Soka Gakkai International
Buddhism in Action for Peace
A German edition of The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Volume I, has been released by Herder Publishing, a German publishing company renowned for publishing religious texts. The work is a translation of the first volume of the English edition of Nichiren’s writings.
Prof. Dr. Helwig Schmidt-Glintzer, a leading scholar of Buddhism and director of the historic Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, supervised the translation process. In his preface, he stressed that Nichiren was concerned with relieving the sufferings of the people rather than serving the needs of the ruling class, as was common during the Kamakura era.
SGI President Daisaku Ikeda contributed the foreword to the work, in which he highlighted its significance in establishing a foundation for the advancement of dialogue between Buddhism and other religions in the German-speaking countries of the world.
From October 8–12, the newly released German edition of The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Volume I, was among the books featured at the SGI booth at the Frankfurt Bookfair, the largest in the world. This year it attracted some 7,100 publishing companies from more than 100 countries and around 270,000 people.
SGI-Germany (SGID) members helped introduce SGI-related publications and Nichiren Buddhism to visitors to the booth. As gifts, they prepared badges with the message, “It is the heart that is important,” a phrase from The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Volume I, which encapsulates Nichiren’s wish that each individual establish a life of unshakable happiness, and a booklet containing a selection of quotes from Mr. Ikeda.
On October 10, SGI-Germany (SGID) held a side event at the bookfair—a lecture by Professor Schmidt-Glintzer titled “What can Buddhism contribute for peace and happiness in Europe?”
In his lecture, he described Buddhism as a world religion that has adapted to different cultures. Its teachings, he said, empower individuals to overcome the sufferings of living in the world and can transform the human heart to seek resolution to conflict through dialogue toward mutual understanding.
Professor Schmidt-Glintzer gave the same lecture at the SGID culture center in Mörfelden-Walldorf near Frankfurt on October 4.
[Adapted from a report from SGI-Germany and an article in the October 17, 2014, issue of Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of SGI]
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