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Joint Symposium: “Buddhist Philosophy in Multicultural Context” in Moscow

On September 11 and 12, 2008, a symposium “Buddhist Philosophy in Multicultural Context” was held in Moscow. This event was co-sponsored by the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), Russia and the Institute of Oriental Philosophy (IOP).

Founded in 1929, and with some 280 researchers, the RAS Institute of Philosophy is central to the research of philosophy in Russia. On the first day of the symposium, Institute Director Abdusalam Guseynov, noted philosopher and expert in ethics, stated in his opening address that it is essential for people to grasp an understanding of Buddhism in the 21st century and emphasized the importance of research to further clarify the ethical world view expounded in Buddhism. IOP Director Yoichi Kawada introduced the IOP’s current activities and as well as its philosophical foundation.

In her closing address, Marietta Stepaniants, director of the Center for Oriental Philosophy Studies at the RAS Institute of Philosophy, shared that the institute hosts the UNESCO Chair in “Philosophy in the Dialogue of Cultures.” Launched in 1992, the UNESCO Chair aims to advance research, training and program development in higher education by building university networks and encouraging inter-university cooperation through transfer of knowledge across borders. Listing nonviolence, tolerance to other religions, flexibility and comprehensiveness as notable features of Buddhism, she expressed her view that many people could learn more from Buddhist philosophy, which has a unique capacity to connect people from diverse cultures and religions.

The following papers were presented at the symposium:

September 11
・Abdusalam Guseynov (The Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences)
 “Buddhism as an Ethics-centered Worldview”
・Mitsuru Eguchi, IOP Commissioned Research fellow
    “Lev Tolstoy's Religious View and Buddhism”
・Yoichi Kawada, IOP Director
    “The SGI within the Historical Context of Buddhism—and its Philosophical Basis—”
・A. I. Kobzev
   “Chinese ‘Great Treasury of Canons/Sutras’” (“Da zang jing”)
・Victoria Lysenko (The Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences)
  “The Contribution of the Buddhist Philosophy into the Development of the Brahmanical System: The Case of the Vaizeshika PrazastapAda”
・Natalia Kanaeva
  “The Concept of Kalpanā and Vikalpa in Indian Yogācarā”
・Mariya Anashina (The Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences)
  “Some Aspects of the Ecological Ethics in Chinese Buddhism”
・Sergei Lepekhov (The Institute of Mongolian, Buddhist and Tibetan Studies)
  “Buddhism in Buryat-Mongolian Cultural Tradition”
September 12
・Margarita Vorobyova-Desyatovskaya (Authority on the study of the Lotus Sutra and a researcher at the RAS Institute of Oriental Manuscripts)
  “The Lotus Sutra” and Some Problems of Modern Culture”
・Yumi Ninomiya (IOP Research Fellow)
  "Buddhism’s Perspective on Women"
・Masahiro Kobayashi (IOP Senior Research Fellow)
  “Nichiren’s View on Debts of Gratitude”
・Lyubov Karelova
  “The Doctrine of Houon (Repaying Debts of Gratitude) in Japanese Buddhist Thought and Its Role in Labor Ethics Formation”
・Ken’ichi Maegawa (IOP Research Fellow)
  “Kamakura Buddhism and Today: Some Remarks on the Formation of Japanese Lay Buddhism”
・Marietta Stepanyants (Director, The Center for Oriental Philosophy Studies at the RAS Institute of Philosophy)
  “Buddhism in the Context of the Dialogue of Cultures”

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