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Dialogue in Action

Ikeda is a pioneering champion of dialogue as a means to bridge cultural divides and seek solutions to global issues facing humanity. He has conducted extensive dialogues, many of which have been published, with leading representatives of the worlds of education, culture, politics, the sciences and the arts.

Dialogue, Ikeda asserts, reaffirms and reinvigorates our shared humanity.

Aiming to build mutual understanding and seek solutions to the common problems facing humanity, Ikeda has met and engaged in dialogue with leading thinkers including economist J. K. Galbraith, peace activist Joseph Rotblat, environmentalist Wangari Maathai, champion of human rights Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Indonesian Muslim leader Abdurrahman Wahid.

More than 50 of Ikeda's dialogues have been published in book form. Choose Life, his dialogue with British historian Arnold Toynbee, whom he first met in 1972, has been published in 28 languages.

"President Ikeda is the champion of cultivating world peace through dialogue. Through dialogical encounters he has helped extend intellectual horizons and deepen critical self-reflectivity of dozens of thinkers of our time. His contribution to the life of the mind throughout the world is enormous."

--Professor Tu Weiming, Harvard University

[For more information on Ikeda's published dialogues and other writings, please visit http://www.daisakuikeda.org/sub/books/books-by-category.html]

A Lifelong Quest for Peace (Published 1992)

with Linus Pauling, double Nobel Prize winner (Chemistry and Peace)

Meeting with Linus Pauling (Feb 1990) With Linus Pauling (Feb. 1990)

Pauling: It is shocking that the modern world still does not ban war as totally degenerate. In our age, not even victors benefit from war. This aspect of the struggle for peace deserves special emphasis.

Ikeda: As weapons have grown more destructive and nation states more confident of their sovereign rights, large-scale indiscriminate slaughter has become a commonplace of war. A look at the development of modern warfare makes apparent the extent to which human beings have become subservient to the weapons they have created. To alter this situation, each individual must strive to attain wisdom and enlightenment.

A Passage to Peace (Published 2009)

with Nur Yalman, Research Professor of Social Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University

Meeting with Nur Yalman (Sep 1993)With Nur Yalman (Sept. 1993)

Ikeda: The most important thing in dealing with global problems now is empathy for every single suffering human being. Frequent reports of tragic religious conflict cause some people to adopt the simplistic notion that different religions cannot coexist peacefully. But ordinary human lives tell a different tale--the story of how people of diverse religious backgrounds do live together as parents, children, brothers, sisters and friends.

Yalman: Very true. Our experience as Turks proves how people who seem most heterogeneous can maintain highly amicable relations.

Into Full Flower (Published 2010)

Into Full Flower (Published 2010)Into Full Flower (Published 2010)

with Elise Boulding, one of the founders of the academic discipline of Peace and Conflict Studies

Ikeda: Empathy with others' pain must form the core of our approach. As long as human beings resort to violence to solve problems, they will forever be trapped in this cycle of hatred and violence. Some people argue that sacrificing others and taking lives are permissible as means toward a greater end. We must disabuse everyone of this notion . . .

Boulding: In my opinion, there can be no "just war," because war generates war. It solves no problems. None at all! Nor can it create the conditions for peace. The last thing it does is create the conditions for peace.

Moral Lessons of the Twentieth Century (Published 2005)

with Mikhail Gorbachev, former President of the Soviet Union

Meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev (Nov 2001)With Mikhail Gorbachev (Nov. 2001)

Gorbachev: The search for a new paradigm must be a search for synthesis, for the things that unite instead of dividing individuals, nations and peoples.

Ikeda: Everything starts with the first step. Streams form rivers, and rivers flow into seas. Great mountains are made up of small stones. A genuinely peaceful community is the consequence of the deeds of all its members. Consequently, the only reliable way to happiness is conscious self-improvement on the part of the individual.

Planetary Citizenship (Published 2002)

with Hazel Henderson, futurist, evolutionary economist and consultant on sustainable development

Meeting with Hazel Henderson (Oct 2000) With Hazel Henderson (Oct. 2000)

Henderson: The importance of women to the twenty-first century is incalculable. I think we can restore balance to human society, including the economy, if men and women work together as equal partners.

Ikeda: I have always insisted that women must play an important part in the shift from an era of war and violence to an era of peace and harmonious coexistence . . . I am convinced that, in the twenty-first century, working with men, women can fully manifest their own characteristics and strengths. Indeed, without the cooperative efforts of the sexes, the outlook for humanity is gloomy.

 

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