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H.E. Kosho Ohtani Monshu Emeritus Professorial Chair

Tuesday, August 18, 2009, 7:36 am

At the August 7 meeting, the Institute of Buddhist Studies’ Board of Trustees approved changing the Hongwanji Professorial Chair to the H.E. Kosho Ohtani Monshu Emeritus Professorial Chair for Shin Buddhist Studies.

The Hongwanji Chair was established in 1985 for the Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS) with a gift from the H.E. Koshin Ohtani, head of the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, Kyoto, Japan.
The IBS, wishing to honor the Ohtani family for their support, petitioned the Hongwanji to change the generic name of the chair to the Koshin Ohtani Chair. This was granted on July 9, 2009.

The IBS wished to honor the late Kosho Ohtani for his support of the school.

Though he was retired, the Monshu Emeritus, help the IBS to establish the GTU/IBS Foundation Japan Committee in 1986. This committee was established to meet with the regulations of the Japan Foundation. This committee was necessary to receive designated gifts from Japan. The committee members assembled for IBS were: Masakazu Ito, Counselor for C. Itoh Trading Company; Honorable Zentaro Kosaka, member of the Diet and former Minister of Foreign Affairs; Dr. Yoshishige Ashihara, Honorary Chairman of the Board of Kansai Electric Power Company; Jusha Tsumura, Chairman of the Board of Tsumura Juntendo a pharmaceutical company; and Hajime Hayashi, Senior Managing Director of Matsushita Electric Trading Company. Mr. Echigo was named the chair of the committee. The committee was dissolved in 1990.

n 1981, the Monshu Emeritus conducted the Tokudo (first ordination ceremony) for five IBS students at the San Francisco Buddhist Temple. This was the first ordination ceremony conducted outside of Japan by a member of the Ohtani family.

“Because of the strong support received by the Monshu Emeritus, the IBS would like to perpetuate his generous support by establishing a professorial program which will enhance the IBS as an academic institution with a strong focus on Shin Buddhist Studies,” said Dr. Richard Payne, IBS Dean.

Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai charitable gift

Monday, July 27, 2009, 1:34 pm

Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai has pledged $500,000 to further support the goals of the professorial chair for the Yehan Numata Professor of Buddhist Studies at the Institute of Buddhist studies.

The Numata Chair was initially established in July, 1986 by the late Rev. Dr. Yehan Numata, founder of the Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai (Society for the Promotion of Buddhism). Dr. Richard K. Payne currently holds the Chair.

Brian Nagata, BDK America Director, said: “Dr. Numata strongly believed that the attainment of world peace is possible only by the perfection of the human mind which can be educated and benefited from the teachings of the Buddha. One of his major endeavors was to place the ‘Teaching of the Buddha’ in as many hotels as possible. He began this project in 1965 by establishing the Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai in Tokyo, Japan, to promote a wide range of activities and projects in the hope of contributing to world peace and mutual understanding among humanity.”

In 1984, Dr. Numata founded the Numata Center in Berkeley for Buddhist translation and research. His goal was to translate all of the Buddhist canons (Tripitakas).

In 1986, he founded BDK America for the promotion of Buddhism. He is the recipient of many honors for his work.

“We are deeply grateful for the generosity of Dr. Numata for his work for the sake of the Buddha-Dharma, and BDK America for their support of the IBS as a Buddhist educational institution,” said Dr. Richard Payne, IBS Dean.

Hiroji and Yasuko Kariya Endowment

Thursday, June 04, 2009, 11:02 am


On the occasion of his wife Yasuko’s First Year Memorial Service, with the consent of his family, Mr. Hiroji Kariya, a member of the Mountain View Buddhist Temple, pledged $1,000,000 to establish an endowed professorial chair at the Institute of Buddhist Studies.

The chair is to be named the Hiroji and Yasuko Kariya Chair for Buddhist Religious Education Studies.

In giving the gift, Mr. Kariya said, “Yasuko was very supportive in anything that I did with our local temple and for the Buddhist Churches of America. She was the one who always encouraged me to do what I felt was important. We often talked about making the IBS a Buddhist University. Yasuko shared that dream with me. This might not happen during my lifetime, but my children and I would like to be a small part in the fulfillment of that dream in the future, because the fact is, right now, we have a good start with the IBS, the Center for Buddhist Education, and the Jodo Shinshu Center.”

Dr. Richard Payne stated, “As the Dean of the Institute of Buddhist Studies, I would like to express how deeply moved I am by the generous gift that Mr. Kariya and his family are making in memory of the late Yasuko Kariya. Institutionally the establishment of an endowed chair is vitally important as it is only with qualified faculty and staff that the programs of the IBS can effectively serve the BCA and the propagation of Shin Buddhism in the West.

“The education of ministers, chaplains and lay leaders, together with research and publication, are all means by which the profound teachings of Shinran Shonin are made present in today’s world. An endowment of this kind will make it possible for the IBS to expand its faculty and thereby propagate the Pure Land teachings more effectively.

“At the same time, the endowment in Yasuko’s memory is personally meaningful as well. Years ago, the IBS administrative offices were temporarily relocated to the grounds of the Mountain View Buddhist Temple. One of the people who were most welcoming was Mrs. Kariya. Rather than being made to feel like an awkward intruder, she helped to make me feel like a welcome guest-indeed, a part of the temple sangha. I am glad that this endowment will stand as a permanent memorial for such a kind and gracious lady.”

Mr. Kariya has given a lifetime of service to the BCA, as president of his local temple and as a leader in key roles in the BCA.

The Kariya IBS Endowment is part of Campaign BCA: the 21st Century.

New Certificate and Degree Programs

Thursday, May 21, 2009, 8:26 am

The Institute of Buddhist Studies is pleased to announce a new Certification Program in Buddhism and Psychotherapy for clinicians who wish to deepen and expand their practice as psychotherapists through a rigorous study of the Buddhist teachings. Rev. Judith Daijaku Kinst, Ph.D., IBS Adjunct Professor, states that the interface between Buddhism and psychotherapy is an increasingly important one for both the individual psychotherapist and for the practical integration of Buddhist teaching into contemporary Western society.

The program will begin in the Fall 2009 semester and requires eight classes, the equivalent of a year of graduate level study, plus additional half-day clinical training sessions each semester that the student is enrolled in the program.

Admission to the program will require demonstration that one is already either a licensed psychologist, social worker, marriage and family therapist, pastoral counselor, or other professional; or Buddhist ministers with substantial training, or a clinician who has completed the MA or PhD, and is currently completing hours for licensure.

In addition, the IBS will offer the Master of Divinity Degree ( MDiv) starting in the fall. The three year professional degree is common to all seminaries throughout the United States, and will fulfill chaplaincy requirement for the Association of Professional Chaplains.

For further information on the two programs, contact the Institute of Buddhist Studies.

Buddhism without Borders: Contemporary Developments in Buddhism in the West

Wednesday, May 20, 2009, 8:40 am

The Institute of Buddhist Studies is pleased to announce “Buddhism without Borders: Contemporary Developments in Buddhism in the West”

This conference seeks to explore contemporary and historical developments of Buddhist thought and practice in American Buddhisms, Buddhisms in the West, or Buddhisms outside Asia. How has the Buddhist tradition been shaped by the transnational movement of peoples, diasporas, or immigration? How has the rise of global communication, tourism, and capitalism affected the way Buddhism is understood, taught, and practiced? How do we define “modern” Buddhism? The West? Or even “Buddhism” itself in an increasingly globalized world?

These and other themes will be explored in a series of panels held at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, CA, March 19–21, 2010.

Confirmed panelists include
Thomas A. Tweed (keynote address)
Charles Prebish
Richard Huges Seager
Jeff Wilson
Eve Mullen
Wakoh Shannon Hickey

More details will be posted to our News and Events blog over the coming months. For more information, please contact Scott Mitchell at

The Institute of Buddhist Studies is a graduate school and Buddhist seminary located in Berkeley, California. Founded in 1964 to train ministers for the Buddhist Churches of America, today the IBS offers multiple degree and non-degree programs, distance and online learning opportunities, and chaplaincy training. Through our affiliation with the Graduate Theological Union and close ties to the University of California, Berkeley, students have the opportunity to study Buddhism from multiple perspectives in a diverse and enriching setting.

New Publication: Path of No Path

Sunday, April 05, 2009, 9:00 am

The Institute of Buddhist Studies, Graduate Seminary for Shin Buddhist Ministry and Buddhist Research, and the Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research both at Berkeley, announced the publication of the second of three volumes titled, “Path of No Path—Contemporary Studies in Pure Land Buddhism.”

This volume honors the late Dr. Roger Corless, professor emeritus of Duke University, who brought to heart a new perspective to the study of Buddhism and Pure Land Buddhism in particular. Dr. Richard Payne, IBS Dean and the Yehan Numata Professor for Buddhist Studies, is the editor.

The articles in the book cover a range of topics, from the practice of the Pure Land to its historical transmission and its contemporary interpretation.

Contributors of the book are as follows: Harvey B. Aronson, a psychotherapist in Houston, Texas; Gordon B. Bermant, lecturer at University of Pennsylvania and former President of BCA; Alfred Bloom, Professor Emeritus of the University of Hawaii and former Dean of IBS; Ruben L.F. Habito, Southern Methodist University; Arthur Holder, Graduate Theological Union; Charles B. Jones, The Catholic University of America, Washington D.C.; Charles B. Jones, Catholic University of America, Washington D.C.; Charles D. Orzech, University of North Carolina, Greensboro; Charles S. Perbish, Utah State University; James H. Sanford, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Kenneth K.Tanaka, Musashino University, Tokyo and former professor at IBS.

The first volume titled “Shin Buddhism Historical, Textual, and Interpretive Studies,” was published in 2007 with Dr. Payne as editor. The volume honors the late Rev. Dr., Yehan Numata, founder of the Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and the Numata Center, Berkeley. The book commemorates the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Numata Endowment at the IBS.

Contributing writers from worldwide are as follows: John P. Keenan, Middlebury College, Vermont; Whalen Lai, University of California, Davis; T. Griffith Foulk, University of Michigan; Katerine K. Vaelasco, IBS/GTU graduate; Bruno Levin, Ruhr-Universitat, Bochum, Germany; Allan A. Andrew, University of Vermont; Hartmut O. Rotermund, Ecole Pratique dis Hautes Etude, Paris; Habbito, SMU; Roger Corless, Duke University. Minor L. Rogers and Ann T. Rogers, Washington and Lee University, Vermont; Joyu Chiba, President Emeritus of Ryukoku University, Kyoto; and Tetsuden Kashima, University of Washington. Payne and Tanaka also contributed to the volume.

More information on the Contemporary Issues in Buddhist Studies may be found on the IBS Webpage.

Books are available at the BCA Bookstore, 2140 Durant Ave., Berkeley, CA.

The Institute of Buddhist Studies Invited to Join K-GURS

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.

Women in American Buddhism conference video online

Thursday, October 23, 2008, 8:53 am

This past August, the Institute of Buddhist Studies and the Tri-State Denver Buddhist Temple hosted the Women in American Buddhism Conference. The conference was a great success, and the organizers wish to thank all who attended and presented!

Video footage from the event is now available online at the Institute’s website:

Short videos from the Keynote Address by Judith Simmer Brown are available for download as well as footage from panels including: “The Role of Bhikkunis and Monastics in the U.S.,” “Buddhism, Women, and Society,” and “Entwinement and Liberation.”

More videos will be added to this page over the coming months, so be sure to bookmark it and check back often. (Or, subscribe to the page’s RSS feed here:

And of course our full video archive can be accessed at the Digital Lecture Archive at the IBS website here:

The Nagatomi Library Dedication Ceremony

October 17, 2008
3:00 pmto5:00 pm

For years, as a member of the Institute of Buddhist Studies Advisory Board, Prof. Nagatomi provided us with invaluable advice and support. In conversation with his widow, Mrs. Masumi Mary Nagatomi, we learned that he had intended to devote more of his precious time and energy to the Institute. Unfortunately, his final illness made it impossible for him to fulfill this wish. In recognition of his intent, Mrs. Nagatomi has very generously donated his personal library to the Institute.

In commemoration of this, we wish to conduct a ceremonial event to express directly our deepest gratitude to Mrs. Nagatomi and to offer thanks for Prof. Nagatomi”s contribution to the field of Buddhist studies. Please join us in the ceremony and a reception afterwards. We would appreciate it if you could RSVP to Kumi Hadler ( / 510-809-1444) by Friday, October 17, 2008.

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