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 By Rev. Kanji Tamura,Litt.D. Rissho University

On October 15 and 16, 2012, the Seventh International Conference on the Lotus Sutra was hosted by Rissho University in Tokyo. Researchers from outside Japan included Prof. Paul Grover, University of Virginia, Prof. Michael Pye, Marburg University, Prof. Jacqueline Stone, Princeton University, Prof. Lucie Dolce, SOAS University of London and Prof. Stephen Covell, Western Michigan University.

Prof. Paul Swanson from Nanzan University and Prof. Robert Rose from Otani University participated as foreign Conference on the Lotus Sutra gathers researchers from around the world to make presentations and discuss the “Universal and International Nature of the Lotus Sutra.” The first of these was in December, 1984 at the University of Hawaii. Since then, conferences have been held at Reiden University, Netherlands, Marburg University, Germany, and Toronto University, Canada.

The presentations were divided into four sessions, and a total of 17 presentations were given. The first session was on “Thought of the Lotus Sutra” followed by the second session in the afternoon, “The Lotus Sutra and Faith.” The following day the third session started off with “The Lotus Sutra and Culture” and ended with the fourth session, “Contemporary Social Problems and the Lotus Sutra.”

There were so many attendees that conference rooms were not able to seat everyone. Students at Rissho University were able to observe the conference on screens set up in the classrooms. It was a rare occasion where so many re- searchers gathered together from both overseas and within Japan to discuss The Lotus Sutra.

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Professor Michael Pye of Marburg University

Every five years, the International Conference on the Lotus Sutra gathers researchers from around the world to make presentations and discuss the “Universal and International Nature of the Lotus Sutra.” The first of these was in December, 1984 at the University of Hawaii. Since then, conferences have been held at Reiden University, Netherlands, Marburg University, Germany, and Toronto University, Canada.

At the closing of the conference, the committee headed by Prof. Shinjo Hara, Dean of Faculty of Buddhist Studies, Rissho University, said that it was their objective to broaden the network for both Lotus Sutra researchers overseas and within Japan, and it was very im- portant to continue holding this kind of conference at different places.

Finally, Prof. Hara said that Rissho University would like to host the conference again in ten years when Rissho University celebrates its 150th anniversary.

Source: http://www.nichiren-shu.org/newsletter/nichirenshu_news/nichirenshu194.pdf

Note: Rissho University is owner by Nichiren Shu