Since the earliest days of human history, and in all cultures, religion and art have always complemented one another. But the intellectual and spiritual dimension of this interaction has all too often been taken for granted and is never properly explored. Rarely has the dialogue between religion and art been better examined than in this book. In their profound and moving conversations, philosopher of aesthetics Rene Huyghe and Buddhist leader Daisaki Ikeda compare modes of thought from the opposite ends of the earth: from traditions, cultures and religions as different from each other as can be. Their guiding theme is the rediscovery of a common humanity through the artistic intuition and religious impulse shared by all peoples. The Dialogue ranges widely, analysing the contemporary predicament from twin perspectives of beauty and the divine. Huyghe and Ikeda look to active solutions to this predicament - at the key to harmony in life, and at the means of reforming our inner lives. Discussing artistic creativity, its spiritual value, and the differing arts of East and West, the interlocutors conclude by evaluating the crucial role played by religion in helping humanity come to terms with the mysteries and challenges of the unknown.
Rene Huyghe (1906-1997), formerly a professor at the College de France and member of the Academie Francaise, was an internationally famous philosopher of art and aesthetics whose writings on art have been translated into twelve languages. Daisaku Ikeda (1928-) is the President of Soka Gakkai International, a lay Buddhist organisation whose adherents come from over 190 countries throughout the world. He is the author of more than 80 books on Buddhist themes, and received the United Nations Peace Award in 1983.