Soka Gakkai's Anniversary Celebrated at University of Hamburg
In celebration of Soka Gakkai's 80th anniversary, 1,500 SGI-Germany members gathered at the University of Hamburg on November 21. Professor Ulrich Dehn, a religious scholar at the university, spoke at the event, as well as Goethe scholar Manfred Osten from the Weimar Goethe Institute, Germany. [Dr. Osten and SGI President Daisaku Ikeda are currently engaged in a dialogue on Goethe via correspondence.]
In his talk, Dr. Dehn spoke about first president of the Soka Gakkai Tsunesaburo Makiguchi's ideas on "value-creation," and how second President Josei Toda and Mr. Ikeda have developed understanding of and actualized Mr. Makiguchi's philosophy throughout the world. Dr. Dehn also praised Mr. Ikeda's promotion of grassroots movements and his emphasis on the importance of civil society.
Following the first lecture, Dr. Osten spoke about Mr. Ikeda's role in helping to spread Goethe's concept of self-transformation, consonant with SGI's philosophy of "human revolution," throughout the world and how he has done so through dialogue.
The ceremony ended with performances by SGI-Germany's Green Hill Orchestra and Lotus Chorus group.
[Adapted from an article in the December 19, 2010, issue of Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]