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Specialized Research Presentation: 58th Class of the Honka Program Seeks to Contribute to Societal Transformation Based on Buddhism


On May 19, the 58th Class of Honka program presented their specialized research papers at Gakurin Ome Campus. The purpose of the Specialized Research is for second-year seminarians to “connect the teachings of Buddhism, the Lotus Sutra, and Founder Niwano’s Guidance with their own mission, as well as to look into the teachings, society, and the world, and to make creative proposals for the solution of contemporary issues and the transformation of society and the world.

Under the guidance of President Sugino, the seminarians of the program conducted their research under the themes such as “Gender Equity and Women’s Leadership in Buddhism,” “Buddhist Notion and Practice of Tolerance in the Intolerant Society,” “Buddhist Virtue Ethics,” “Child Development and Parental Influence: The Case of Negative Love Syndrome,” and “Peaceful Coexistence between Buddhist and Muslim communities in Asia.” Employing the Four Noble Truths, which is the fundamental principle of Buddhism, the Gakurin seminarians worked earnestly to compose their research papers by addressing social issues through the teachings in the four stages of “discerning problems,” “identifying fundamental causes,” “setting the vision,” and “shaping strategies and means to realize the vision.”

In the process of writing the thesis, thanks to the efforts of President Sugino, Gakurin seminarians were able to connect with Dr. William Vendley, former Secretary General of the World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP/RfP), and Rev. Gunnar Stalsett, Bishop Emeritus of Oslo, former Vice-Chairperson of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee and Honorary President of WCRP. Through dialogue with world religious leaders, the Gakurin seminarians learned the importance of religions working together to address contemporary issues.

In his general comments at the presentation, President Sugino said, “I hope that through your research you become aware of the mission and calling you have been given and take a step forward to become global engaged Buddhist leaders. I encourage you to continue to respond to social and global issues by rediscovering your “true self” and engaging your wisdom and compassion in action.”

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