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Culture of Peace Event Held at New England Buddhist Center

Peace—Alexander Harang speaks at the New England Buddhist Center, Brookline, Mass., April 17, 2023. Photo by Kevin Maher.

BROOKLINE, Mass., April 17, 2023—More than 70 members and guests gathered at the New England Buddhist Center in Brookline, Massachusetts, for a Culture of Peace Distinguished Speaker Series lecture entitled “Applying Daisaku Ikeda’s Philosophy of Peace: Inner Transformation, Dialogue, and Global Citizenship.”

Alexander Harang, co-president of International Peace and Understanding and Soka University of America distinguished adjunct professor, served as the keynote speaker.

Mr. Harang addressed the vast body of work that Daisaku Ikeda has contributed as a peace philosopher since 1960 and his consistency in speaking on the topic of nuclear disarmament.  

Mr. Ikeda’s July 26 statement to the 2022 NPT Review Conference calling for No First Use of nuclear weapons came out just four days before government leaders convened for the conference. Mr. Harang remarked how they made greater progress on reaching consensus on No First Use, due in large part to Mr. Ikeda’s statement.

“It is so empowering to see how Mr. Ikeda is actually changing the world and how he’s being respected,” he said. “And I really hope that this story is empowering for all of you, too.”

He then touched on three elements identified by the scholar Olivier Urbain as key to Mr. Ikeda’s peace philosophy: dialogue, inner transformation and global citizenship.

Prior to the lecture, Mr. Harang met with a small group of SGI-USA youth for a discussion and Q&A session. When asked what young people could do to advance nuclear abolition, Mr. Harang spoke about the power of education and the instrumental role that the SGI plays in educating people about the seriousness of abolishing nuclear weapons. 

—Prepared by the World Tribune staff

May 12, 2023, World Tribune, p. 4

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