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Graduation Research Presentation: Gakurin Honka 57th Class Responds to Contemporary Issues and Proposes Creative Way Forward

On November 8, 2022, the 57th Gakurin Honka seminarians presented their graduation research at the Gakurin Ome Campus.  Mr. Koichi Izumita presented a paper entitled  “New Buddhist Economics,” building upon the “Buddhist Economics” published by German economist Schumacher in the 1960s and proposing to transform the neoliberal approach to economics by adding values such as Mahayana Buddhist altruism, bodhisattva spirit, and communal solidarity. Mr. Shumpei Nozaki presented a creative proposal titled “Intergenerational Dialogue and Common Living: Development of Multi-generational Rissho Kosei-kai”, utilizing the findings from the fields of “intergenerational exchange studies” and “empowerment theory” as a modern method to revive Rissho Kosei-kai’s tradition of multi-generational co-creation. Under the title of “Evolution in the Concept of Dialogue and International Interreligious Dialogue in the Roman Catholic Church,” Ms. Kiwako Tsurii examined how successive Popes of the Roman Catholic Church understood and practiced dialogue, citing papal encyclicals and other documents from the Second Vatican Council, in which Founder Rev. Nikkyo Niwano participated as an observer in 1965. She also referred to the dialogue practice of Founder Rev. Nikkyo Niwano and the establishment of “Interreligious Councils (IRCs) by WCRP/Religions for Peace as mechanisms of cooperation, and proposed that Rissho Kosei-kai develop its activities for interreligious dialogue and cooperation based on a renewed awareness of the global evolution of dialogue practice.

Gakurin President Rev. Kyoichi Sugino stated that “Gakurin is the Global Training Center for Engaged Buddhism and Interfaith Action following the vision of Founder Rev. Nikkyo Niwano, and such spirit of the founder is powerfully manifested in the graduates’ studies. He further emphasized that “these studies are important proposals for creating the future of Rissho Kosei-kai in Japan and internationally, based on the spirit of Buddhism and the Lotus Sutra.

Gakurin seminarians’ research papers were reviewed and commented on by Professor Kathy Matsui (Seisen University), Dr. Shinkichi Kawai (head minister of Konkokyo Nakano Church), and Honorable Kohei Otsuka (a member of the House of Councilors). Rev. Keiji Kunitomi, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Rissho Kosei-kai headquarters, delivered his remarks.

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