Following last year’s very successful International Lay Buddhist Forum hosted by Karma Guen near Malaga, Spain, the Forum returns to Asia, where it will be hosted by the Japanese lay Buddhist organization Rissho Kosei-kai and held at their headquarters in Tokyo, Japan from April 23 to April 29. http://ilbf-tokyo2014.info/ILBF2014Tokyo/index.html
The theme for this conference is “Varieties of Lay Buddhism.” As we all know, Buddhism can be characterized in various ways. Often it is seen as divided into various schools, such as Theravada, Zen, or Pure Land. Sometimes nationalities or cultures are the modifying characteristic, as in Chinese, Tibetan, or American Buddhism. In many places, both historically and in the present, Buddhism is regarded solely as a monastic tradition, in which the only “real” Buddhists are monks and nuns. But both historically and in the present, lay Buddhists have played important roles in the development of the tradition, often primarily in support of monastics and their temples, sometimes in support of non-monastic professional priests, sometimes as movements quite distinct from and independent of monastic institutions. The Seventh International Lay Buddhist Forum will explore some of this rich variety of lay Buddhisms.
As before, there will be speeches and formal presentations. The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Dr. Masazumi Shojun Okano, President of the lay Buddhist organization Kodo Kyodan Buddhist Fellowship, with headquarters in Yokohama, Japan. http://jneb.jp/english/japan/kodosan After graduating from Keio University in Tokyo, Dr. Okano received a D. Phil. from Oxford University. He has been a professor at universities in the United States and in Hong Kong, and serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the All Japan Buddhist Federation and of the Advisory Committee of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists.
If you would like to participate as a presenter, please see the “Call for Presentation Proposals” also on this page.
In addition to speeches, there will be ample opportunity for participants to learn about each other and the Buddhist organizations that they represent. Other activities will include an opportunity to share in a special celebration with the International Buddhist Congregation of Rissho Kosei-kai and to enjoy some traditional Japanese art forms. An excursion to Kamakura and it’s world-famous Great Buddha will be included in the program.
For the first time there will be a small registration fee of 5,000 Japanese yen or the equivalent. But we do not want to exclude anyone for lack of this fee. It can be regarded as a voluntary donation to the ILBF. Other costs, program, room and board, and local transportation will be covered by the host organization, Rissho Kosei-kai. To register, please click here. Space is limited, especially sleeping space, so please register as early as possible.
Call for Presentation Proposals
The next International Lay Buddhist Forum will be held at Rissho Kosei-kai headquarters in Tokyo in April, 2014.
On behalf of the Steering Committee, we would like to solicit your participation. Please submit a presentation proposal.
There will be two different kinds of presentation:
1) Theme talks: presentations on the conference theme: “Varieties of Lay Buddhism.”
2) Sharing: presentations about some lay Buddhist organization, group, or activity.
Theme talks should directly address the theme of the conference. Normally they will be in the form of academic papers, lectures, or power-point presentations, but there are other possibilities, including panel discussions, and video or movie presentations. These presentations should not exceed a total of 45 minutes, including any discussion.
Presentations of the second kind, sharing, will normally focus on one’s own tradition or organization and its work, but presentations about another lay Buddhist organization on which one has done research will also be welcome. These presentations may be in the form of informal lectures or talks, power-point presentations, panel presentations, etc. They should be completed in 30 minutes and include an additional 15 minutes for questions and discussion.
All proposals for presentations should be sent to Gene Reeves a mail to email@example.com by February 15, 2014. This is a deadline, after which we hope we will not have to consider any additional proposals. Feel free to send an inquiry or preliminary proposal to me for consultation before the February 15 deadline. It you think you need a longer period of time for your presentation, please raise that question well before the February 15 deadline.
Theme talks or lectures should be in the form of a completed paper or a very detailed description of what is being proposed. If you expect to see your paper in a book of conference proceedings, it must be sent in before the February 15 deadline. If English is not your native language, please have your paper edited into standard English for inclusion in a proceedings volume.
Proposals for the second kind of presentation may be more brief, describing the nature of the presentation and giving a brief summary of it content.
Presentation proposals will only be finally accepted from people who register for the conference.