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UNITED STATES: Higher education and religion



John Wonder calls our attention of an article in the New York Times ( 7/25/01) which begins:

"LISO VIEJO, Calif., July 20--On a lavender-covered hilltop halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego, in the midst of miles of look-alike red-roofed tract houses, an architectural and educational marvel reaches skyward above the Pacific, waiting to spring to life next month as the first new private liberal arts college to be built in California in 25 years." It is the Soka University of America, founded and funded by Soka, the largest Buddlist organization in Japan, which established the Komeito Party to fight corruption in Japan in 1940 by Tsenesaburo Makogushi, who died in prison in 1944, jailed for his opposition to the war. The new Soka University has Buddhist ideals, including material equality,

Christian Churches founded most historic universities and colleges in America. Now they have been secularized to meet the requiremnets of US legislation. There are two moves in the other direction: the Unification Church of the Rev.Moon has taken over the University of Hartford, and now we have the new Buddhist university. We should welcome them, since at least they believe in something. Most American universities produce people who believe in nothing. In Japan Soka was viewed as a cult and therefore suspect. In China, will the Falun Gong, also suspect as a cult, grow in power and establish universities? In America?

Ronald Hilton - 7/25/01


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