Dharma World

September-October 2004, Volume 31

September-October 2004, Volume 31(PDF)

The Increasing Importance of Dialogue and Cooperation

The Increasing Importance of Dialogue and Cooperation among Religions by Michio Matsubara

Michio Matsubara is the director of the External Affairs Department at Rissho Kosei-kai’s headquarters in Tokyo.


Bringing Out the Best in Each of Us

An Interview with Bishop Gunnar Stalsett

The Right Reverend Gunnar Stalsett, Bishop of Oslo of the Church of Norway and formerly a member of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, was in Tokyo in May to attend the presentation ceremony of the 21st Niwano Peace Prize as the chair of the Selection Committee of the prize. At that time, DHARMA WORLD interviewed Bishop Stalsett on the responsibility common to people of faith when the threat of terrorism continues in many parts of the world. Bishop Stalsett has also been actively involved in efforts for reconciliation and peace building as a president of the World Conference of Religions for Peace and co-chair of the European Council of Religious Leaders.


Buddhism Spreads to the West: Liberation Requires Eternal Vigilance by Taigen Dan Leighton

The principles of liberty and justice for all as articulated in the U.S. Declaration of Independence resonate strongly with the Mahayana ideal of universal liberation.

Taigen Dan Leighton is a priest in the Soto Zen lineage and Dharma heir of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. He teaches at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. Rev. Leighton is author or cotranslator of several books, including Faces of Compassion: Classic Bodhisattva Archetypes and Their Modern Expression; Dogen’s Extensive Record; and The Wholehearted Way. He leads the Mountain Source Sangha meditation groups in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Our World, Our Jewel: Engaged Buddhism and the Lotus Sutra by Bret Lortie

Although the sutra does not contain specific instructions for changing the world, its liberation theology has spawned many social reform movements, especially in Japan.

Bret Lortie is the managing editor of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a student at Meadville/Lombard Theological School in Chicago, and a candidate for the Unitarian Universalist ministry.

Interreligious Forum

Interreligious Dialogue Can Play a Key Role in the World at Large by Martin Repp

Systematic training in the open exchange of ideas between Christianity and East Asian faiths is offered by the Interreligious Studies in Japan Program being conducted in Kyoto.

Martin Repp is a theologian from Germany who worked at the NCC (National Christian Council in Japan) Center for the Study of Japanese Religions in Kyoto as associate director and editor of its journal, Japanese Religions (1991–2002), and as coordinator of the Interreligious Studies in Japan Program (ISJP, 2002–4). In 2004 Dr. Repp became professor of theology and comparative religion at the Graduate School for Pure Land Buddhist Studies of Ryukoku University in Kyoto.

A German Catholic Priest Brings Zen to Rome by Eva Ruth Palmieri

This unusual and charismatic clergyman preaches the importance of being open to, listening to, and learning from, the spiritual traditions of others.

Eva Ruth Palmieri, who lives in Rome, worked for the Embassy of Israel to the Vatican for several years and has a deep personal interest in interreligious dialogue.


Compassion in Everyday Buddhist Life by Nichiko Niwano

The following is the text of the address delivered by Rev. Niwano at a Buddhist-Christian symposium held at Castel Gandolfo in Italy, April 23–28. Noting that “compassion begins with unselfish consideration for others,” he concludes that the ultimate goal is for all human beings to attain happiness.

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).

The Danger That Democracy Faces? 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 faith in daily life.

Nikkyo Niwano, the late founder of Rissho Kosei-kai, was an honorary president of the World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP) and was honorary chairman of Shinshuren (Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan) at the time of his death in October 1999.

The Stories of the Lotus Sutra

The Dragon Princess by Gene Reeves

In this tale, the Lotus Sutra teaches us that women are as capable of becoming fully awakened buddhas as men; it also forces us to challenge our own assumptions about gender and gender roles, and shows us that each and every one of us is already a buddha in the process of becoming.

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.

Buddhist Living

With the Buddha at the Starting Line of Life by Rika Fujii

From a childhood filled with fear and distrust of others, one woman became aware, through the Buddha and others, that she does not live in isolation but is supported by many people who care.

Rika Fujii is a member of the Kita Hiroshima Branch of Rissho Kosei-kai in Hiroshima Prefecture.

The Mainstay of My Life by Michihiro Mochizuki

Taking things for granted, we can fall into the habit of doing things only because they have to be done. One man caught himself doing this and was able to renew his work with a loving, caring spirit.

Michihiro Mochizuki is a member of the Kofu Branch of Rissho Kosei-kai in Yamanashi Prefecture.

Gotama Buddha (68)

The Buddha’s Death Is Mourned by Hajime Nakamura

The early Buddhist texts tell us that the disciples grieved over the death of their master. But the Buddha’s passing was one with the natural law to which all living beings are subject. It was not a retribution for sin or an atonement for the sins of others. It was simply a manifestation of the law of impermanence.

The late Dr. Hajime Nakamura, an authority on Indian philosophy, was president of the Eastern Institute in Tokyo and a professor emeritus of the University of Tokyo at the time of his death in October 1999. This ongoing series is a translation of Gotama Buddha, vol. 2 (Tokyo: Shunjusha, 1992).

The Threefold Lotus Sutra: A Modern Commentary (78)

The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law
Chapter 8: The Five Hundred Disciples Receive the Prediction of Their Destiny (2) by Nikkyo Niwano

This is the seventy-eighth 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