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Buddhism

Back to listDec 4, 2006

Philosophical Dialogue among Confucian, Buddhist and Daoist Scholars in Hong Kong

On November 23-24, Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) hosted "Eastern Culture and Modern Society: Philosophical Dialogue among Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism," an international conference exploring religion's relevance in contemporary society, and the relationship of these three Eastern traditions to Christianity, modern psychology and philosophy. The Institute of Oriental Philosophy (IOP), Tokyo, SGI-Hong Kong and the Research Centre for Chinese Philosophy and Culture of the CUHK Department of Philosophy cosponsored the event.

Scholars from 13 universities engage in roundtable discussions

In a message, IOP founder and SGI President Daisaku Ikeda stated that ideas such as the "golden mean" and "neutrality" that underlie traditional Chinese thought find common ground in the Buddhist concept of the "Middle Way." These schools of thought are expressions of the virtues of the "Middle Way" that correct excessive dependence on material civilization and fosters harmony with the spiritual world, a comprehensive wisdom sublimating both paths toward the construction of a new human civilization. Mr. Ikeda also expressed his hope for the symposium's discussions on the "wisdom of the Orient."

CUHK Pro-Vice-Chancellor Kenneth Young delivered the opening remarks. Professor Lao Sze-kwang of Huafan University, Taiwan, gave the keynote speech titled, "Reflections on the Study of Chinese Philosophy--Dilemma and Deliverance." This was followed by 14 academic papers on topics such as "The Daoist Sense of Responsibility," "The Significance of 'The Bodhisattva Way' of the Lotus Sutra in the Real World," and "Comparative Study of Filial Piety in Confucianism and Buddhism."

Speaking on "The Bodhisattva Way in Modern Society," IOP Director Yoichi Kawada discussed the relevance for today of bodhisattvas that appear in the Lotus Sutra and other Mahayana scriptures. He emphasized that the bodhisattvas' four universal vows can be understood as their "mission" of safeguarding human liberty and eradicating threats to human life, thereby drawing parallels with the contemporary concept of "human security."

In his closing speech, Professor Cheung Chan Fai, chair of the CHUK Philosophy Department, thanked the participants for their earnest and meaningful discussions surrounding the three religious traditions of Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism and their pursuit of wisdom that sheds light on solutions to modern day problems.