyo. He specializes in solid-state physics and has been a research fellow at Northwestern University and has taught in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Tokyo, Hosei University, and several other schools. CNIC is an antinuclear public interest organization dedicated to securing a safe, nuclear-free world. The center was formed to provide reliable information and public education on all aspects of nuclear power to ultimately realize this goal.

Heeding the Voices of Foxes and Brown Dippers by Sarah M. Strong

With our human intelligence . . . we have developed technologies that have made the frightening kamui of nuclear reactions an ongoing presence in our human world. Much as we long for perfect control over this power, there is no way we can achieve that with certainty.

Sarah M. Strong is Professor of Japanese Language and Literature at Bates College, Lewiston, Maine. She received her PhD in Japanese literature from the University of Chicago. As a scholar she has focused on works that portray Japan’s natural beauty and rich ecosystems. Her studies and translations of the works of Kenji Miyazawa, a Japanese poet and author of children’s literature, have appeared in both the United States and Japan. Her most recent book is on Ainu oral traditions, Ainu Spirits Singing: The Living World of Chiri Yukie’s Ainu Shin’yoshu.


Everyone Is Wonderful 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).

Prism of the Lotus Sutra

Prism of the Lotus Sutra (2) The Udumbara Flower / The Mandarava Flower by Atsushi Kanazawa

Atsushi Kanazawa is a Professor in the Faculty of Buddhism at Komazawa University, Tokyo. He specializes in the Indian philosophy of language and the history of Indian philosophy and culture.


A Catholic Appreciation of Buddhists and Buddhism:
A Personal Journey by Leo D. Lefebure

The voices of Shakyamuni Buddha and Jesus Christ are clearly not the same, but their overtones intermingle and flow together into our ears.

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

Founder’s Memoirs

Designation of the Second President 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 (114)

The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law Chapter 21: The Divine Power of the Tathagata (2) by Nikkyo Niwano

This is the 114th 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