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Back to listOct 16, 2006

Institute of Oriental Philosophy and Russian Oriental Studies Institute Cosponsor Symposium in St. Petersburg

Symposium celebrating ten-years of academic exchanges between Institute of Oriental Philosophy (IOP) and the St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (IOS-RAS)

The Institute of Oriental Philosophy (IOP) and the St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (IOS-RAS) cosponsored a symposium at the IOP Russian Center in St. Petersburg on October 3-4 in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the formal academic exchange agreement. In 1997, as part of that agreement, IOP established a Russian Center within IOS-RAS. During their ten-year partnership, the IOP and IOS-RAS have collaborated on in-depth study and research of historical Lotus Sutra manuscripts and the publication of historical facsimile prints, including the launching of "The Lotus Sutra and Its World: Buddhist Manuscripts of the Great Silk Road" exhibition in Tokyo in November 1998, which also showed in Austria and Germany. In 2003, "The Lotus Sutra Manuscripts--The World's Spiritual Heritage" showed in India, and in 2004, as "The Lotus Sutra Manuscripts--The World's Spiritual Heritage" in Thailand.

In a message, IOP founder and SGI President Daisaku Ikeda, an honorary member of IOS-RAS, affirmed that interfaith dialogue will trail-blaze the correct path for human society. He hoped the symposium, with an aim to explore humanity's mission, would shed a light of wisdom and intellect. On the first day of discussions on "Human Issues and Religion," IOS-RAS Director Irina Fyodorovna Popova, IOP Director Yoichi Kawada, and IOP (Russian center) Director Kosaku Eto each spoke. They were followed by researchers' presentation of papers on topics such as "Women and the Ideals of Nichiren Buddhism" and "Nichiren's Thoughts on 'Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land'." On the second day, IOP researchers Shuichi Yamamoto and Tatsuya Yamazaki presented papers. Finally, Dr. Margarita I. Vorobyova-Desyatovskaya, an authority on the study of the Lotus Sutra, presented a comprehensive report titled, "Daisaku Ikeda's Activities and the Significance of Buddhist Studies in the Contemporary Age." Dr. Vorobyova-Desyatovskaya stated that one of Mr. Ikeda's accomplishments lay in developing a contemporary theory of humanism centered on Buddhist scriptures, which can be called a "new theory of humanism." She expressed her hopes for the further development of Oriental studies through collaborations between IOP and IOS-RAS.

[The IOP will celebrate its 45th anniversary in 2007.]