Seikyo Shimbun Highlights for July 10, 2020
News FlashAcademic Paper on Soka Gakkai’s Response to COVID-19
The July-August 2020 edition of The Journal of CESNUR (the Center for Studies on New Religions) published “The Response of Soka Gakkai to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Personhood, Interiority, and a Civil Society in Crisis Mode” by Assoc. Professor Anne Mette Fisker-Nelsen of Soka University Japan. The paper explores the Soka Gakkai's need to respond practically and urgently as a global civil society network and the need to tackle fear from the perspective of Nichiren Buddhism as practiced in the Soka Gakkai. The article includes examples of Soka Gakkai members seeking to transform their mindsets toward hope as a step towards social transformation.
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ONLINE: On June 25, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) organized a virtual dialogue on #BuildBackBetter: Spiritual Perspectives for a New Normal. Faith-based organizations including SGI offering insight into what an earth-centered new normal might look like in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alexandra Masako Goossens-Ishii of the SGI Office for UN Affairs in Geneva presented the exhibition “Seeds of Hope: Visions of sustainability, steps toward change,” created by the SGI and Earth Charter International, and introduced the initiatives of the Soka Institute for Environmental Studies and Research of the Amazon.
Seoul, SOUTH KOREA: On June 28, the 35th SGI-Korea (KSGI) Headquarters Leaders Meeting of the New Era of Worldwide Kosen-rufu was held at the KSGI Ikeda Memorial Hall. The meeting was simulcast to 141 venues across the country, with 5000 leaders participating nationwide. SGI President Ikeda sent a congratulatory message.
Tokyo, JAPAN: In response to torrential rainfall and widespread flooding on Japan's southern island of Kyushu, it was announced on July 5 that Soka Gakkai set up a central emergency communications center at the headquarters in Shinanomachi and two local emergency centers in Kyushu. Local leaders are providing support and encouragement to those affected.
Tokyo, JAPAN: On July 7, Seikyo Shimbun released a summary in Japanese of a paper titled “Confronting the COVID-19 Crisis: Danger and Opportunity,” authored by Kevin P. Clements, Director of the Toda Peace Institute.
Tokyo, JAPAN: On July 8, during a nationwide executive leaders’ conference, Soka Gakkai President Minoru Harada announced that Soka Gakkai will hold a virtual worldwide youth general meeting in late September to commemorate the 60th anniversary of World Peace Day (October 2) and that the Soka Gakkai Headquarters will set up a new Novel Coronavirus Response Committee. SGI President Ikeda sent a message to the conference.
Chugoku, JAPAN: On July 9, Seikyo Shimbun announced that the Soka Gakkai Student Division of the Chugoku Region released the results of their 25th annual survey on students’ attitudes toward peace and nuclear weapons. This year, 373 students responded to the online survey carried out between April 11 and June 7. More than half of the respondents believe that nuclear disarmament is possible.
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