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  • The Sixth International Buddhist-Christian Conference, August 5–12, 2000
  • Paul Ingram

The Sixth International Buddhist-Christian Conference, sponsored by the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies, will take place at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Washington, from August 5 to 12, 2000. The Program Committee has approved the general conference theme as “Buddhism, Christianity, and Global Healing.” The conference will follow the structure, with some variations, of the last international conference that met at DePaul University in 1996: morning working group sessions on several themes interrelated with the general conference theme; afternoon sessions devoted to individual papers; and evening plenary sessions.

Evening plenary themes and speakers have been identified: Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne and Dr. Cecil Murray (senior pastor of the First AME Church in Los Angeles) will address the topic “The Non-Violent Struggle for Economic and Social Justice”; Sulak Sivaraksa and John B. Cobb Jr. will speak on “Consumerism and Ecology: Buddhist and Christian Perspectives”; Rita Gross and Daniel Maguire will speak on “Buddhism, Christianity, and Issues of Gender”; and Virginia Straus and a Christian speaker yet to be identified will address “The Earth Charter: A Buddhist and Christian Response.”

Working Group cochairs and themes have also been identified: Buddhist-Christian Practice and Mind-Body Healing (Venerable Yifa and Mary Jo Meadow); Ecology, Consumerism, and Corporate Consciousness (David Chappell and Donald Mitchell); Gender: Issues of Oppression and Justice (Judith Simmer-Brown and Donald Luck); Buddhist-Christian Dialogue with the Natural Sciences (Ken Tanaka and Nancy Howell); Buddhist-Christian Dialogue on the Earth Charter (Virginia Straus and Jay McDaniel); The Interior Dialogue: Buddhist-Christian Meditative/ Contemplative Practice (Susan Postal and Ruben Habito); and The Role of Orthodoxy/Orthopraxis in Buddhist-Christian Dialogue (Rita Gross and John Keenan).

For the first time in the twenty-year history of our international conferences, a special afternoon seminar will be cochaired by Sallie King and Paul Knitter that will focus on specific case studies on particular issues of peace and justice work that are [End Page 179] interrelated with the themes of the plenary sessions and working groups. These sessions will meet in the afternoon throughout the conference week and will involve a presentation in case-study format from a Buddhist and a Christian engaged in a practical way that illustrates the themes of the conference. They will be asked to describe their situation and what they are doing and, particularly, to speak about how Buddhism or Christianity guides them in their work, the problems and successes they have had, their hopes, and their struggles, after which there will be open conversation with those present. Finally, afternoon sessions will be devoted to individual papers and presentations organized around the conference’s themes and other themes that emerge as individual papers are submitted.

A preliminary call for papers will be published in the spring 1999 edition of the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies Newsletter. Individuals who are not members of the society but wish to have a copy of this call for papers may E-mail the editor of the newsletter, Harry Wells, at <>.

The Department of Religion of Pacific Lutheran University, along with its administration, faculty, and staff, are currently working hard to make this conference enjoyable and memorable. Travel, room and board, and other information regarding Tacoma, Pacific Lutheran University, motels, and excursion arrangements will be made available in the fall 1999 edition of the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies Newsletter. The final call for papers appears on pp. 242–243.

Paul Ingram
Pacific Lutheran University

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