The Institute of Oriental Philosophy
   Public Lectures

Lecture: "Progress of Science and Past, Present and Future of Ethical Issues over Life
with Reference to Discussions in Christianity"

Prof. Kohara is a specialist in Christian theology, religious ethics and comparative study of monotheistic religions. He earned a Th.D. from Doshisha Graduate School of Theology. He served as Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions and Chair of the Kyoto Graduate Union of Religious Studies. The Institute of Oriental Philosophy has interacted with him since it invited him for his lecture ‘Women in the Christian World’ in November 2011.

In his lecture, Prof. Kohara identified the basic concept of bioethics and introduced the debate which continues over abortion and sense of person in the United States. He said, “Ethics can be referred to as a potential to think about and empathize with others. Generally, one has enough challenges focusing on only oneself. For this reason, ethics should be conceptualized as a social term which one can base to concern for others.”

As per Prof. Kohara, the reason why Christianity can be referred is that “They accumulate plenty of discussions on life-related issues and the examples can be seen globally.” He continued, “I regard a faith as cultivation for a critical moment and indispensable base to tell good and evil throughout the life. It is sure that all of you also have such inherent potential.”      

Prof. Kohara mentioned that recent development of technology and science brings about a stereotypical value which makes it difficult to tell good and evil and to make a bioethical judgement. He said, “What we should do is to respect for diverse values. We are supposed to show to choose the best from among optional matters. It is more important to have a binocular vision of Japanese traditional view of life as ‘bond’ and Western view of life as ‘individual’.”   

In conclusion, he pointed out that contemporary view of life deals with a life which is not gifted but produced or chosen. He showed his expectations by commenting, “It is important to cherish love of accepting a gifted life rather than changing, controlling or choosing a life, isn’t it? There is a need to center a sense of value and ethics that function as appropriate base in evaluation of life.”

Organizer: The Institute of Oriental Philosophy
Lecturer: Prof. Katsuhiro Kohara (Professor, Doshisha University / Director, Center for the Study of Conscience)
Venue: Umeda Sky Building (Osaka-shi, Osaka)
Date: November 14, 2017

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