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Dharma World Buddhist magazine

January-March, Volume 40


content of this issue of Dharma World Buddhist magazine

       
 

Religions Coping with Prejudice

Greed, Desire, and the Lotus Sutra by Miriam Levering

The English word greedis usually defined as the passionate desire to possess more than a person or family needs or deserves, especially at the expense of others. We are taught from childhood that we should not take two cupcakes when the hostess has prepared only one per child. Yet we are not taught not to desire.

Miriam Levering, Professor Emerita of Religious Studies and Asian Studies at the University of Tennessee, is an international advisor to Rissho Kosei-kai. She received her PhD from Harvard University in 1978. She has edited a book called Rethinking Scripture, a study of the concepts and uses of sacred texts in the major religious traditions, and has written many articles on women and gender in Chan and Zen Buddhism.

Institutionalized Greed by David R. Loy

Much of our problem with greed today is that to increase corporate profits and keep the economy growing, we are conditioned into finding the meaning of our lives in buying and consuming. In fact, this has become such an essential part of our lives that perhaps it is no exaggeration to talk about consumerism as a new religion.

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. His articles appear regularly in the pages of Buddhist magazines, includingTricycle, Shambhala Sun, and Buddhadharma, as well as in scholarly journals. Loy's most recent book is The World Is Made of Stories (Somerville, MA: 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.

We Do Not Need to Live Like Rats Fighting for Scraps by Mark Hulsether

In a society premised on hypercompetition for success and radical insecurity for "failures," large amounts of stress and suffering are hardwired into the system. It is obvious how this blights the lives of the most vulnerable - homeless military veterans, minimum-wage workers with sick children, people living in unsafe and polluted neighborhoods. But it also causes suffering for the middle class. There is an enormous amount of room for improvement in quality of life.

Mark Hulsether is Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in American Studies at the University of Tennessee. He has authored a wide range of articles on intersections between religion and public culture in the fields of US history, American studies, and religious studies. His most recent book is Religion, Culture, and Politics in the Twentieth-Century United States (Columbia University Press, 2007).

Wisdom, Greed, and Generosity: Christian and Buddhist Perspectives by Leo D. Lefebure

Both the Buddhist and Christian traditions have long viewed uncontrolled greed as a deadly poison whose allure arises from ignorance. Both traditions see the promises made by greed as illusory and challenge their followers to true wisdom that nurtures lives of generosity.

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

A Path to Heal Our Troubled World by Kamran Mofid

A fundamental reappraisal of our place in reality is urgently called for in order to break the iron grip of materialism, consumerism, selfishness, greed, and individualism, thus freeing us to lead a life with heart and soul.

Kamran Mofid is founder of the Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative (www.gcgi.info) and a member of the International Coordinating Committee of the World Public Forum "Dialogue of Civilizations." In 1986 he received his doctorate in economics from the University of Birmingham, UK. Mofid's work is highly interdisciplinary, and his writings have appeared in leading scholarly journals, popular magazines, and newspapers. His books include The Economic Consequences of the Gulf War and Globalisation for the Common Good.

Transforming Greed: An Interfaith Common Word by Martin L. Sinaga

Greed is said to describe a desire to acquire more material goods than necessary for human well-being. Greed is about exceeding the limit of basic human needs for a good life. It is about possessing all of a culture's greatest riches and then exceeding the limits defined by the society itself.

Martin Lukito Sinaga is a lecturer at the Jakarta Theological Seminary (STT Jakarta) in Indonesia. He is also a pastor of the Simalungun Protestant Christian Church (GKPS). He worked from 2009 to 2012 as study secretary for theology and the church at the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Geneva. During his tenure at the LWF, he developed a socially engaged interfaith dialogue with Buddhism and Islam. He was awarded the inaugural Sakai Peace Contribution Award by the Japanese city of Sakai in 2008.

Reflections

Putting One's Mind in Order 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).

Founder's Memoirs

The Period of Skillful Means and Divine Revelation 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.

Niwano Peace Prize

Peaceful Coexistence through Reconciliation An Interview with Rosalina Tuyuc Velásquez

The Niwano Peace Foundation awarded the twenty-ninth Niwano Peace Prize on May 10, 2012, to Mrs. Rosalina Tuyuc Velásquez, a human rights activist and political leader in Guatemala. She was honored for unflagging work that exemplifies the great potential and wisdom of indigenous peoples in marking paths to peace. The following interview was conducted with her on May 11 at the International House of Japan in Tokyo, by Rev. Kinjiro Niwano, chair of the Niwano Peace Foundation. They discussed how people can live in ways that nurture all life.

Rosalina Tuyuc Velásquez was born into a religious agricultural family in Guatemala. That country suffered an extended civil war between 1960 and 1996, during which more than 250,000 people died and 45,000 went missing. The conflict created more than 240,000 orphans and 50,000 widows. In 1988 Mrs. Tuyuc founded the National Coordinating Organization of Widows of Guatemala (CONAVIGUA), now a leading Guatemalan human rights organization. She has also served as a member of the Guatemalan congress.

The Threefold Lotus Sutra: A Modern Commentary (111)

The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law Chapter 20: The Bodhisattva Never Despise (3) by Nikkyo Niwano

This is the 111th installment of a detailed commentary on the Threefold Lotus Sutra by the founder of Rissho Kosei-kai, Rev. Nikkyo Niwano.

Dharma World January-March 2013, Religions Coping with Prejudice.

 
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