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Publication Announcement

Wednesday, March 03, 2010, 12:24 pm

how much is enough? buddhism, consumerism, and the human environment

How Much is Enough? Buddhism, Consumerism, and the Human Environment, recently published by Wisdom Publications, Boston, is a compilation of papers presented at the international symposium on “Buddhism and the Environment,” held at the Alumni House, University of California, Berkeley, on September 14, 2003. The symposium was organized by Professor Mitsuya Dake and Professor David Matsumoto, members of the faculty of Ryukoku University, Kyoto, and the Institute of Buddhist Studies, Berkeley, respectively.

Dr. Richard K. Payne, Dean and Yehan Numata Professor of Japanese Buddhist Studies at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, California and a member of the doctoral faculty of the Graduate Theological Union is the editor of the publication.

“The emphasis that the symposium placed on the human environment highlights the interdependence of our human social reality with the encompassing and supporting natural world. Seeing the interdependence of the social and natural, we can experience more directly the karmic relations between our actions and the human environment around us, both social and natural, said Payne.

He also stated that the symposium brought to the forefront the concerns and efforts made by Buddhism and Shin Buddhism. “Shin Buddhism has an important contribution to make to the environmental crisis, and to other pressing concerns of our times,“ he concluded.

Papers and authors published in the book are: “Buddhist Environmentalism and Contemporary Japan,” Duncan Ryuken Williams, Director for the Center of Japanese Studies at the University of California, Berkeley; “ How Much is Enough?: Buddhist Perspective on Consumerism,” Stephanie Kaza, professor of environmental studies at University of Vermont; “Pure Land Buddhism and Its Perspective on the Environment,” Mitsuya Dake, Director of the Buddhism and the Environment Research Unit of the Center for Humanities, Science, and Religion at Ryukoku University, Kyoto; “Gary Snyder’s Ecosocial Buddhism,” David Barnhill, Director of Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh; “Buddhist Economics to Save the Earth,” Shinichi Inoue, former President of the Japanese Miyazaki Bank; “The Noble Eightfold Path as a Prescription for Sustainable Living,”Tetsunori Koizumi, Professor Emeritus, Ryukoku University; “The Debate on Taking Life and Eating Meat in the Edo-Period Jodo Shin Tradition,” Ikuo Nakamura, member of the faculty at Gakushuin University, Tokyo; “ Buddhist Environmentalism,” Malcolm David Eckel, Boston University; and “The Early Buddhist Tradition and Ecological Ethics,” Lambert Schmithausen, Emeritus , University of Hamburg.

The book is available at Wisdom Press or the BCA Buddhist Bookstore, Berkeley.

How Much is Enough?

Monday, February 22, 2010, 9:41 am

Publication announcement:
How Much is Enough? Buddhism, Consumerism, and the Human Environment

how much is enough? buddhism, consumerism, and the human environment

A new volume of essays edited by IBS Dean Richard K. Payne has recently been published by Wisdom Publications.

The massive outpouring of consumer products available today might alone lead one to ask How much is enough? But at the same time, if we allow ourselves to see the social, political, economic and environmental consequences of the system that produces such a mass of “goods,” then the question is not simply a matter of one’s own personal choice, but points to the profound interconnectedness of our day to day decisions about How much is enough? The ease with which we can acquire massive quantities of food, clothing, kitchenware, and various electronic goods directly connects each of us with not only environmental degradation caused by strip mining in West Virginia, and with sweat shops and child labor in India or Africa, but also with the ongoing financial volatility of Western capitalist economies, and the increasing discrepancies of wealth in all countries.

This interconnectedness is the human environment, a phrase intended to point toward the deep interconnection between the immediacy of our own lives, including the question of How much is enough?, and both the social and natural worlds around us. This collection brings together essays from an international conference jointly sponsored by Ryukoku University, Kyoto, and the Institute of Buddhist Studies, Berkeley. The effects of our own decisions and actions on the human environment is examined from several different perspectives, all informed by Buddhist thought. The contributors are all simultaneously Buddhist scholars, practitioners and activists—thus the collection is not simply a conversation between these differing perspectives, but rather demonstrates the integral unity of theory and practice for Buddhism.

Learn more or purchase the book directly from the Wisdom Publications website.

2009 IASBS Conference Highlights

Monday, June 22, 2009, 11:45 am

Some 100 scholars, priests, and students attended the 14th Biennial Conference of the International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies held on June 12-14 at the Ryukoku University Omiya Campus in Kyoto, Japan. With the theme “Shin Buddhism in the World of the Twenty-First Century: Challenges and Potential,” some 52 scholars, priests, and students from Japan, the United States, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hawaii, South America, and Europe presented papers on a wide variety of topics committed to Shin Buddhist Studies.

Some interesting papers included “Pure Land Teaching of Yongming Yanshu: Implications for Shin Buddhist Practice in the Twenty-First Century,” by Professor Albert Welter of the University of Winnipeg; “The Importance of Developing Religious Education and Pastoral Care Service,” by Mari Sengoku, graduate student at Tottori University; “The Influence of Women on Buddhist Secularization in the Song Period: Focuson Women in Southeast China,” by Jingjing Zhu a graduate student at the University of the West; and “Recent Changes in Society and Shin Buddhism,” by Gerhard Schepers, Professor Emeritus at the International Christian University.

BCA and IBS papers were given by Rev. Dr. Hoshu Matsubayashi, Rinban of the Seattle Betsuin, on “Contemporary Understanding of the Utmost Happy Pure Land”; Mitsumi Wondera, IBS Student, on “Takagi Kenmyo’s Influence to Contemporary Shin Buddhist Thought”; and Dr. Scott Mitchel, IBS Adjunct Professor, on “Buddhism , Pop-Culture, and Homogenization of the Dharma.”

IBS graduates presenting papers were Rev. Angela Andrade, Honpa Honganji South America on “Aspects of the Shin Buddhist Faith Literary Works”; Rev. Naoyuki Ogi , Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, on “TakagI Kenmyo: a 20th Century Example of a Way of Life on ‘Revitalizing Buddhism’”; Rev. Mary David, Moilili Hongwanji Buddhist Temple on “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Buddha’s Teaching”; and Rev. Tsui Chung-hui, graduate student at Hong Kong University on “Calligraphy of the Dunhuang Monestary: Based on the Northern Liang (AD 397-460) Period.”

Dr. Richard Payne, IBS Dean and Dr. Seigen Yamaoka attended the conference representing IBS.

Vesak Celebration: Steps Along the Way

May 30, 2009
3:00 pmto6:00 pm

The Buddhist Council of Northern California presents its annual Vesak Celebration at the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery, Saturday, May 30, 2009

Vesak Celebration: Steps Along the Way will feature an address by Professor Martin Verhgoeven of the Graduate Theological Union and the participation of Buddhists from many traditions.

Co-chairpersons for this sacred Buddhists holiday celebration are: Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto of the Institute of Buddhist Studies, Venerable Madawala Seelawimnala, IBS Adjunct Professor; and the Venerable Heng Sure, Head Master of the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery.

The gathering is opened to the public for this celebration commemorating the life of the historical Shakamuni Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.

This event will be hosted at
The Berkeley Buddhist Monastery
2304 McKinley Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94703

Pacific Seminar

June 26, 2009 4:00 pmtoJune 28, 2009 11:30 am

The Institute of Buddhist Studies and the Center for Buddhist Education Present

Pacific Seminar the 21st Century
Shinran and His Teachings

Join us in exploring the significance of the “Larger Sutra of the Buddha of Immeasurable Life,” as discussed in Shinran Shonin’s major work, the Kyōgyōshinshō.

Speakers for the seminar include:

  • Dr. Toshikazu Arai, Professor of Humanities at Soai University, Osaka, Japan
  • Dr. Nobuo Haneda, Maida Center of Buddhism at Berkeley
  • Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto, Institute of Buddhist Studies and Director of IBS Contemporary Shin Buddhist Studies
  • Rev. Kodo Umezu, Director of the Center for Buddhist Education

Registration for the seminar is $175.00 for general participants and $125.00 for BCA members. For registration information and seminar schedule visit the Center for Buddhist Education or call (510) 809-1460.

This event will be held at
the Jodo Shinshu Center
2140 Durant Avenue
Berkeley, Ca

Download the tentative schedule here.

Download the registration form here.

The IBS and CBE Announce the 2009 Pacific Seminar

Wednesday, May 20, 2009, 9:17 am

The Institute of Buddhist Studies and the BCA Center for Buddhist Education will co-host the Pacific Seminar the 21st Century: Shinran and His Teachings, from Friday, June 26 to Sunday, June 28, 2009 at the Jodo Shinshu Center in Berkeley.

The seminar will explore the significance of the “Larger Sutra of the Buddha of Immeasurable Life,” as discussed in Shinran’s major work, the Kyōgyōshinshō.

Speakers for the seminar include:

  • Dr. Toshikazu Arai, Professor of Humanities at Soai University, Osaka, Japan
  • Dr. Nobuo Haneda, Maida Center of Buddhism at Berkeley
  • Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto, Institute of Buddhist Studies and Director of IBS Contemporary Shin Buddhist Studies
  • Rev. Kodo Umezu, Director of the Center for Buddhist Education

Registration for the seminar is $175.00 for general participants and $125.00 for BCA members. For registration information and seminar schedule visit www.cbe-bca.org or call (510) 809-1460.

2009 Vesak Celebration

Wednesday, May 20, 2009, 9:13 am

The Buddhist Council of Northern California (BCNC) will hosts the annual Vesak Celebration on Saturday, May 30, 2009 from 3:00 to 6:00 pm at the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery. The theme of this year’s gathering will be “Steps Along the Way” with a featured address by Professor Martin Verhgoeven of the Graduate Theological Union and the participation of Buddhists from many traditions.

Co-chairpersons for this sacred Buddhists holiday celebration are: Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto of the Institute of Buddhist Studies, Venerable Madawala Seelawimnala, IBS Adjunct Professor; and the Venerable Heng Sure, Head Master of the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery.

The gathering is opened to the public for this celebration commemorating the life of the historical Shakamuni Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.

The Berkeley Buddhist Monastery is located at 2304 McKinley Ave. , Berkeley, CA 94703.

Working Group on Religion and Cognitive Science

May 7, 2009
10:00 amto12:00 pm

GTU/UCB Working Group on Religion and Cognitive Science Presents a Panel Discussion:
Lucid Dreaming, Religion, and Cognitive Science

Thursday, May 7, 2009
10:00am – 12:00 pm
Jodo Shinshu Center (2140 Durant Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704)

This event will explore the phenomenon of lucid dreaming (being conscious within the dream state) from both scientific and comparative religious perspectives. People have reported lucid dreams throughout history, often in religious contexts, and yet modern science is just beginning to investigate this unusual aspect of mind-brain activity.

Ryan Hurd, a graduate of John F. Kennedy’s program in Dream Studies, will provide an overview of the history of lucid dreaming, including spiritual dimensions and contemporary controversies. Eleanor Rosch, professor of psychology at UC Berkeley, will share thoughts about lucid dreaming from the view of cognitive science, particularly in relation to research on meditation and other contemplative practices. Kelly Bulkeley, visiting scholar at the Graduate Theological Union, will talk about the various roles of lucid dreaming in the world’s religious traditions and their significance for current scientific models of brain-based consciousness.

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.

Dr. Eisho Nasu Receives New Post

Wednesday, April 01, 2009, 3:24 pm

Eisho Nasu farewell celebration
Dr. Eisho Nasu, the Hongwanji Chair Professor of Shin Buddhist Studies at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, Berkeley, for the past twelve years, was recently offered by Ryukoku University, Kyoto to the position of full-professor of Shinshu Studies in the university’s Department of Letters. He will begin his teaching assignment on April 1, 2009. Dr. Richard Payne, IBS Dean, made the announcement at the IBS Trustee Meeting on Friday, January 23, 2009.

Dr. Payne added, “The appointment of Dr. Nasu to Ryukoku University is an honor for IBS in that one of our faculty members was offered a full tenured position. This change in our staffing at IBS offers not only some unique challenges, but also unique opportunities. The relation between IBS and Ryukoku is key to promoting Shin Buddhism in the west, and with Dr. Nasu at Ryukoku we will be able to strengthen that relationship. We will miss Dr. Nasu and his expertise in the area of Shin Buddhist Studies and his work with our students.”

Dr. Nasu stated, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the members of the BCA and the friends of IBS who have provided generous support, guidance, and encouragement during my time at IBS. Though I will miss my colleagues and students, I believe my move to Ryukoku will further expand the existing ties between the two schools and will benefit both institutions for the mutual development of ministerial education programs and academic research projects. I look forward to seeing you all in Kyoto.”

Dr. Nasu’s area of research and teaching interests at IBS were History of Pure Land Buddhist Thought, Shinshu Buddhist History and Thought, Works of Shinran, and Readings in Mahayana Texts: the Three Pure Land Sutras. He was also a Core Doctoral Faculty at the Graduate Theological Union.

In 1983, he received his B.A. from the Kobe City University of Foreign Studies; in 1986 M.A. from Ryukoku University, Kyoto; in 1990, M.A. from the Graduate Theological Union/IBS; and in 1996, the Ph.D from the GTU.

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