a+ a- print

April 25, 2024

French Edition of Nanda-Ikeda Dialogue Published

French edition of the Nanda-Ikeda dialogue, Our World To Make
French edition of the Nanda-Ikeda dialogue, Our World To Make

PARIS, France: Éditions L’Harmattan, a prominent French publishing house, has released a French edition of Our World To Make: Hinduism, Buddhism, and the Rise of Global Civil Society, a dialogue between acclaimed scholar of international law Ved Prakash Nanda (1934–2024) and Daisaku Ikeda (1928–2023). The dialogue was originally released in Japanese in 2005, and the English edition was published in 2015.

Dr. Nanda held various positions at the University of Denver, Colorado, USA, where he was vice provost from 1994 to 2008 and emeritus and distinguished professor at its Sturm College of Law. He also served as president of the World Jurist Association and held various roles in the American Branch of the International Law Association. He was active in international NGOs that work for peace and human rights, particularly concerning refugee issues, and contributed to initiatives such as the World Court Project, which questions the legality of the use and threat of nuclear weapons. Dr. Nanda passed away in January 2024 at the age of 90.

French edition of Nanda--Ikeda dialogue, Our World To Make
Dr. Nanda and Mr. Ikeda meeting for the second time (Tokyo, September 1996)

Dr. Nanda and Mr. Ikeda first met in 1994 when Dr. Nanda visited Soka University in Tokyo, which Mr. Ikeda founded. They met again in June 1996 in Denver when the University of Denver presented Mr. Ikeda with an honorary doctorate of education. The day before the conferral ceremony the two met at Dr. Nanda’s home, taking it as an opportunity to engage each other in discussion.

Their dialogue comprises seven conversations between the authors—Dr. Nanda a Hindu and Mr. Ikeda a Buddhist—including “A Renaissance of Hinduism,” “Buddhist Compassion,” “Humanistic Education,” “A Century of Human Rights,” and “A New Civil Society.” The central theme of their conversations is how religion can contribute to society and address contemporary global challenges.

Mr. Ikeda writes, “more than at any other time in international society, we need a religious spirituality that evokes people’s goodness and draws them together.” Dr. Nanda concurs, saying that religion and spirituality can serve “as guiding lights for individuals and as the foundation for enriching all human society.”

They draw on the wisdom of Hinduism and Buddhism, wisdom that hails from Dr. Nanda’s homeland of India, and find commonalities. Among them, Ikeda refers to “the spirit of nonviolence and compassion . . . the harmonious coexistence of human beings and nature, and tolerance of others.” These, he says, are all essential ideas for creating a peaceful, global civil society.

The pair offer practical solutions to the issues facing humanity today and provide a solidly hopeful perspective on the future. Dr. Nanda states, “It is human beings . . . whose conviction is the source of positive change. That is why I believe in human virtue, friendship, people and a bright future for humankind.” “Yes,” responds Mr. Ikeda, “I, too, believe in people.”

[Adapted from an article in the April 25, 2024, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]                      

Share this page on

  • Facebook
  • X