In all his dialogues, the aim of Daisaku Ikeda has been to find a meeting point for the great traditions of East and West. As spiritual leader of an international lay Buddhist movement with eleven million followers, he is a knowledgeable spokesman for the Asian tradition. And in his partner in this latest dialogue - educationalist and philosopher Josef Derbolav - he has found a wise and accomplished voice from the West. The two men explore a wide range of topics, beginning with a discussion of the tension between tradition and modernity in Japan and elsewhere. They go on to compare humanism in East and West, the role in society of ethics and religion, and the encounter between Christianity and Buddhism.Focusing on the central topic of education, and the business of changing attitudes and minds, their discussion zeroes in on concrete problems and issues: education and political authority; absenteeism and violence in schools; and juvenile delinquency.
The dialogue concludes with a reflection on the future for the human race, looking to an inner revolution - a radical alteration in our way of thinking - which will conquer the daunting problems currently facing the planet and its people.
Josef Derbolav (1912-87) was Professor of Education and Philosophy at the University of Bonn. For many years he was a leading thinker in West Germany in the field of education. He published widely, and served as a visiting professor in the USA, the Soviet Union, and Japan. Daisaku Ikeda (1928-) is the President of Soka Gakkai International, a lay Buddhist organisation with some eleven million adherents in over 190 countries throughout the world. He is the author of over 80 books on Buddhist themes, and received the United Nations Peace Award in 1983.