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September 10, 2021

English Edition of Pérez Esquivel-Ikeda Dialogue Published

English edition of the dialogue between Daisaku Ikeda and Adolfo Perez Esquivel
English edition of the dialogue between Daisaku Ikeda and Adolfo Pérez Esquivel

LONDON, UK: Publisher I.B. Tauris has released The Power of Hope: Thoughts on Peace and Human Rights in the Third Millennium, a dialogue between the Argentinian Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Daisaku Ikeda.

Dr. Pérez Esquivel, an activist, community organizer, artist and writer, was awarded the 1980 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to protect human rights. In 1974, he established the “Service, Peace and Justice” foundation, or SERPAJ, a Christian-based non-violence organization committed to defending people across Latin America who had been stripped of their human rights. In 1976, a military junta overthrew the Argentinian government. During its reign, thousands of civilians suspected of opposing the regime were detained, tortured or killed. Dr. Pérez Esquivel led a non-violence movement defending human rights and, in 1977, was himself arrested, tortured and imprisoned for 14 months.

Dr. Pérez Esquivel and Mr. Ikeda first met in 1995 in Tokyo. Their exchanges continued through a series of written correspondences, culminating in the publication of their dialogue in Japanese by the Institute of Oriental Philosophy in 2009. The book was subsequently translated into Chinese, Spanish and Italian.

Daisaku and Kaneko Ikeda meet with Adolfo Perez Esquivel and his wife Amanda Guerreno in Tokyo, December 1995
Mr. Ikeda (left) and his wife Kaneko Ikeda (right) engage in a conversation with Dr. Pérez Esquivel (2nd from right) and his wife Amanda Guerreño (3rd from right) (Tokyo, December 1995)

The two authors discuss topics ranging from the struggle for human rights and people’s power to the role of women and youth. The English edition also includes the full text of Dr. Pérez Esquivel and Mr. Ikeda’s June 2018 joint appeal, “To the Youth of the World: An Appeal for Resilience and Hope,” which called for a new world built on justice and solidarity.

(JUN 6 2018: Pérez Esquivel and Ikeda Issue Joint Appeal to Youth Calling for Resilience and Hope)

In a chapter on “Transmitting the Legacy of Nonviolence,” Dr. Pérez Esquivel states, “Spirituality is born when we are able to open our minds and hearts to create inner space that allows light to enter. It comes into being when the spirit unites with the transcendence of the One in all things. No one can give what he or she doesn’t have.”

Mr. Ikeda responds, “The spirit and power of peace pulsate in concrete efforts to promote respect for human worth and dignity, in building strong solidarity among people. . . . . As people, we cannot be mere spectators. We have to become the protagonists of our history.”

 [Adapted from an article in the September 30, 2021, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]

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