In view of economic globalization and growing anxieties about the future, Germany and Japan, as well as other industrialized societies, are experiencing a period of upheaval in which people are forced into mastering their daily lives under high psychological pressure. In particular, the ever-widening social gap between the rich and the poor, and the influx of people from a foreign cultural background evoke general discomfort that leads to an increasingly negative attitude towards the other.
In order to promote social stability and a personal sense of security, measures are required for the areas of politics, economy, society, etc. On the other hand, it is also important to deal with spiritual culture - which affects people's inner life - and thus contribute toward stabilizing the public mood. A solid public opinion mitigates the feeling of rejection against the other and can contribute toward strengthening society. It would seem sensible to deal with religions and their roles within this context.
Buddhism is very important in Japan's society because the views of life and the world are rooted in Buddhism and play a major role historically and are still regarded as important in everyday life, comparable to Christianity in Germany. However, it is worthwhile examining the role played by religions in the respective societies and whether they are still important in the life of today's populations, or what contribution they could make to these societies in the future.
For the discussions in the JDZB, one representative from each religious community in Germany and Japan will be invited to give a presentation. The perspectives on the spiritual culture of Japan and Germany respectively will be presented. In addition, discussions will involve clerical and religious members of both religions (Christianity, Buddhism) who are committed to establishing interpersonal relations in Japan and Germany and working to mitigate prejudice against foreigners. The aim is to promote dialogue for the realization of a more open society through this discussion - be it nationality, religion, skin color, gender, sexual orientation or disability, just to name a few examples.
Program, Starts 6 pm
Greetings by Ambassador YAGI Takeshi (Embassy of Japan)
Keynotes “How Can Religion Contribute to Society Today?”
Venerable IIZUKA Daiten
(Professor of the Faculty of Buddhism, Komazawa University;
Abbot of Hôsei-In Temple, Tochigi Prefecture)
Prof. Dr. Andreas LOB-HÜDEPOHL
(Professor for Theological Ethics/Ethics of Social Service Profession;
Katholische Hochschule für Sozialwesen Berlin)
Panel Discussion “Religion and the Way for a More Open Society”
Panel Guests: The Key-note Speakers and:
Venerable CHINO Shunkō
(Executive Director of the Shanti Volunteer Association)
Lissy EICHERT UAC
(Pastoral Adviser, St. Christophorus Parish in Berlin-Neukölln)
Chair: Burkhard WEITZ (Editor in Chief of the evangelical magazine Chrismon)
Language: Japanese and German with simultaneous interpretation
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