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October 25, 2016

I.B. Tauris Publishes English Edition of Unger–Ikeda Dialogue

English edition of Unger–Ikeda dialogue

English edition of Unger–Ikeda dialogue

LONDON, UK: Publisher I.B. Tauris has released The Humanist Principle: On Compassion and Tolerance, a dialogue between European Academy of Sciences and Arts (EASA) President H. C. Felix Unger and SGI President Daisaku Ikeda. This English edition is the first foreign language translation from the Japanese, Ningen shugi no hata o, which was originally serialized in four installments in The Journal of Oriental Studies, a journal of the Institute of Oriental Philosophy.

Dr. Unger and Mr. Ikeda first met in 1997 and on three subsequent occasions from which the dialogue grew, in addition to exchanging ideas through correspondence.

Dr. Unger is a renowned cardiovascular surgeon and presently serves as president of EASA, a learned society formed in 1990 of specialists foremost in their field to develop solutions through projects and research on global issues facing humanity such as sustainability and procurement of water resource. The academy has collaborated with institutions in over 50 countries toward building a global network and names former King Juan Carlos I of Spain as one of its honorary advisors.

The dialogue addresses issues of vital current concern, such as the importance of inter-religious dialogue, global environmental issues and education, and various challenges in contemporary medicine.

The authors ask, for example, what will bring peace, security, and harmonious coexistence in the 21st century. They discuss hard vs. soft power and particularly in chapter one, both parties point out the significance of spreading the spirit of tolerance at a time when globalization is progressing rapidly. Dr. Unger states, “Tolerance is a spiritual service to an other [sic]. It is an active form of coexistence in which I identify with and feel responsible for my fellows.”

The completion of this English edition will enable those aspiring for peace to learn from Dr. Unger’s and Mr. Ikeda’s wealth of wisdom and experience in medical science and Buddhist thought, respectively.

[Adapted from an article in the October 25, 2016, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]