by Seigen Yamaoka
Thursday, April 02, 2009, 9:00 am
The Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS), a graduate Seminary for Shin Buddhist Ministry and Buddhist Research located in Berkeley, was recently invited to become an affiliate of the prestigious consortiums of religious schools in Kyoto, Japan. The consortium is called the Kyoto Graduate Union of Religious Studies (K-GURS).
There purpose is to establishing a comprehensive academic network that links Kyoto-based graduate schools and educational institutions specializing in religious studies, and in making this network accessible from all over the world, thereby inspiring and encouraging students and researchers in the field both inside and outside of Japan.
Dr. Richard Payne, IBS Dean, stated that our affiliation to K-GURS opens the door for a broader participation for our faculty and students in the field of religious studies. Also, the invitation was extend to us for our role in the United States as a graduate school of religious Studies.
The consortium is made up of the following religious schools in the Kyoto area:
Bukkyo University: A school founded during the Meiji Restoration, which based on the Buddhist principle of the Jodo School taught by Honen (1133-1212)
Doshisha University: Founded in 1875 focused mainly in the study of Protestant theology, but in recent years has expanded its focus to many other religions.
Hanazono University: Founded in 1872 by Myoshinji Temple of the Rinzai sect of Buddhism.
Koyasan University: Founded in 1886 it is school based on the spirit of Kobo Daishi.
Ohtani University: Has its beginning in 1665 as a seminary by the Higashi Honganji demonization of Shin Buddhism.
Ryukoku University: Has its origin as a private school established in 1639 as a training institute for priests of the Nishi Hongwanji denomination of Shin Buddhism.
Shuchiin University: Originated in 828 by Kukai, the founder of Shingon Sect
Affiliate Associations of K-GURS are: Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions, Doshisha University; Institute of Buddhist Cultural Studies, Ryukoku University; International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies; Japan Association of Religion and Ethics; Nazan Institute for Religion and Culture, NCC Center for the Study of Japanese Religions, Nippon Christian University, The Research Institute of Esoteric Buddhist Culture, Koyasan University; and Research Institute of the Materials of Esoteric Buddhism, Shuchiin University.