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I 989











Interreligious Dialogue as a vehicle for Peace and Prosperity by Ven. Dr. Havanpola Ratanasara Toward Organization of United Religions


East-West Interreligious Dialogue Do Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity (and Other Religions) Have the Same Mission by Dr. Leonard Swjdler


WO].I BUDDI{ISM Rrblished by


Research lnstitute for Overseas Missions Wonkwang UniversitY

lri City,


The Republic of Korea



. . . 13


985 WON







Editorial The Los Angeles Temple of Won Buddhism hosted very noteworthy events on the 5th and 6th of August. The program included speeches at the Korean Cultural Service Hall by three religious scholar-professionals. Mr. Jerry Freedman - Habush, Associate Executive Director of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, spoke on "Reducing hejudice among Religious Traditions"; Ven. Dr. Havanpola Ratanasara, President, Buddhist' Sangha Council of Southern California, addressed the theme of "Interfaith Dialogue among Religious Traditions," and Ven. Dr. Pal Khn Chon, Vice President of Wonkwang University, presented a rationale "Toward the United Religion." The occasion was for the celebration of moving to a new temple of Los Angeles Won Buddhism which has enough space for reliflous services and all the activities.

Both events were held in comparatively modest form, with only 300 attending, including thirty peace envoys, consisting of Won Buddhist devotees and lay members from the Headquarters of Won Buddhism in Iri, Republic of Korea. All those present were impressed by both events; especially by the spealiers, under the main theme of "AIl People, One Family." ttfill People, One Family" is not an unfamiliar phrase to Won Buddhists. The catch-phrase "Truth is one, the world is one, the Human race is one family, the World is one workshop" has been the central idea upon which all Won Buddhist activities have proceeded so far. The three speakers, from the different religious traditions, manifested their view on religions, supporting the idea of rtflll People, One


The Most Ven. Sotaesan, the founder of Won Buddhism, eDlightened us that all laws and principles of religions such as Buddhism, Catholic, Protestant, Won Buddhism, Confucianism, Sikhs, Bahai, etc. are rooted in One Truth. The religions are likened to branches of a tree.

Our World is becoming a multi-religious society more and more, which tells us that people need some shelter where they can keep their mind peaceful and restful. One of the main tasks of religion must be to indicate the right way to original Truth which may save people from

rr 986


2 WONBWDHISM some evil or wicked unrighteous path, finally giving them peace. Whereas, unfortunately, we. see many instances in this multi-religious society of some religions constantly acting against the main reason for the existence of religion, causing troubles between religions and finally destroying social peace. Religions exist for the peace and happiness of dl the peoples of the world. Inversely, this means that religions which focus on prestige, power, and property may only lose their meaning of existence. There could not be any conflicts, struggles, fightings, or w;us between religi ons as far as they concentrate upon their original tasks. Should the length of the history of a religious organization, the numbers of its members or the size of the temple have anything to do with acknowledging superiority of any religious organizations? Greatness or superiority do not depend upon external trappings and political influence as much as upon their relevance for self-disciplinary, devotiond, cooperative, and enlightening lives of members who may then contribute to social peace and welfare. This is the time for all religious people, especially for religious leaders to reflect upon the genuine meaning of a religion and its task. Then we cannot but cast off the old garments of self-assertive or selfserving ways of thinking, prejudice, discrimination and namow minded attitudes.

World peace will be realized when all religious people are enlightened that the root of all religious denominations is one, and when they take as a priority to share understanding and to love each other. In this context the two events which were sponsored by Won Buddhism Temple mlght be highly commended. The more movements of this kind take place, and the more people are enlightened to the truth of "All people One Family," the closer world peace might come.






from Dr. John B. Taylor

The following was given by John. B. Taytor, secretary-general of WCRp, who visited Won Buddhist Center, met with the studen is, would-be 1rlon

Buddhr'st prt'ests, and gave a short speech to share an idea toward world peace.

The Master _Chongsan (the first successor to the Great Master, founder of won Buddhism) speaks of "one Family within one House.,, This is a beautiful description of the role of wcRp the world Conference on Religion and Peace. Humanity is one family and the world is the house we share - we inherit it irom our ancestors in all nations; we live in it sharing its resources, its joys, its sufferings; we pass it on to future generations. We must use our sense of one famiy to rtop wars, to prevent injustice and to create love and compassion. The Master Chongsan's verse on Samdong Moraliiy (Three Sameness Moral Philosciphy) also invites us to be ';co-worklrs in one workplace." We have many different tasks and skills in one workplace. There are architects- and carpenters, there are teachers and pupils, there are strong and weak. But we all have one task to perform: to build the House of Truth, to make a home for love and injistice. One person cannot build a house and one person cannot create a family. We need each other. The World Conference on Religion and Peace has been trying for 20 years to build co-operation between the different religious families of the world-Buddhist, christian, Moslem, Hindu, .t.. ihi. is not easy because we have fought and exploited each other. we wish to .ooperate (a) to stop wars by promoting disarmament and building trustwe shall not need weapons if we trust Lach other, (b) to stop the causes of conflict which come from- violating human iighm p.".ticing economic injustice, (c) to work together to build more"nd just and sus" by sharing our tainable society by protecting the environment and limited resources, (d) to learn together how to underrtrrd and relpect our differenees but also realize our common visions and goals. The contribution of won Buddhism to our *oild-*ide wcRp movement is very, very important and much appreciated. Your Ieaders have been to -"ll our major conferences. you have made generous financial contributions to our work, But most important your belief in One Family, One House and One Work-place ir insplration to WCRP. We cannot solve the prcblem of war, hunger, "r, disease, illiteracy, etc. by ourselves. we must learn to be co-workeis. we pray the same prayer, so let us do the same work, each contributing our special gifts.



989 WON


One of his disciples said, ,,A great exhibition is being held in Seoul these days. I thought our Great Master would like to visit it. " The Great Master answered, "Through exhibitions we learn of developments in_ scholarly and official wlrks, ag,riculture, industry and commerce by comparing those in the pasi with those the in present day. Also, an exhibition contributes io the development of human wisdom, giv_ing peopre opportunities to hear and see widely, which bring forth very fruiiful.results when one,s attitude is very sincere. Today, however, let me introduce a truly great exhibition. The whole universe is the exhibition grornd *ti.r, i, limitlessly wide and vast. Ail beings in ih; universe without exception are nothing but exhibits. The exhibition has been taking place for millions of years. compared with trri, e*r,iuiril" jrr,, or,. in seoul you have mentioned is like a feather. It may have many exhibits, but will never be able_to display Mt. pae, iak. H*"r,g_ deung or the widely known Mt. Diamond in the exhibition gnound. There must be various antique objects displayed in the exhibition ground, but nothing can be *tr. antique than the mountains or rivers on the earth. The fish in an aquarium or the .lo!r- in the granary exhibit are only small portions of the number of fish in the fiv_e_oceans, ress significant than a grain of rice among six continents. Using this way of thinking, this kind of artificial exhibition in seoul gives only a narrow and unnatural impression t-o one of profound wisdom and broad view. Therefor., ir,Ir. who discover the immeasurable exhibition surrounding them, and always look into it with a broad mind, will be benefited immeasurably from what they have seen and what they have heard. From ancient times, therefore, all Budchas and sages, observing this everlasting exhibition, foll,owed as tf,ei. model the Truth of the Absolute Unity and its components, and Being and Non-being, which are displayed in the exhibition ground of the rimitress universe. As they establish th-e- Law of Right and wronj, and Advantage and Disadvantage of human beings on the basis or tni, Truth, they wili never become destitute_,, From "On Buddhahood,,, The Scripture of Won Buddhism ff\-.ff^-/N----J

lnterreligious Dialogue as a Vehicle for Peace and Prosperity

by Ven. Dr. Havanpola Ratanasara President, Buddhist Sangh a Council of Sou thern California Presiden t, College of Buddhist Studies, Los Angeles E xe cu tiv e Chairman, Am er ican Buddhis t Con gress

Human society is entrapped with all types of beliefs, customs, habits, and prejudices. Religious and racial beliefs stand foremost among all such prejudices. The religiousness of a person depends on his or her own traditional inclinations. Those who have greater elements of faith in a particular religious tradition find it difficult if not impossibie to appreciate religious other than their own. However,'if we examine the attitudes, beliefs and practices of the founders of many religions we will find that most of them practiced tolerance, kindness, compassion, and had a liberal policy towards other religions. In my view, religious intoleranee is perpetuated by certain followers of religious denominations. This attitude of religious intolerance may have developed and been motivated as a result of selfish interests.

A strong attachment to anything is discouraged in Buddhism" The favored policy advocated by the Buddha is that of "non-alignment", the middle path. Not to get involved in any extreme is the positive path toward Nirvana, the goal in Buddhism. Unfortunately, this attitude of Buddhism is not always shared. There seems to exist an ever greater amount of misunderstanding, mistrust, non-cooperation and conflicts of different kinds in our human society. I believe some of the leading personalities of certain religions are greatly responsible for the continuation of such travesties against human nature. If we are interested in developing harmony arnong different social groups, we have to educate our religious leaders correctly in the first place. Once the thinking of religious persons is motivated by undesirable factors such as prestige, power, pride and mercenary considerations, social stability is greatly disturbed. When elements of jealousy, mistrust, contemptuous attitudes and competitive means are accentuated, severe



6 WON BWDHISM social conflicts and violence follow. This state of unruly behavior can be checked only by the behavior of the clergy in charge of religious organizations. Religious harmony depends on the attitude of the clergy: once they have disciplined themselves, then they can present correct teachings and a solid example to their followers. Defilements such as hatred, malice, jealousy, ill-will, unwholesome competition, the attitude of exalting oneself and despising others are just foreign to most of the founders of the great religions. It is the successive leaders of certain religions who have incited their followers to resort to violence, often on a large scale. We can see in history that millions of innocent people have been massacred in Europe and elsewhere in the name of religion. The Crusadqs, the Inquisition, and many Islamic "jihads", or holy wars, have born witness to this, as well as lesser known religious conflicts. Although the teaching is "love thy neighbor", intoxicated by the teachings of the vicious circles, many have advocated a policy of mass kiling in the name of religion. Buddhism, the religion which I have chosen to follow, has a different history altogether. There is no restriction on any follower of the Buddha against learning and listening to the teachings of other religions. Buddhists are not expected to despise or look down on any other religion. Freedom of thought and speech, intellectual pursuits, and a scientific approach toward problem solving, including a tolerance of other views, are paramount in Buddhism. Buddhism is a sort of "shock absorber" of religions, riding with the waves yet maintaining its own steady course. Buddhism's liberal attitude helps individuals develop sober human relations. The principle of democracy which is cherished in Buddhism has contributed immensely to a peaceful social order among mankind Fortunately, now in Los Angeles, the rectification of the attitude of religious leaders is a reality, one which is more widespread daily. This is in no small measure due to the existence of the Interreligious Council, which this year celebrates 20 years of existence. I have been a member for the past 10 years, and am a past vice-president, so I have had a chance to observe closely the progress of this organization. Through the Interreligious Council, we clergy of widely different religions have come to know and respect each other through regular meetings, visits to each other's places of worship and religious instruction, attendance at each other's religious ceremonies. We have actively studied each other's religions, and have held seminars with papers presenting the typical attitudes of one religion, followed by a general




discussion and question and answer period to help all understand the attitudes of different religions. As Koreans, you may have borne witness to the process of implantation of foreign religions in your country. You may know from your own experience how the contact between two religions, if not based on mutual trust, can lead to rumors and innuendo about each other, and vying to show the superiority of one religion. over another. You may further have seen how the ignorance of one religion's clergy can lead to offending the sensibilities of followers of another religion. Now in Los Angeles we no longer need to suffer from these attitudes. Our clergy have the opportunity really to get to know other religions, so that they can learn to live peacefully with others and accentuate the positive in their own religion. We must continue to encourage our religious leaders to open themselves to the wide world, for the greater benefit of all mankind. +++++*+++++lr+++++++++++++++

Dr. Ratanasara was born in Sri Lanka in 1920. At age 12 he entered a monastery and was.ordained as a novice Buddhist monk. At age 20 he received final ordination. Following his studies as a monk he entered the University of Sri Lanka and took a B.A. with Honors in Pali. He



received and M.A. and a Professional Diploma in Education from Colurnbia University and then did his doctoral work at the University of London, receiving a Ph.D. in Education. He served ag a DelegatL for Sri Lanka to the Twelfth General Assembly of the United Nations in 1957.


The Great Master said, "It is important that you write and preach my Dharma in order to transmit my Law to future generations. But it is more important to practice it and become enlightened to it so that it may never cease. Then your merit will be 'beyond measure." From "Words of Commission," of Won Buddhism

The Scrip ture







to lessen the chances of wars fought for material gain, but those of religious or sectarian origins remain persistent and serious. Fully conscious of this situation, religious leaders in recent times have begun to seek avenues toward mutuality and cooperation through unity of the religious spirit, regardless of contrasting doctrine and dogma. Thus an atmosphere of interreligious dialogue and mutual understanding is being oeated by their awakening to the need for harmonious cooperation on programs of research and development of programs to approach shared goals, especially peace-oriented goals. Understandably, there are those who are concerned about possible erosions of the distinct characteristics which Eive the individual religion its unique identity,. the maintenance of which is a substantial part of any group's reason ior being. It is suggested here that by placing greatest emphasis and importance on the elements of contrast between one's own religion and that of another makes more difficult the kinds of cooperation which advance those aspects which are shared. Since basic human needs are universal, it seems a question of the welfare of the members. What religion will be harmed by promoting the principles of peace and harmony? After all, bridges are built to bring two sides closer together. If the bridge is built in an atmosphere of mutual respect, the risk of exploitation or erosion of identity can be avoided. The most important point to be made in this regard seems to be that,.if we are thoroughly awakened to the truth that the source of all religion is one, we can readily see that such fears are groundless, if not violations of the religious principle of spirituality. Just as a leafy tree greris from one root, all religions are grounded in one idea. Enlightened to the one Truth, Ven. Sotaesan said, "il-Won (One-Circle) is the origin of all beings in the universe, the mind-seal of all Buddhas and saints." According to the teachings of Won Buddhism, while the objects and symbols of religious belief may take different forms and expression, in ultimate reality they are the same, indistinhelps

Toward Organization of United Religions


Dr. Pal Khn Chon

The ultimate goal of mankind, in my opinion, is the attainment of that state of peace and happiness which transcends both time and space. In all the centuries since the human awakening economists, professors, artists, politicians and religionists have all pur"sued this goai of personal and. s^lobal happiness p.""e in thei, o*n ways, and "rid world as a whole has il;"-i;consciously. And it is a fact that the creasingly blessed with solutions to many of the problems which disturb and diminish the prospects for p.".. .rrd happiness.Yet the perfect world of peace andhappiness foi'which all mankind yearns, and for which so many have *orked, is not at hand. There have been, and continue to be, numerous regional and national wars in the world. Most lamentably, many of thlse have been of a religious character, thul mocking the case made by religionists io, .ynonymy between the Name of God and the end of suffeiing ruppor.a to result

from God's embrace - The bright sp-ot il thit picture, if so it can be called, is that despite the see-mingly unbreakable chain of tragic conflict, it has b".n possible, through mutual agreement between tlie prot"gorirtr;rd their intercessors to cease- killing one another on the baitlefield and step down hostilities a level to cold war and detente. The skirmishes and conflicts between groups, and even within gtroups' of the most.devout believers are oit"n-the most cruel and severe. This is especially true where points of religious doctrine are at issue, because of the depth to whictr- devotion is rooted in the human psyche. The continuing and far-reaching influence of religious ideas on human societies can hardly be overstatld. These ideas hire withstood the test of time in an increasingly secular world. R;iigio;"r. handful of the most powerful public-based organizaiiorm which "*ong exist" today. They are bo-rne along by the popurar support of their role in governing the welfare of the humin soul or spirit, traaitionally. Because of their universality, the religions have iet to-make their greatest contributions to the realization of humanity's goal of everlasting peace and happiness. Religions, as a source of wisdom, are now playing a great role in controlling excessive desire and teaching the reaf *L"nlrrg lf iif.. This



Religions, although their doctrinal principles may be different, are aimed at the same goal of leading the world into a righteous way and bringing its benefits to all beings. The basic spirit of Won Buddhism is that it is possible to respect the tradition and systems of other religions while striving to eradicate those barriers between them in pursuit of the goals of peace and salvation of humanity. This same spirit is represented in another Won Buddhist saying, "The truth is one, the world is one, mankind is one family, the world is






one workshop". Let's construct the Il-Won world as workers in the same workshop, as a family in the same household, through one principle in one rvorld. The concrete expression of this basic spirit is to be found in the movement for the establishment of the United Religions. The movement for a "United Religions" following the model of the United Nations is viewed as an organization to promote and build a world peace through mutual understanding and cooperation among religions. This is to be done without discarding any of the doctrine, tradition, system or character of any religion, but by transcending barriers and customs of a non-religious sort. My strongest hope is that this movement will not be viewed as an operation of the Won Buddhist religion, but a movement to be promoted by all religious devotees of goodwill in the name of religious agneement. The United Nations has been very effective in the supervision of pan-national and international relations in areas of material relations politics, economics, public health, culture, science, etc. The UN charter' contains an article related to religious relations, but it is a small section, zubsidiary to the big political picture. Today it is, I think, absolutely necessary that every religion, capable as they are of the benevolent governanee of the human spirit or mind, in full recognition of their original mission, join hands for a combined effort. This can be done, I suggest, by gathering all our efforts now dispersed in innumerable international religious organizations. We are not deceived that it will be an easy matter to organize such a body on a worldwide scale, either in name or in fact, and much less in haste. First, we must arrange for the place of meeting, where the Iargest group, as well as the smaller groups can gather as often as possible to ripen the atmosphere for progress toward the eventual permanent establishment.

Amicable meetings and dialogue are vital to establish the atmosphere necessary to realize the United Religions. Interreligious meetings and dialogue will provide an opportunity for mutual understanding to grow. Communicative competence between religions can be cultivated through regular'religious education, then contributing a central unifying basis for harmonious and cooperative relationship. In contemporary society, where many religions and values coexist, we must join hands to conquer the many miseries which face us, transforming them instead into opportunities to build a brlghter future through a universal religious culture.




The importance of interreligious dialogue can be shown in the following five aspects. First, it wilI remove the prevailing prejudice among religionists against other religions and sffengthen mutual understanding. Frequent conferences can make it possible to understand that the ultimate goal of aII religions is the same. Second, it can promote inter-religious understanding and friendship, thus weakening exclusivity

and hostility which exists among them. This will foster a philosophical basis for a lasting world peace. Third, social cooperation between religions will be advanced to settle disputes peacefully. Fourth, the general cultural level of religions will be enhanced, greatly improving the climate for a new morality of peace. Finally, religions will feel compelled to complement their weak points by following superior examples which become evident in colleague religions, thereby widening the ethical and moral range of their own religions and setting positive examples for others. From the beginning of Won Buddhism, Ven. Sotaesan, the founder, was very generous to other religions. He said, "According to the times in which on'e is living, study all lessons diligently and try to acquire all forms of knowledge." He opened the door to accept the superior points of other religions so as not to hinder the development of Won Buddhism. " Declaring the ll-Won-Sang truth to the world, Ven. Sotaesan awakened his followers to the truth that the ultimate reality of the univense is one, so all religions are grounded in the same source. AI religionists are seekers after the same truth. He paved the way for interreligious meeting and dialogue with,the phrase, "The ultimate truth of the universe is originally one". General problems pointed out in interreligious dialogue are as follows: First, religionists usually adhere only to their own doctrine and system and are lacking in general religious knowledge and are possessed with narrow-mindedness. Second, due to the chronic conflict between specific religions, the doors to dialogue are closed. Third, sonxe major religions and rapidly growing religions fall into a kind of cultural imperialism of exclusivity and chauvinism. Fourth, interreligious dialogues are done only among minor groups of scholars and participants in international meetings. Accordingly, popular understanding and education through inter-religious dialogue haven't been accomplished yet. Fifth, religions are not following rational ways to solution of these problems. Sixth, they are not seeking social coopera-



997 WON


tion for productive dialogue. without popular recognition, may prohibit the - -_ Theseofproblems, followers religious principles from seizing opportunities for meeting and dialogue. Ven' Chongsan elaborated

on the unity-oriented thought of Ven.

sotaesan by proposing the ,"three-sa-.".., ;lr"rr,, , (samdong). ven. Daesan, currently prime Master of won Buddhism, has been promoting the organization of the United Religion, a, .t .oncrete way of practical observance of the previous two piime lvt"rtJ, ideas. Moreover, during the past two decades, won Buddhism has been.keeping up correspondence with overseas religions and p"rti.ip"tirg in international religious conferences as well as encouraging and participating in rounds of visitor exchanges with others to cultivat-e friendly relations

In 1986, we hosted the ACRP meeting in seoul, and the result

our expectations, in an_ atmosphere of t and under_ standing, thus securing a foothold for the movement "r*orrv for a United Religions' Currently there exist a goodly number of international organizations in the worrd, ar with tti. toriv purpose of building para_ dise on this earth.However, the idear h;r;;; been put into practice yet, partly because the real motive of the *or.-.nt for a united Religions has not been widery conveyed to the wo.ra,^""a partly because of some misunderstandingr l, rorne peopret *i"al caused by rerigion-fostered oppression, historically. In this context, every religionist and religious order should incessantly reflect on and repent tf th.*selves. The modest attitude of reflection and penitence should constitute the u"ri. guialur. of the movement for United Religions. won Buddhism has proposed the movement for the united Religions, rather than the movement for widely sp.ead-rerigions, rarge and small, to promote a return to the originar posture of religions enlightenment to truth, harmony and c6operation in the construction of a peaceful-the paradise in the wtrld. I;ls believed that only when all religions return to their original r.rigiom attitude can the real intention of the movement for tne united'Rerigions be.u"iir.a. Then, united^Religions can successfuily functio" .r ri"rr..r *heeled cart' of which the United Nations forms "i;;" The road to tn. ...ond wheel. peace and happiness will be long and difficult, and this cart of unity is badly needed if we are to .o*pi.t. tt. ior*ey in time to save humankind. exceeded



East -- West lnterreligious Dialogue

Do Buddhism, Judaism, christianity (and other Religions) Have the Same Mission?

by Dr. Leonard SwidJer

In these remarks I wish to reflect on what interreligious dialogue is, why it is neceg$ary, how it must be carried out, and how that appiies to a Buddhist-Jewish;Christian dialogue. The conclusion will be ihat the mission of all three religions is essentially the same: the liberation of the human being to live a fully authentic human life. I will then add a few practical comments about moving this project forward on a global, organized basis. I

nterrel igious

D ialogue

During the course of the Second vatican Coun cil (L962-65), pope Paul VI issued his first encyclical (Ecclesiam suain, L964), speciiicaliy on dialogue. He was not at all, in those early days, hesitlnt in his

, language: ' Dialogue is demanded nowadays ... rt r's dem anded by the dynamic course of action which is changing the face of modern society.It r de-

manded by the p,luralism of society and by the maturity man has reached tn this day and age. Be he religiorrs or not, hrs secular education has enabled him to think and speak and conduct a dialogue with dignity.r

Vatican Secretariat for Unbelievers recommended that "alI Christians should do their best to promote dialogue as a duty of fraternal charity suited to our prognessive and adult age." A key notion in this interreligious dialogue and dialogue with nonbelievers is freedom for all

parties concerned:

Doctrinal dialogue should be initiated with courage and sincerity, with the greatest of freedom and with reverence ... If diatogue t's to achieve its aims, it must obey the rules of truth and liberty. ft needs s.rncere truth, thus excluding manipulated doctrinal dlscussion ... rn drscussjon the truth will ptevail by no other means than by the truth itself. Therefore the








o! the participants must be ensure d by


law and reverence in

To be sure, there is risk involved in dialogue: if one is really open to what other partners say, one has to reckori with the possibiliiy that they will prove to be persuasive on some given issue. Tire Vatican has incredibly strong statement supporting this position: ,'Doctrinal T discussion requires perceptiveness, Uottr in honesitv r.ttirg out one,s own opinion and in_ recognizing the truth everywh.i., .u.n if the truth demolishes one so that one is forced to reconsider one's own position,

in theory and in practice, at least in part.,,3 A similar commitment to dialogue with other religions, including Christianity, wa9 also expressed by t-he Great Master of fuon buddhisml Sotaesan, when he asked of a Christian minister,

" 'Have you ever liberated yourself ftom the bound.ary of the Christian realm and looked around the wider woild,?' The minister asked, ,Where is the wide world?' The Great Master said, 'You wilt find a wider woild when you break the boundary of your mind. Those who do not open their mind witde stubbotnly lnsr'st only

on their own concerns and

are iontined


*eir ia ruIes and habits, despising and rejecting the works and habjts of other peopre. Therefore thiy tinatty nn"nri irii"_ tlre boundaries of

dice, making a barricade like the thickest and hardest wall or mountain between themselves and otlrer people. The conflicts betwe"., ;;t;;; churches, and individuals are carred by this prejudice. we should destroy the banicade or thick bon wail btween people . . . making

harmonized relationshrps with al| other

people.,,a '


Deabsolutizing Truth

- -or.- m_qst, then, ask: why has this dramatic turn taken place even in that highly conservative institution, the Catholic Church? (And one gan effectively argue that if it has taken place there, then iic"n happen if it has not already, in other less conservative religious tradititns.) The ansurer to this simple question is quite complex, 6ut I believe that a foundational element for the revolutionary turn is the deabsolutizing of the understanding of truth that has finilly camied through in the

Catholic Church - and other Christian and Jewish institutions. This is not the place to spell out that deabsolutizing process in detail. But a few lines in its regard might be helpful. Until the nineteenth century iruth in the West was thought of in a very static manner: if something was found to be true in tne place and time, then it was thought to 6e true in all times and places, and this


was so not only in regard to statements about empirical data, but also about the meaning or morality of things. For example, if it was true for

St. Paul to say that

it was all right for slaves to be subject to their

it!), then it was always true. But no Christian theologian today would admit the truth of the Pauline statement. In the past one hundred fifty years our understanding of truth statements in the West has become historical, perspectival, Iimited, interpretive in a single word: relationat. And that means deabsolutized. It is now understood that the particular historical circumstances within which a statement about the meaning of something arose have a profound influence on the statement - the very framing of the question, the thought categories in which it and the masters (in fact, he demanded

subsequent answers were expressed and developed, the kind of language used (poetic, mythic, scientific, legal), the audience for which it was intended, the goal it was meant to accomplish. Text can be properly understood only within context; given a significantly new context, a proportionately new text would be needed to convey the same meaning. Great Master Sotaesan expressed much the same insight when he said: "AIl the founders of religions have from ancient times made their appearances at different times, teaching people the ways of life. The essentials of their teachings, however, have been different due to differences in the times and locations in which they lived."s Further, what the new sense of history did to make time and circumstances dynamic elements in the new view of truth statements, the development of the sociology of knowledge did in regard to such things as class, status, and sex in society; these also had a profound effect on how one perceived and expressed reality. With the development of language analysis and hermeneutics (the "science of interpretation"), all our statements about the meaning of things were seen to be necessarily limited by the nature of language (although reality is multifaceted, we can speak of only one facet at a time; hence, all our truth statements are limited). And all such statements include an element of interpretation (I perceive reality, and I express my perception of it; although there clearly is an extramental it, I am inextricably bound up in the perception/description of it). By way of an example, an object (reality) is perceived by a circle perceivers. My perception/description of the object (reality) may of well be accurate, and therefore true, but it may not contain the perception/description of someone who is opposite me, which will also be true. An awareness of this nature of truth statements logically leads to







the conclusion that I need to supplement my truth statements by being in dialogie with those who perceive reality other than I do. We shall never come to a complete perception/description of reality, but we can move toward an ever fuller one. Hence, dialogue and consequent self-transformation is dynamic, never-ending. What Dialogue Is

a conversation between persons with differing views, prrpose primiry of which iS for all participants to learn from the the others so that they can change and grow in the perception and understanding of reality, and then act ac'cordingly. Minimally,'the very fact that I liarn that my dialogue partner believes "this" rather than 1'that" Dialogue is

proportionately changes my attitude toward that person, and a change in my attitude is a significant change in me. We ent'er into dialogue sQ that we can learn, change, and grow, not so that we can induce change on the other, as one hopes to do in debate. On the other n'and, because in dialogue each partner comes with the intention of learning and changing, one's partner in fact will also change. Thus the goal of debate and much more, is accomplished far more effectively by dialogue. Without using the word dialogue, Great Master Sotaesan also expressed much the same idea when he was visited by a man from another religion, who asked him, " 'How can I broaden my scope of knowledge?; The Great master replied to him, 'You are prabticing the way to broaden the scope of your knowledge by asking me that question. I am also broadening my scope of knowledge by listening to your talk."6 In addition, persens enterinq into interreligious dialogue must be at least minimally ielf-oitical of both themselves and their own religious traditions. A lack of such self-criticism implies that one's own tradition already has all the correct answers. Such an attitude makes dialogue not only unnecessary, but even impossible, for we enter into dialogue primarily so that we can learn - which obviously is impossible if our tradition has never made a misstep, if it has all the right answers. To be sure, in interreligious dialogue one must stand within a religious tradition with integrity and conviction, but such integrity and conviction must include, not exclude, a healthy self-criticism. Without it there can be no dialogue - and, indeed, no integrity. In interreligious dialogue there are at least three phases. In the first phase we unlearn misinformation about each other and begin to know each other as we truly are. In phase two we begin to discern values in



the partner's tradition and wish to appropriate them into our own tradition. If we are serious, persistent, and sensitive enough in dialogue, we may at times enter into phase three. Here we together begin to explore new areas of reality, of meaning and of truth, of which neither of us had even been aware before. We are brought face to face with this new, as yet unknown to us dimension of reality only because of questions, insights, and probings explored in dialogue. There is something radically different about phases two and three, on the one hand, and phase one on the other. In the former we do not simply add on quantitatively another "truth" or value from the partner's tradition. Instead, as we assimilate it within our own religious self-understanding it will proportionately transform our self-understanding. Because our dialogue partner will be in a similar position, we shall then be able to witness authentically to those elements of deep value in our own tradition that our partner's tradition may weII be able to assimilate with self-transforming profit. AII this of course will have to be done with complete integrity on each side, both partners remaining authentically true to the vital core of their own religious tradition. In significant ways that vital core will be perceived and experienced differently under the influence of dialogue, but if dialogue is carried on with both integrity and openness, the result will be that the Jews will be authentically Jewish and Christians authentically Christjan, not despite the fact that Judaism or Christianity has been profoundly "buddhized," but becausq of it. And the same is true of a judaized or christianized Buddhism. There can be no room for syncretism here: syncretism means amalgamating various elements of different religions into some kind of a (con) fused whole without concern for the integrity of the religions involved - which is not the case with authentic dialogue. How to Dialogue

If we are to enter into dialogue with each other across religious lines, we shall have to learn to speak a language that will be understandable to our partner. The Jew and the Christian will have to learn something of the thought world, and language expressing it, of Buddhists, and Buddhists that of the Jews and Christians. This will be especially difficult inasmuch as the cultural milieux out of which the two perceptions/descriptions of reality arose are so very different, much more different than between Protestants and Catholics, or Christians and Jews, or even Jews or Christians and Muslims, for all







these have a largely Semitic and biblical


In the Wesi, ihristianity and Judaism have been going through


deep crisis of ontologization. For modern critically-thinking Westerners the old Ianguage "fr-om above" sounds too much like fairy tales; it is not convincini. The response of critically-thinking Christian and

Jewish theolog-ians has been to rethink their traditions with categories ifto* below," "from within," that express the transcenand language dent in terms of the immanent. It is precisely this language "fro-m beIOW," "frgm Within," "immanent," humanity'baSed, fOr that iS the o"fy kind of language that we can have in common. In terms of the Judeo-Christian-B-uadnist dialogue it-is that humanity'based language that provides a most apt bridge between the Judeoâ‚Źhristian and Buddhist traditions, not only because it is more and more the language of gitically-thinking Jews and Christians, but also because it is likewise the language of much of Buddhism. Return to Sources

In term of the conceptualization and expression of reality, much the same sort of misadventure overtook Judaism, Christianity, and Buddhism. AII suffered the fate of an externalizing and ontologizing of the original, metaphorical, nonideological message of their founders. In this ionnection the very names of the latter two religious traditions are revealing. The names come not from the names of the founding persons, Siidhartha Gautama and Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew) of

irlazareth, but rather, from their titles: Buddha (Enlightened One) and Christ (Anointed One). Here already is reflected the move from the interior to the exterior. One need only compare the Ianguage that Jesus, Yeshua, uses to describe himself and his relationship to the ultimate source of reality, which he, in good Jewish - indeed, Pharisaic

councils oi the fourth and fifth centuries to note clearly the move from metaphor to ontology. A similar comparison could be made of the Ianguage of Gautam-a in the Buddhist scriptures with s_9me of the dociriries of later Mahayana Buddhism. Externalization and ontologization occurred in both instances. What is necessary then, in both traditions and in Judaism, is a ressourcement, a probing back to the sources, the original vital core, of each of the ,.iigiorr iraditions, to the teachings embodied in both the words and lives of Yeshua and Gautama (there are of course


immense historic-critical problems in achieving this goal, but significant progress has already been made), and the "rabbinical" founders of Judaism. When that is done one finds startlingly similar mess.lges being taught by the original founders, despite the radically different milieux. Gautama, Yeshua and the Rabbis in Dialogue

It will be worth our while to pause and look at a few of the teachings of Yeshua and the rabbis (Yeshua too of course was a rabbi but, for the sake of clarity, the term "rabbi," will not be used here of him) to see just how close they are to those of Gautama. Gautama teaches that at the heart of the human experience of life there lies a basic dissatisfaction or suffering (dukkha); it is his goal to bring us to face dukkha and liberate ourselves from it. Ignorance of our lot is the cause of our slavery, and knowledge is the way to liberation. Yeshua's and'the rabbis' message too is one of liberation, a dialectic of slavery and liberation that comes about through truth. As a good teacher concerned for his disciples, Yeshua said to his Jewish followers: "If you follow my teaching you will be true disciples of mine, for you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:31-32). The Reign of God Gautama rejected the idea that the true meaning of human life, salvatlon, was to be found first of all through religious rituals, the practice of asceticism, virtuous acts or intellectual speculations - though some form of all these things have their proper place in human life but in a deep interior wisdom that sets all things in their proper order. Fundamentally this is what Yeshua and the rabbis taught with their central image, the reign of God. Unfortunately Christians have often been misled by the usual translation of the phrase basiJeia tou theou," as we have it in the new Testament Greek-Yeshua probably said malkut shomaim .in Hebrew-the "Kingdom of God," as if Yeshua were speaking of a place, a realm. In fact, some of Yeshua's contemporaries made the same mistake and were corr'ected by him: "Some Pharisees asked Jesus when the basiJeia tou theou would come. His answer was:'The basileia tou theou does not come in such a way as to be seen. No one will say, "Look, here it is"'or, "There it is!"; because the basiJeia tou theou is inside you (entos hymon) (Luke L7:20-2I). Equally unfortunately, in Judaism a similar fate befell the rabbis' image of malkut shomaim. The authentic meaning is that the reign of





God is the situation wherein all things are rightly ordered according to their nature;God's will reigns. Theism-Atheism

Of course the rabbis and Yeshua spoke in theistic terms: God was the ultimate source and goal of reality, and so if things were ordered according to their nature, their fundamental structure, they would naturally be ordered according to the will, rule, reign of God. Gautama did not speak of God, either to affirm or deny; he was satisfied with speaking of a right ordering of things according to their ultimate authentic structure. Clearly there are differences here between the teachings of the rabbis and Jesus, on the one hand, and Gautama on the other, but there is an even more profound unity of their messages: our liberation is to be found within us in the right ordering of all things according to their fundamental structure. In many different ways Yeshua and the rabbis spoke of the reign of God, the interior right ordering of things, the importance of seeking it first, and its relationship to other values. At one point Yeshua said: "Rather, seek first of all the reign and its rightness (dikaiosynen), and all these things Ihe had been speaking of not worrying about what to eat or wear] shall be added to you" (Matt. 6:33). In the Talmud this saying of the rabbis is recorded: "Did you ever in your life see an animal or a bird which had a trade? And they support themselves without trouble. And were they not created only to serve me? And I was created to serve my master. Does it not follow that I shall be supported without trouble?"7 Yeshua and the rabbis, like Gautama, did not reject the values of the body, but saw them as good things to be enjoyed within the right ordering of things. Then one can appreciate and enjoy all things for what they are, without any disordered clinging (tanh in the Pali of Gautama), but with a proper detachment, for as Yeshua said elsewhere: "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matt. 6:21). Love of Self, Others and God

Just how focused the message of the rabbis and Yeshua was on the interior right ordering of all things according to the structure of reality and, in the theistic mode, that means on the source and goal of reality, God - can be seen in the summing up of the whole of religion in two great commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with



your whole heart (kardra) and with your whole soul (psyche) and with your whole understanding (dianora). This is the great and first commandment" (Matt. 22:37-38). Here all the essential notions are interior ones: love, heart, soul, understanding. That is the first and great commandment; all others flow from it - the interior right ordering of all things. But in the Jewish tradition - and Yeshua was a very devout Jew - one does not live isolated like a hermit, and so Yeshua went on to make an essential link between that first commandment and the second, which he described as like unto the first (homoia aute): "The second is like unto it; You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Matt. 22:39). Interior right ordering has immediate socio-ethical consequences. According to Yeshua, one does not "save" oneself alone, .but liberation carries with it the impulse to share itself with other (as the medieval philosophers would say: bonum sui diffusivum est, goodness is diffusive of itself). This is exactly what the whole Buddhist tradition of the Bodhisattva is all about: the liberated ones teaching liberation to the unliberated. It should be noted that in this summing up of religion in the two great commandments of love, Yeshua was not only quoting from the Hebrew Bible (Deut. 6:5 and Lev. I9:I8), but was also following his .Jewish predecessors in linking the two together as the sum of religion as expressed two hundred years earlier in The Testaments of the Twelve Patriprchs. In fact in Luke's version of the encounter between Yeshua and the Jewish expert in the law who asked about horv to be "saved," it was the lawyer, not Yeshua, who summed up religion in the two gneat commandments of love; Yeshua simply agreed with him (Luke 10:2528).

It is also important to discern that in the second commandment of love, the Jewish tradition and Yeshua spoke of loving one's neighbor as one's self. There, indeed, is the standard, the authentic self, and there is the interior focus once again - which then has immediate outreach consequences. In another place Yeshua said: "But what does it profit a person to gain the whole world (kosmon) and suffer the loss of one's own self (heau ton)?" (Luke 9:25). Should we humans not enjoy the cosmos? Yes, but we can really do so only through an interiorly rightlyordered self. And in the sayings of Rabbi Nathan it is written: "To whomever saves a single soul [self] it is reckoned as if he saved the whole world...

To whomever destroys a single soul [self] it is reckoned as if he destroyed the whole world... From this you learn that one human is worth






the whole of creation."e It is the human self that follows the Torah God's instruction on how to order life rightly - that is worth, and worthy of, the whole of creation. Nirrrana-Shalom

one of the prime teachings of Gautama was that of concentration of meditaor focus of the mind - trris ii what the various techniques course the Ott. should live fully in the "now'" Of tion are aimeJ ,,now,, "t. includes an awareness of the past and a looking fullness of out from iorward to th; future, but they both focus in on and move (the Western tf,. pr.rrnt, which is to be embraced fully and consciously The you doing")' are what "do quod agis, medieval motto was: age no-t do Yeshua: "Therefore, of words the same message is found: in *orry aboui things for tomorrow; tomorrow will worry about itself' Suffilient for the iay is the evil thereof" (Matt. 6:34). In some of later Buddhism nirvana has come to mean something after like the notion of heaven, a place where one goes to live happily the to happened that nirvani to death. The o*, thing h"pp.n.d rt shomaim ; it was reified and localized' tt . basileia tou th;;; ^)it "nJ very much like Yeshua's basileia tOu was in fact, to Gautama nirvana (psyche) wherein theou and the rabbis' malkut shomaim; a state of soul out'" What is "blor1rn means literally Nirvana ;hi"g. are righgtordered. mistake blown out? AII of the false selves that most men and women Gautafna to for their true, a.Lp self. So deep is this true self according of what that he refers to it as a "nonse[1" anatta, a nonself in the sense are "blown we have not*"Uy mistaken for our self. These pseudo -s9l1e1 source the is out" in nirvana,it it all tanh, "distorting craving," which peace, at self, of tt. pseudo selves. What is then left is the authentic structhe p.".., U.."rt. it is rightly ordered in accordance with ture of realitY. Yeshua spoke

same a different language., but sent much the pea-ce

from pseudo

aistinilistring authentic pel"e (his own) message,'tf,. *oria): "Feace. I leave you, my peace I give you, not as the ilt ., of

Jesus *orfa gir., ao i giu. you" (John 14:27). As a PalestinianheJew for used rp"f.. not Gree[ Urt liebrew and Aramaic' Thus the word the mere

jr*" *"s doubtless shalom, which means much more than right ordering of

of exterior hostilities; it indicates an interior world. ali things thatpositively spreads out throughout the surrounding categories: The rabbis too had a ri*it"r message couched in Hebraic ,,Peace (shalomi i, gt."t for it is sit aside to be the portion of the cessation



just . . . Those who love the Torah have great peace (shalom) Peace (shalom) is great for it will be granted to the gentle."e Thus for Yeshua and the rabbis a synonym for basileia tou theou/malkut shomaim - and for nirvana - would have been the pregnant word "shalom." In the end those persons who attain liberation, salvation (which comes from the Latin word salus, "vibrant health"), who arrive at nirvana, at the basileia/malkut, at shalom, do not lead a grim, stoic life. Rather, only they are able to live life "to the hilt," for it is only they who, having things rightly ordered, can fully appreciate and enjoy them. Yeshua said as much in a stunning call to full life: "I have come that may havelife, and have it abundantly!" (John I0:I0). And your Scriptures say that,"Won Buddhism was therefore founded in order to Iead atl living creatures to the vast and boundless garden of happiness."l



Let this suffice here to indicate something of the profound similarity of the messages of Gautama, Yeshua, and th9 rabbis' Of

course there are also diiferences, but it must be asked whether these differences are over essentials or cultural variations, whether they are contradictory or complementary, whether they concern primary or secondary matters. In addition there will be many more differences and some similarities - when one moves into a comparative study of the religious traditions that flowed from Gautama, Yeshua, and the rabbis orut the millennia. That second move, of course, is important but, as in the very teachings of Gautama, the rabbis, and Yeshua themselves, the right ordering ol the original vital core of the religious !."_di tion ir primiry; all otlier developments are to be seen in that light. Hence our return to the sourcei, to the teachings of Gautama, the Torah, the rabbis, and Yeshua. Naturally such a resourc ement may not be done in a reductionist or primitivist manner, as if we were to "play" first-century Bible land or iifth-century B.C. India. Our contexts are different from that of the rabbis, Yeshua, and Gautama, and therefore their messages must be applied to our contexts; we must make interpretations. And that is piecisely, where the history of the institutions comes in creatively: millions of other disciples of Gautama, the rabbis, and Yeshua also tried to understand the teichings of their teachers and interpret them and apply them to their existential context. Their examples, their tradi-


1008 WON




must also be aware that tions, can be of immense help to -us. But we negative as well as positive ("the these examples and traditiont;; be the fool by.his own")' wise man learns by the mistakes of oihers; core in interpretA tradition must always be tested by the original vital ing and applyPg it to the present' originiaI vital core Fortunat.f, f"r .r" tod"y the language o.f both the and lives of (the teachings of Buddhism, Judaism, and'i]tttitti"nii, critical of.modern yesr,""i i"a tire language Gautama, the rabbis, and dialogue) inlerreligious in thinkers (who are largely the ones interestea within," the transcendent are largely a language "fr6m be}OW," "from in the immanent-- in short, humanity-based' as exIn sum: ttre mission of Buddhism, Judaism, and Christianity of liberation the same: pounded at sources it ;;;;;iia[y the religious Each now' lives human Ueings l;tead fully authentic human Rather than compete tradition prescribes how from its own perspective' one another' help with it.V need to Ut in'diafogue with each .ql?I," par cum with ",f,.i one another, as Vatican II expressed it: as."equal of being a ffue is worthy he if Wri.Sotaesan said: "Even "'Chtittian, I am doing' my disciples' -llto'disciple of Jesus, will understand what what will of Ueing"he;, -added: .understand if they are worthy;r,itf.. disciples, ,,Enlightened however, men, And Jesus was affi familv under-one roof'"]2 one re1ig1-* ;;;;td aII yourselves anew "t With tt ir'grl"f vision before you have committed Religions in united for to the notionl ", yo.r, steering- committee cannot religions all of truth Korea wrote, ihat 'ithe basic, fundamental education of means but be one. In addition, even'though each religion's but be one ' AII may be different, the go"t b"ittg-sought."ritot in one place assemble religions urgently need io oplt, tireir dtors wide, of mutual sake the for operations and discuss, train arrd enaci :oin, I3 understanding and cooperation' " your goal to move global I am in wholehearted Jgt..*."t with toconcrete, concerted inter-religious dialogue Ue,o]r'i-th. ,t"g. of wish you' I would urge with action - and I am not alone in this agireement out of your carrying the in scope you to maintain the broadest possible ^ pointed out in my vision in collaboration with others. as t have in three areas: operates ,,Dialogu. D;;;;;;;i"t dialogue interreligious the phvsically; humanity help the practical, where we to;il."ig to the experience to attempt we depth or "spiritual" dimension where intellectual' where we partner's religion "fromlvithi;";the cognitive or are vital to a fuII' seek understanding and truth. All ttrree areas



authentic human life, and your organizing-exists efforts need to encompass all. This is the more true becausJ there already a world-wide organization of the major religions working for world peace;a number of scholars, myself included, are now trying to organize thi intellectua' dialogue among religions on a more comprehensively interreligious and systematic basis; the interchange and dialogue in the spiritual area is going on, but it is even less global in its vision and practice than that of the other two areas. However, all three areas are inter-dependent. If they can be brought together on the global level in a creative dialogue, interchange and cooperation, the world would begin to experience the true human revolution, that is, the turning of humanity away f.rom focussing on its false self toward its true self in each person, between all persons, with all things within Ultimate Reality. ,( * rr rk * *rr * * * * rt * * * * * * rr * rk * *rr rrrr rr* NOTES

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. f. I0. 11. t2_.

Humanae Personae Dignitatem, tro. 79, in Austin Flannery, ed., Vatican Council II (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, L975), p.1003. ibid., p.1010.

ibid. .The Canonical Textbook of Won Buddhism, trans. by Pal-Khn Chon (Seoul: Won Buddhist Publications, ibid., p.56. ibid., p.148.

l97I), pp.268 f.

Krddushin 4.L4, in, Morton Smith, Tannaitic PraIIIeIs in the Gospels (Philadelphia: Society of Biblical Literature, I95I), p.I37. Aboth Rabb: Nathan, 31, in Paul Billerbeck, Kommentar zum Neuen Testament aus ?aJmud und Midrasch (Munich, L922),vol. I, p.750.

ibid., p.2L6. Canonical Textbook, p.1.

ibid., p.366. ibid. Unite Reiigions (Iri City, Korea,

13. l98l). L4. Leonard Swidler, "Dialogue Decalogiue," Joutnal of Studies, 20,

1 (Winter, 1983), pp.1-4.




1010 WON



26 WON BUDDHISM and Interreligious Leonard swidler, Professor of catholic Thought of Ecumenical Journal the of Editor and Dialogue at Temple university 100 articles' including studies, is the author of over 25 books and other westerners' Buddhism Made plain foi christians, Jews and


News Corner 1.

Organization of lVon Buddhist Teachers' Association Wori Buddhist Teachers' Association was organized, and the fotrnding seminar was given, at Won Buddhist Central Training Center in Iri Jan.2I-22,I989.


The 8th Presentation of Won Buddhist Thoughts

FernadofromsriLanka,andco.authorwithSeiichiYagifromJapan (Maryknoll, of the book A Bridge to Buttdhist-christian Diarogue NY: Orbis Books, 1990)'

Paperg and other special lectures on Won Buddhist thoughts were given in the eighth meeting sponsored by the Institution of Won Buddhist Thoughts at Dharma HaIl, Wonkwang University, Feb. l-2,1989. 3.

TheGreatMaster,whilesupervisi"qli:,.linedisciplesbuilding are not accustoma dam to reclaim-i"na at Kityong-lit pid,"You now suffering' as you are hirdship ed to such t."r, *ork. This from that of initiators of ,i,J gr."i Ota.t,-lt q"it. different unique pleasure in doing ordinary people. Hbwever, yo; wil iind initiate a thlng yourself through it. It wiII be more meaningful-iojust taking over some other perhardships and Jiifi.rtties than unprecedented grea-tness' and son,s work. Our Order is to be of kind' To establish such a at the same til;,-ii *iff Ue tt e tast of iis which incorporates the great order, we must pr.p*.- a docrine followingteachings:moratstuavandphilosophyofscienceshould to the world; be compatible, which might-Uti"g real -civilization with Studv in Quietness Study in Motit" rr,o"ra 6e harmtnized parallel our Dharma in order that the- study of Buddha unity of miglt all doctrines must pr".iL"r *orrr; possibilitie.s for the together in peaceful harmony be found whiJ' tiiii 6ting the wrold perflctly, a Eeat deal Iike a family. Thus, to accompiith "fti.":I of effort on our part is naturally required'" From "Introduction"' The SuiPture of Won Buddhism

The 5th WCRP

Fifteen Won Buddhist delegates participated in the 5th World Conference on Religion and Peace(WCRP) meeting at Monash University in Australia with the theme of "Building Peace through Trust," Feb. 22-28, 1989. In thiS meeting Rev. Chon PaI Khn was elected as a staff member of Korean branch Committee. Before the opening ceremotry, Won Buddhist delegates visited the oldest Anglican church in Melbourne, and sang together "Morning Prayer", a Won Buddhist hymn. Rev. Lee O Eun of New York Won Buddhist Temple, a member of the New York branch, joined the delegates. 4.

Ground-breaking Ceremony of Ven. Sotaesan'Memorial Hall The construction of Ven. Sotaesan's Memorial Hall was inaugurated with its ground-breaking ceremony at the square in front of Everlasting Memorial Shrine, Won Buddhist Headquarters, Mar. 30,1989.


The Standing Committee of WFB The Standing committee and chairman group's meeting of WFB was held at Imperial Hotel, Bangkok May 25-26, 1989, where the tTth WFB meeting place was decided for Seoul in 1990. Rev. Pal Khn Chon joined the meeting.






John B. Taylor Visits Won Buddhist Center John B. Taylor, secretary general of WCRP, visited Won Buddhist Center, Wonkwang University and the Sacred Land of Won Buddhism Jun. 13-15, 1989. During the visit, he paid'a courtesy call to Prime Master Daesan and shared views on world peace. He also had a chance to meet and addiess students and would-be Won Buddhist priests at the Center.


New Life for Children with Heart Disease

"New Life Fund-Raising Campaign Group" comprised of five students of Department of Won Buddhism, Wonkwang Univ., completed their third summer vacation bicycle tour of Korea to collect funds needed for children with heart disease. So far they have succeeded in providing 25 children with heart operations. 8. Dedication Ceremony at Los Angeles Temple of Won Buddhism

The dedication ceremony of the Los Angeles Temple of Won Buddhism was held Aug. 6, 1989. Aug. 6, 1989. The Branch Temple is the first temple of Won Buddhism established overseas. On the occasion of this ceremony, the Won Buddhist Peace Mission joined the ceremony and had a special Dharma meeting at the Chicago and New York Branch Temples on Aug.8 and 15, 1989,

John B. Taylor (third from the left), Secretary-Generar met with hime Master Daesan_ at wanggung, Iri, on Jun. Ig, 1989.of wcRp, Rev. par Khn chon (standing) introduced Mr- Taylor to the audience gathered to visit the prime




Lecture Meeting on Religious Thoughts at Los Angeles Temple On the eve of the Dedication Ceremony, a lecture meeting on religious throught was held at the downtown Korean Cultural Center, Los Angeles, with the theme of "All people, One Family". Mr. Jemy Freedman, working to eliminate prejudice among races and religions, suggested devices for removing the prejudices between religions. Dr. Havanpola Ratanasara gave his lecture on diaiogue-promotion betwoen religions, and Rev. Pal Khn Chon spoke for the establishment of the United Religions.

The children of wonk**g


scrroollrounaea by


New Buddhism Branch Temple, give their musical presentation at the Temple on Jun. 17, lggg.

,l.rii . ,:,



The children of wonkwang Korean school join under the auspices of New York Koreans' Association. The school, the most exempl_ ary among its kind, is reputed for its leadership in educating Korean students living in New York.

won Buddhist believers of chicago Branch remple of won grdahi*, g"thered in the Dharma Hall after finishing the first doctiinal training, held from May


LA Temple of won Buddhisn, located at l7L7 S. Hoover st., Los Angeles,

california,u.s.A.. The rl-won-sangEnstrrinement ceremony was held here on Aug.6, 1989.

In commemoration


of Il-won-sang Enshrinement of LA Templ, ;aw* Buddhlecture meeting.on rerigious thoughts, with the theme of ,,A[ peopre, 'j*'l Family", was held at Korean One Cultuial dervice Hall, on Aug. 5, I9g9. Mr. Jerry Freedman (standing) gave a lecture on "Reducing irejudicJ among Religi ous Traditions".

The delegates


Won Buddhism, participating in the 5th WCRP, at Monash

Univ. in Australia. Jun. 28. 1989.

Mr. Kim Woo Jung, the president of Daewoo Group, a leading business conglomerate in Korea and the world, donated one billion won to Won Buddhisnt for scholarship, shaking hands with the Prime Master Daesan at the Master's office on Mar.26, L989.

of "New Life Fund - Raising Campaign Group" get ready be begin their bicycle tour to collect surgery funds ior children with heart disease on Jun. 28, 1989. They provided operations for 25 children over the last two Members


The medical team of Kwangju Oriental Medicine Hospital gives free medical treatment to residents of remote islands on Heuksan Island Aug. 8-12,1989.