“EWPSP:Our Christmas and New Year's Greetings"
January 6, 2007
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
My Christmas and New Year’s Greetings:
And Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.” (Mark 4: 26-28)
This saying of Jesus concerns itself with the way in which “seed” in the sense of the Gospel sprouts and grows in the world. There would be at least two ways of interpreting this parable. One is to say that one’s some authentic ideas (say, those of Liberalism and Democracy) should be scattered on the ground (for instance, Iraq) even by means of some fearful coercive powers in order to get the very best harvest for one’s own sake. In this case, noticeable enough is the idea of getting the very best harvest for one’s own sake in a visible, direct way by scattering seed. At the core of this strategy is the notion of “merit.” People would be interested in saying, “it is my merit in successfully doing this or that.”
Jesus’ own intention in the parable seems to say that seed is scattered but the way in which it grows is utterly unknown. Why unknown? He might be saying that you have to take into account the earth which is permeated by the power of producing things “of itself” (automate). Seed alone cannot produce anything. Of course, the earth alone cannot produce anything, either. Seed-and-the earth produce things. That is the truth of the Incarnation which we celebrate everyday as Christmas-here-now in us. Note in this context Basho’s famous “old pond” haiku below:
Mizu no oto
The old pond, ah!
A frog jumped in
The water’s sound!
Here the sound of the old pond and the frog is resonating beautifully: The water’s sound!
By the same token, in this new year I would like to plunge more deeply into the water of process movement by way of my institution I initiated while in Claremont in 1985: East-West Process Studies Project, now situated at my office in Keiwa College:
With best regards,
East-West Process Studies Project—since 1985: Toward a Global Service
Director: Tokiyuki Nobuhara, Ph.D. & D.Min.
E-Mail Address: email@example.com
Professor of Philosophy/Theology and Chaplain:
Jinshinkan Rm. 113
Shibata, Niigata 97-8585 Japan
Phone: +81 254 26 3636
Fax: +81 254 26 3646
E-Mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Board Member and Project Director:
Japan Society for Process Studies
% Hitoshi Hongo, Assistant Professor
School of Engineering, Human Sciences
Tokyo Denki University
2-2 Kanda Nishiki-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8457
E-Mail Address: email@example.com
Advisory Board Ex Officio Member:
The Center for Process Studies, Claremont School of Theology
1325 N. College Ave., Claremont, CA 91711 U.S.A.
Governing Board Member:
International Process Network (IPN)
% Judith A. Jones, Associate Professor
Department of Philosophy, Collins Hall
Fordham University, Bronx NY 10458 U.S.A.
I put forward in Japanese “New Directions of the EWPSP” at the above-mentioned Keiwa website, which includes (1) 5 English and (2) 5 Japanese books I need to accomplish in the near future—in the next 10 years, (3) books published in Japanese, (4) co-authored books published in Japanese, (5) co-authored books published in European languages, (6) future plans of lectures, domestic and oversees, concerning Process-Nishida studies and other items :
I: English Books to Complete
- God and Analogy: In Search of a New Possibility of Natural Theology (Ph.D. dissertation, Claremont Graduate University, 1981: Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A. and London, England: University Microfilms International, 1982. (To be revised for publication)
Preface; Part One: Analogia Entis; Part Two: Confessional Dialectics; Part Three: Toward a New Formation of Analogy: Its Method, Its Realms, and Its Vision
- Reflections on the Divine Reality “With Us”: Four Modes of Theological Thinking in Creative Synthesis (Almost Complete
)Prologue; Part One: Christ As the Problem of Analogy: Pursued by the Method of Analogia Actionis; Part Two: Katsumi Takizawa’s Philosophy of God “With Us”: With the Idea of the Proto-factum Immanuel at Its Core; Part Three: Two Dialogical Fronts of Whitehead’s Philosophy: Karl Barth’s Analogical Theology and D. T. Suzuki’s Zen Thought; Part Four: Comparative Philosophy of Religion: Within the Purview of Thomist Categories of Analogy; Epilogue
- Buddhist-Christian Apologetics: Let God Be Proved True Globally Trough Dialogue with Buddhism (Almost Complete)
Introduction: Buddhist-Christian Apologetics in Seven Stages; Part One: Situation—Vindicating the Hidden Presence of God in the Human Predicament; Part Two: Message—Toward a Buddhist-Christian Theology of Loyalty; Part Three: Salvation—The Wider and Richer Dynamics of Justification; Part Four: Pedagogy—
The Way in Which We Acknowledge the Ways Anew; Appendix: The Assemblage of My Poems
- Anselm’s Argument and Buddhist Wisdom (Almost Complete)
Prologue: Studying Anselm’s Argument Anew in Dialogue with Buddhist Wisdom: With the Idea of a Buddhist-Christian Theology of Loyalty as Guide; Part One: The Forefront—Anselm’s Argument and Buddhist Wisdom; Part Two: The Background—
The Idea of a Buddhist-Christian Theology of Loyalty: Accounting for the Meaning of Christian Theology in a Religiously Pluralistic Age; Epilogue
- God and Emptiness in Dialogue: Process-Nishida Studies in Search of a Metaphysical Healing of Humanity (Almost Complete)
Prologue: The Idea of a Buddhist-Christian Philosophy: By Means of Process-Nishida Studies; Part One: Time, Human Nature, and the Ultimates; Part Two: Toward a Mutual Transformation of Christian and Buddhist Philosophies; Part Three: God and Emptiness in Event Metaphysics; Epilogue: In Search of a Metaphysical Healing of Humanity
II: Japanese Books to Complete
- 9/11 and Process Theology: Toward a Dialogue of East-West Philosophies (Under Consideration at a Publisher)
Preface; Part One: 9/11 and American Christian Peace Thought; Part Two: Dialogue of East-West Philosophies and Process Theology; Epilogue: Takizawa’s Philosophy Rediscovered—From the Politics of Humiliation to the Politics of Acknowledging Grace; Appendix: The Secret of Jesus’ Religion—Concerning Keiko Yanagisawa’s View of Religion; Afterword
- In Search of a New Wind for the 21st Century: Theological Reflections from Crisis (Polishing)
Preface; Prologue; Part One: In Search of a New Wind for the 21st Century; Part Two: From the Existential Crisis to the Gospel—Theological Reflection I; Part Three: From Crisis in Civilization to Dialogue—Theological Reflection II; Part Four: Political Theology in a Global Age—Theological Reflection III; Epilogue; Afterword
- Theology of Incarnation: Salvation and Formation (Polishing)
Preface; Book One: Salvation; Prologue: How Can Humans Be Saved?; Part One: Theology of Incarnation in Outline—Euristique, Knowledge through Pain, and Knowledge in Crying; Part Two: Knowledge through Pain As Theology of Incarnation; Part Three: Science of Prayer As Theology of Incarnation—The Understanding of Prayer in the Theology of Karl Barth; Book Two: On Formation; Introduction: The New Form is at Issue; Part One: In Search of a New Form—With Jesus’ Action as Its Focus; Part Two: The Basics of the New Form—Concerning the Problem of “Jesus and the Christ”; Part Three: On Development of the New Form (I)—Theology of Organizational Reason; Part Four: On Development of the New Form (II)—Political Theology in a Global Age; Epilogue: Toward a Synthesis of
Salvation-Theory and Formation-Theory
- On Encouraging Lay Christianity (Polishing)
Book One: From My Frontier Evangelism; Preface; Prologue: A Proposal concerning the Form of Christianity in a New Age of Faith-Decision; Part One: Lay Christianity As Frontier Evangelism; Part Two: Theology of Lay Christianity; Book Two: Taking the Wings of the Morning; Part Three: Taking the Wings of the Morning; Introduction; Appendix: The Logic of Encouraging Lay Christianity—In Process Perspective; Epilogue: A Buddhist Challenge and Christian Apologetics—Lay Christianity As Buddhist Christianity
- A Philosophy of God-and-Emptiness: In Search of a Metaphysical Healing (Writing)
Preface; Part One: The Method of Analogy and Authentic Existence: In Dialogue with Nishida-tetsugaku; Part Two: A Philosophy of God-and-Emptiness; Part Three: Abraham Heschel on God in Search of Man; Epilogue: Viktor Frankl on Logotherapy after WWII and the Metaphysical Healing of Humanity after 9/11
Now, the third stage of my Process-Nishida engagement is:
III: Books Published in Japanese
- The Horizon of a Dialogical Theology: From My Pilgrimages (Yokohama: Shumpusha, 2006)
- A Political Theology in a Global Age: The Possibilities of Takizawa’s Science of the State and Khatami’s Dialogue among Civilizations (Fukuoka: Sogensha, 2003)
- Ryokan in a Global Age (Niigata: Kokodo, 2001)
- Between Whitehead and Nishida-tetsugaku: The Idea of a Buddhist-Christian Philosophy (Kyoto: Hozokan, 2001)
- Japanese trans. of John B. Cobb, Jr., The Matters of Life and Death (Tokyo: Publishing Bureau of UCC, Japan, 2000)
- A Theology of Loyalty: On a Fusion of East-West Civilizations (Kyoto: Kohro Sha, 1997)
- The Good Tidings of a Global Age: What is at Issue in Christian Education at Keiwa College 2 (Fukuoka: Sogensha, 1995)
- Three Minute Tidings: What is at Issue in Christian Education at Keiwa College 1 (Fukuoka: Sogensha, 1994)
- Japanese trans. of John B. Cobb, Jr., Praying for Jennifer (Tokyo: Jordan Press, 1990)
- The Gospel for Nobodies: Toward a Reappraisal of the Protestant Principle (Fukuoka: Sogensha, 1990)
- The Truth of a Buddhist Christianity: Toward a New Age of Faith-Decision (Kyoto: Kohro Sha, 1987)
- Japanese trans. of John B. Cobb, Jr., Beyond Dialogue: Toward a Mutual Transformation of Christianity and Buddhism (Kyoto: Kohro Sha, 1985)
- Japanese trans. of John B. Cobb, Jr. and David Ray Griffin, Process Theology: An Introductory Exposition (Tokyo: Shinkyo Shuppansha, 1978)
Now Exposing Our Wounds: Letters Exchanged with Kim Hiro (Tokyo: Kyo Bun Kwan, 1971)
The fourth of my PN engagement is:
IV: Co-Authored Books Published in Japanese
- Hiroshi Endo, ed., Studies in Process Thought: The Contemporary Importance of Whiteheadian Process Thought (Tokyo: Nansosha, 2000): Contribution: “Whitehead and American Process Theology: A Critical Understanding and a Proposal from an Eastern Perspective”
- Process Symposium, ed., Whitehead and Civilization (Kyoto: Kohro Sha, 1995): Contribution: “How Can Principles Be More Than Just Epistemological or Conceptual? Anselm, Nagarjuna, and Whitehead”
- Yoshinobu Kumazawa and Yoshio Noro, eds., Contemporary Theology in Outline (Tokyo: Publishing Bureau of UCC, Japan, 1995): Contribution: “Interreligious Dialogue”
- Hiromasa Mase and Hisakazu Inagaki, eds., In Search of Religious Pluralism: On John Hick (Tokyo: Taimeido, 1995): Contribution: “The Proposal for a Lay Christianity”
Shizuteru Ueda, ed., Nishida-tetsugaku: Essays in Memory of Nishida Kitaro at the 50th Anniversary of His Death (Tokyo: Sobunsha, 1994): Contribution: “From Pure Experience and Self-Awareness to the Topological Proof of the Existence of God”
The fifth one is:
V: Co-Authored Books Published in European Languages
- Der Dialog zwischen Naturwissenschaft und Religion ueber Schoepfung und Natur angesichts der Fragen von Kausalitaet und Determination (Evangelische Akademie Loccum, 2001) Sybille Fritsch-Oppermann (Hrsg.): Contribution: “God and Emptiness: Cause, Reasons, and the World’s Abyss [Forms of Panentheism in Religion and Nature]”
- Mitten im Tod: vom Leben umfangen: Gedenkschrift fuer Werner Kohler (Peter Lang Frankfurt, 1988): Contribution: “Katsumi Takizawa’s Approach toward a World Theology: A Critical Exposition from a Process Perspective”
G. W. Houston, ed., Dharma and Gospel: Two Ways of Seeing (Delhi, India: Sri Satguru Publ., 1984): Contribution: “A Christian Interpretation of the Four Noble Truths”
Now, let me turn to:
VI: Future Plans of Lectures/Seminars, Domestic and Oversees
Fortunately, probably at the end of the next academic year (March 2008) I will be able to retire from Keiwa College in which I have been playing a double or triple role of being Chaplain and Professor of Philosophy/Theology and a Board Member since 1991 when the college was established. Which means that I will come back to my original arena of academic activity, EWPSP, as a full-fledged player/director. I loved my double or triple load of responsibilities at Keiwa from the bottom of my heart and mind and with all my energy: although I have been living “by minutes” in this remote area of the world, Shibata City in Niigata Prefecture, Japan over the past 16 years. Like a Japanese dancing mouse! I never dreamt of undergoing this sort of hectic life when I first accepted the Keiwa appointment in 1991. I have been Chaplain in Keiwa but Keiwa didn’t have a Chapel of its own; thus I was necessitated to use a large classroom to observe a worship service and an assembly hour lecture every Friday morning, inviting many lecturers from within and outside the college, even from abroad while delivering sermons of my own regularly. A team of co-workers assisted me quite a lot. Now, it’s time to go and change the air of my lifestyle. Retirement really is a grace in itself! However, I am more than willing to assist Keiwa by whatever means I can provide, if necessary, on the other hand.
My plans of activities in the future:
First, immersion in accomplishing my books (Japanese and English), ten volumes altogether. The value of intrinsic self-enjoyment comes first in the idea of a global service I have in mind. Accomplish your own duty in order to be of any service for others’ sake.
Second, promoting Process-Nishida studies in Japan and beyond, including translations back and forth of the very basic documents in the two schools. If necessary and possible, I will deliver lectures/seminars in any place, whether domestic or oversees. Especially, I need to visit Claremont and Leuven again. I am quite delighted in being chosen to be one of three keynote speakers on the issue of “Philosophy and Religion in Nishida” at the prestigious Nishida Tetsugaku Kai annual meeting at Dokkyo University, July 21-22, 2007. It’s a great honor.
Third, I have written five essays for the newly refurbished quarterly: Gunshuku Chikyuushimin (Disarmament: Global Citizens) from June 2005 until July 2006. I am looking forward to the appearance of a book entitled: 9/11 and Process Theology containing these essays and other ones this year.
Fourth, I was not able to appear in the AAR (American Academy of Religion) meetings over the past ten years because of my tight schedule at Keiwa around pre-Thanksgiving days. Now, this changes. I played the role of co-chairperson with Francis H. Cook, University of California at Riverside for the AAR Seminar on Process Thought, the Nishida School of Buddhist Philosophy in Comparative Perspective, 1985-1991. I am eager to see my friends and colleagues at AAR again, at any rate.
Fifth, I have presented two papers at the 6th International Whitehead Conference at Salzburg, July 3-6, 2006: “A Whiteheadian Reinterpretation of Nishida’s Philosophy of Pure Experience: With the Concept of Symbolic Reference As Guide” and “Reason and Intuition in Christian and Buddhist Philosophy: Anselm’s Proslogion II and IV Reinterpreted in Light of D. T. Suzuki’s Zen Thought.” The former will appear in a book edited by Franz Riffert and the latter is to be contained in my volume, Anselm’s Argument and Buddhist Wisdom.
Sixth, last year I was delighted in assisting Herman Greene, Executive Director of IPN, to complete the IPN Logo. I also was able to write a tiny piece at his suggestion: “The IPN Logo and IPN: A Zen Buddhist Interpretation.” I hope people will like it.
Seventh, I do not think that a university or a college is a substance, in the Cartesian sense of “something that needs nothing other than itself in order to exist.” Accordingly, for any university or college the attempt at surviving as a “substantial” (i.e., ego-centric) academic-educational institution is, let me say, a suicidal pursuit. In this context, the following dictum by Whitehead is neatly to the point: “The ‘substantial’ character of actual things is not primarily concerned with the predication of qualities. It expresses the stubborn fact that whatever is settled and actual must in due measure be conformed to by the self-creative activity” (Symbolism: Its Meaning and Effect, New York: G. P. Putnam’s, 1959, pp. 36-37). In the Whiteheadian process-relational way of thinking the idea of a university should be conceived as a unit of participants that exists in conformation to the worldwide community of culture and scholarship, Inter-University. The EWPSP is a unit of participants in a process type of Inter-University, IPN. Hence, Toward a Global Service! We look forward to the 7th International Whitehead Conference (India, 2008) and to the 8th IWC (Japan 2010).
Incidentally, eighth, I have learned the idea of Inter-University as practically workable and even as theoretically verifiable in view of its insight into the nature of reality (i.e., the Weltanschauung of inter-related order) when I organized as President the 10th International Philosophy Olympiad (IPO) at United Nations University, Tokyo (President: Dr. Hans van Ginkel), May 12-16, 2002, from the remote city, Shibata, only based on my PC: that is to say, the Internet represents the global network of Inter-University operationally.
See our websites:
UN University: http://www.unu.edu/hq/rector_office/events2002/events-2002.html; Global Dialogue Institute: http://global-dialogue.com/ipo/;
and Keiwa College: www.keiwa-c.ac.jp/ipo/index.html.
Ninth, it is my contention that one of the most important contributions of the EWPSP would lie in the elucidation and articulation of the concept of loyalty as it is found in the academic traditions of Anselm, Karl Barth, Alfred North Whitehead, and Kitaro Nishida (see, e.g., my Japanese books 1, 2, 4, 6, and 11).
Tenth, the EWPSP is eager to be loyal to the world-wide social space of learning, the Inter-University. One of the major reasons for this academic loyalty, in my view, lies in Whitehead’s following dictum: “…what we are is of infinite importance, because as we perish we are immortal” (Essays in Science and Philosophy, Philosophical Library, 1947, p. 117). Herewith are resonant the words of Jesus: “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and for the gospel will save it” (Mark 8: 35). In this spirit the EWPSP is affiliated to the Center for Process Studies. It can be affiliated to more academic organizations on Earth.
So much for today.
January 6, 2007
East-West Process Studies Project—Since 1985: Toward a Global Service