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The Secular City book cover

[Posted by M. Bogen, 5-31-13] When Daisaku Ikeda spoke at Harvard in 1993, delivering the address that would become our "founding lecture"—"Mahayana Buddhism and 21st Century Civilization"—he did so at the invitation of professors John Kenneth Galbraith, Nur Yalman, and Harvey Cox. To help celebrate our 20th anniversary, I thought it would be fun to talk a bit about these three men who figure so vitally in our history. In this post I'll talk about Professor Cox and his seminal work of 1965, The Secular City.

Dr. Cox is presently Hollis Research...

Dessima Williams

Ambassador Williams was an Honorary Chair of the Massachusetts Conference on Women: Bringing Beijing Home, held September 1996 in Boston. She met with the Center’s staff several weeks before that conference to share her views on social change, women’s leadership, and grassroots movements. This excerpt from the interview considers women as problem-solvers.

What leadership roles do you foresee women taking in these social change efforts in this decade and into the next century?

Women must take leadership through analyzing the present historical moment and determining...

Tu Weiming was professor of Chinese history and philosophy at Harvard University until 2010, when he became Lifetime Professor of Philosophy and Dean of Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies at Peking University. This 1994 interview is called "The Dialogue of Civilizations."

The first question for Professor Tu was: Why is the “dialogue of civilizations” important, and what is your own interest in this subject? Tu Weiming responded: "We are now confronted with two seemingly contradictory forces, both of which define the human condition for the twentieth century. The first is...

Fred Rogers

[Posted by M. Bogen, 5-15-13] By now we should know better than to be surprised by the wisdom of Fred Rogers, AKA Mr. Rogers, who died ten years ago but still maintains the power to inspire. We recently came across a link on Twitter to a lovely interview with Mr. Rogers conducted by Karen Herman in 1999. The following quote really illuminates the meaning of value creation.

“The major dramas in life are never center stage. And they’re rarely under the bright lights," said Rogers. "They’re always happening off-camera. The best things of life are, are way...

Robert Thurman

[New, from our archives, 5-9-13] Columbia University’s Robert Thurman served as a commentator on Center founder Daisaku Ikeda’s lecture, “Peace and Human Security: A Buddhist Perspective for the Twenty-first Century,” delivered at the East-West Center in Honolulu on January 26, 1995. At that time, Professor Thurman met with the Center’s staff to share these views on education, human freedom, and UN reform.

How do you view the role of education in society, and what influenced your thinking on the subject?

RT: I think the question should...

Bin Song

[Posted 4-20-13] The first topic considered during the two-hour, April 6 seminar with Profs. Garrison and Hickman was how to transform our lesser self and come to recognize and foster our greater self. In Buddhism, the former is associated with selfish desires and the latter with compassion and empathy. Garrison, who is Professor of Philosophy of Education at Virginia Tech University, observed that Daisaku Ikeda articulates an important perspective by insisting that “in striving to discover the greater self, the genuine Buddhist approach is not to try to...

[Posted 4-16-13] Yesterday’s destructive and tragic events at the Boston Marathon weigh heavily on all of us. Our hearts and our prayers are with those who have been injured and with the families who have lost loved ones. We deeply appreciate the many encouraging messages we have received from friends throughout the world.
 
We are reminded by these fateful events how very important it is to keep moving forward in the spirit of dialogue and tolerance, especially in times like these. The Center’s founder has said, "Everything is born from hope."...

Hickman-Garrison 4-6-13 Seminar

[Posted 4-10-13] We must embrace the obligation and opportunity of multiple modes of dialogue if we are to achieve fulfilling lives and the peaceful and creative global community that is desired by diverse peoples of good will worldwide. This was the message of a wide-ranging discussion hosted at the Center on Saturday, April 6, as Professors Jim Garrison and Larry Hickman were on hand to engage with a gathering of national and Boston-area university students on themes drawn from the book A New Humanism: The University Lectures of Daisaku Ikeda. We...

David T. Hansen

[Posted by M. Bogen, 4-1-13] Valued friend of the Center David T. Hansen of Teachers College, Columbia University, edited our 2007 multi-author book Ethical Visions of Education: Philosophies in Practice. His most recent book is The Teacher and the World: A Study of Cosmopolitanism as Education (Routledge, 2011). I thought I would share some of his vision of cosmopolitanism as a mode of being an active participant in our ever-changing world. A little background: Cosmopolitanism as a...

Lou Marinoff at the Harvard Coop

[Posted 3-22-13] On the evening of Wednesday, March 20, Dr. Lou Marinoff spoke at the Harvard Coop, Harvard University's official bookstore, in support of The Inner Philosopher, the dialogue book he recently co-authored with Daisaku Ikeda. He reprised many of the themes he introduced at the September 21, 2012, book launch event held at the Ikeda Center's Cambridge lecture hall. Topics included: philosophy's twin responsibilities of healing and the cultivation of virtues; the insight of Epictetus that “people are disturbed not by things but by the...

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