Institute of Oriental Philosophy Sponsors Academic Symposium and Public Lecture
On March 17, 2009, the Institute of Oriental Philosophy (IOP) held its 25th Academic Symposium in Hachioji, Tokyo. Dr. Jim Garrison, president of the John Dewey Society and professor of philosophy of education at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, U.S.A., gave a keynote speech on "Daisaku Ikeda and John Dewey--Religious Dialogue."
Dr. Garrison referred to the thinking of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda and pioneering American educator and philosopher John Dewey (1859-1952). He argued that the "religious humanism" common to both men is transformative, bringing positive creativity for the sake of peace and justice to an evolving humanity. "The notion of value creation, the activities of creatively transforming everyday reality into an ideal value, is critical to both Ikeda and Dewey."
On March 31, IOP hosted a public lecture by Dr. Michael von Brück, professor of religious studies at the Institute of Protestant Theology and Comparative Religions, the University of Munich, Germany, at the Nippon Seinenkan Hall in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Dr. Brück delivered a speech titled "Role of Religion in the 21st Century--SGI from the Perspective of Religious Studies."
Dr. Brück discussed the significance of the development of Nichiren Buddhism and the Soka Gakkai and pointed out that the Soka Gakkai has inherited the spirit of Nichiren, in its stand against religious authority.
[Adapted from articles in the March 17 and April 2, 2009 issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]