Dean of Gakurin Seminary Participates in Ninth Conference
of European Network of Buddhist Christian Studies
The ninth Conference of the European Network of Buddhist Christian Studies was held June 30 to July 4 at Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, the United Kingdom, under the theme, "Hope: A Form of Delusion? Buddhist and Christian Perspectives." Some 70 scholars of Buddhism and Christianity, mainly European, took part. On behalf of Rissho Kosei-kai, Dr. Munehiro Niwano, dean of the organization's Gakurin Seminary, attended.
Dr. Niwano made a presentation on July 2 during a session titled, "Hope in Pastoral Situations." He outlined the history and teachings of Rissho Kosei-kai and its basic practices, including sutra recitation and hoza. He then reported on the activities of local sangha leaders of Rissho Kosei-kai in supporting fellow members and other people afflicted by the massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan on March 11. He said that he had learned from the activities of these sangha leaders the importance of serving others with firm faith under all circumstances.
The European Network of Buddhist Christian Studies was founded in 1996 in Hamburg, Germany, as the European Network for Christian Studies of Buddhism, and its first conference was held there. To enable both Buddhists and Christians to be involved on an equal footing, the name of the network was changed to the present one at the second conference, held in St. Ottilien, near Munich, in 1997. With the aim of promoting exchange and dialogue among scholars of Buddhism-Christianity studies, the network has held biennial conferences since 1997.
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