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Buddhist-Christian Studies 22 (2002) 189

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Japan Society for
Buddhist-Christian Studies

Paul Swanson
Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture

The annual meeting of the Japan Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies (Tozai Shukyo Koryu Gakkai) met on July 25-27, 2001, at the Kyoto Garden Palace Hotel. Major papers were given on the general theme "Nature."

The session opened with the first of two presentations on "The Meaning of 'Nature'" by Ueda Shizuteru. The discussion focused on the meaning of three Japanese terms for "life": seimei(biological life, anima), sei(living, dynamism), and inochi(life, life force, power). A response was given by Honda Masaaki.

The second presentation of the first day was a paper on the same subject—nature —by Tanaka Yutaka. Tanaka took a theological approach to discuss topics such as "nature and grace" and "nature and history." A response was given by Nobuhara Tokiyuki.

The second day was opened with a presentation on "Form, Emptiness, and Nature: Thoughts on the Encounter of Greek Culture and Indian Buddhism" by Kawanami Akira. Kawanami argued his thesis that "emptiness" is a "Mediterranean idea that evolved in a non-Mediterranean setting." In the afternoon Ueda Shizuteru gave the second part of his presentation on "The Meaning of Nature," and a response was provided by Yagi Seiichi.

On the third day another extra paper was given on the topic "Miyazawa Kenji and Religion: From the Perspective of Inculturation," by Taniguchi Masako. A final summary and discussion was led by Ueda Shizuteru. As is the common practice for the meeting, all participants (about thirty) were invited to give a brief three- to five-minute comment on a point they found worthy of note from the preceding papers and discussions.