Buddhist-Christian Relations in Asia
11th Conference of the European Network of Buddhist Christian Studies
25th-29th June 2015 in the Archabbey of St. Ottilien near Munich, Germany
Please find travel instructions and registration form at the bottom of this page.
Presentations for download
Letter of welcome from the President
Thursday, 25th June
14:00 to 18:30 A shuttle bus will comute between S-Bahn Station Geltendorf and the Archabbey St. Ottilien. Please wait in front of the railwaistation builidng.
If you need help to reach St. Ottilien please phone Dr. Martin Rötting on 0162 935 1984.
16:00 REGISTRATION DESK opens at the Foyer of the Exerzitienhaus St. Ottilien.
20:00 Conference Opening
Zither Wold Musik by Karmen Zidar Kos
Introductory Lecture: Buddhist-Christian Encounter in Asia
Professor John D’Arcy May
Friday, 26th June
Morning (1) Buddhist-Christian Relations in Sri Lanka
Historical Overview, Context, Challenges (Dr Elizabeth Harris)
A Christian Perspective (Rt Revd Duleep de Chickera. Colombo Diocese, Church of Ceylon)
A Buddhist Perspective (Professor Asanga Tilakaratne, University of Colombo)
Afternoon (2) Buddhist-Christian Relations in Myanmar
Historical Overview, Context, Challenges (Rev Dr Samuel Ngun Ling, Myanmar Institute of Theology)
A Christian Perspective (Rev Dr Aye Mint, Myanmar Institute of Theology)
A Buddhist Perspective (Professor Dr Hla Myint, International Theravada Buddhist Monastery, Yangon)
Evening Workshops/Open Presentations. Parallel Sessions (I)
ENBCS Board Meeting
Saturday, 27th June
Morning (3) Buddhist-Christian Relations in Thailand
Historical Overview, Context, Challenges (Professor Suwanna Satha-Anand, Chulalongkorn University)
A Christian Perspective (Rev Dr Bantoon Boon Itt, Senior Pastor & Bangkok Institute of Theology)
A Buddhist Perspective (Dr Parichart Suwanbubbha, Mahidol University)
13:30 Departure St. Ottilien
Afternoon Cultural Tour to the mointain “Herzogstand”.
By bus ca 1h to lake Walchesee. There we take the funicular (cable car) up to the Herzogstand and walk on a very easy mountain path to the resauraunt for cofee or tea and cake.
19:30 Supper in St Ottilien
Sunday, 28th June
Morning (4) Buddhist-Christian Relations in Japan
Historical Overview, Context, Challenges (Dr Martin Repp, Heidelberg University)
A Christian Perspective (Dr Maria di Giorgi, Shinmeizan Interreligious Dialogue Center, Kumamoto)
A Buddhist Perspective (Dr Yasutomo Nishi, Chuo Academic Research Institute)
Afternoon (5) Buddhist-Christian Relations in Korea
Historical Overview, Context, Challenges (Professor Donald Baker, University of British Columbia)
A Christian Perspective (Professor Sister Kim Sung Hae, Sogang University)
A Buddhist Perspective (Ven Dr Jinwol Sunim, Dongkuk University)
Evening Workshops/Open Presentations. Parallel Sessions (II)
Monday, 29th June
Morning (6) Buddhist-Christian Relations in China
Historical Overview, Context, Challenges (Dr So Yuen-tai, Chinese University of Hong Kong)
A Christian Perspective (Professor Lai Pan Chiu, Chinese University of Hong Kong)
A Buddhist Perspective (Dr Xue Yu, Chinese University of Hong Kong)
List of Speakers
(list of speakers is a work in progress part)
John D’Arcy May
Prof Dr John D’Arcy May, born in Melbourne, Australia, has now returned to live there. He has honorary affiliations with the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin, where he was Associate Professor of Interfaith Dialogue 1987-2007 and Director 1987-1990 and 2005 (he is now Fellow emeritus of Trinity College); the University of Divinity, Melbourne; Australian Catholic University, Melbourne; and Monash University, Melbourne. He is a past president of the ENBCS.
Prof Dr Elizabeth Harris, President of ENBCS, is an Associate Professor in the Comparative Study of Religion within the Department of Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies at Liverpool Hope University in England.
Prior to working at Liverpool Hope, she was the Executive Secretary for Inter Faith Relations for the Methodist Church in Britain, whilst also teaching within the Graduate Institute of Theology and Religion of the University of Birmingham and, as a Visiting Lecturer, at the University of Lund. Previous to this, she was a Research Fellow at Westminster College, Oxford. She spent over seven years in Sri Lanka studying Buddhism and completed her Doctorate in Buddhist Studies there in 1993. For two years during this period, she was Research Assistant to Dr Aloysius Pieris s.j. She has published in a wide number of areas but has a particular interest in Theravāda Buddhism, Buddhist-Christian encounter and Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
Her publications include: Buddhism for a Violent World: A Christian Reflection (London: Epworth, 2010); Theravāda Buddhism and the British Encounter: Religious, missionary and colonial experience in nineteenth century Sri Lanka, (London & New York: Routledge, 2006); What Buddhists Believe (Oxford: Oneworld, 1998); Ananda Metteyya: The First British Emissary of Buddhism (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1998); Violence and Disruption in Society: A Study of the Early Buddhist Texts (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society,1994)
Duleep de Chickera
Prof Dr Asanga Tilakaratne graduated from Peradeniya University, Sri Lanka, specializing in Buddhist Philosophy. He has a Masters degree in Western philosophy and a PhD in comparative philosophy from University of Hawaii at Manoa. He has published more than one hundred papers, both in Sinhala and English, and has authored or edited several books on Buddhist philosophy, philosophy of language, philosophy of religion, practical ethics, contemporary social and political issues, Buddhist epistemology and logic, and inter-religious understanding. Currently he is Professor of Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Samuel Ngun Ling
Rev Dr Samuel Ngun Ling, PhD, is Professor of Systematic Theology and President of the Myanmar Institute of Theology (MIT) since 2010. An ordained Baptist Pastor, Dr Ling served in various administrative positions: as Director of the Judson Research Center of MIT from 2003 to 2010; as the Chairperson of the Dialogue Committees of the Myanmar Council of Churches and of the Myanmar Baptist Convention; as Editor of the RAYS MIT Journal of Theology and of the Engagement, Judson Research Center Bulletin (1999–2009), and of the ATEM’s Myanmar Journal of Theology (2005–2008). Currently he is also an Executive member of the Board of Trustees of ATESEA (2013–2017) and the President of the Association for Theological Education in Myanmar (ATEM) (2000-2017). He authored three books in English, namely, Communicating Christ in Myanmar: Issues, Interactions and Perspectives (2005); Theological Themes for Our Times: Reflections on Selected Themes of the Myanmar Institute of Theology (2007), and Christianity through our Neighbors’ Eyes (May, 2014); and edited two books, namely, Called to be a Community: Myanmar’s in Search of New Pedagogies of Encounter: The First Seminar of Myanmar Theologians (2003), and Ecumenical Resources for Dialogue Between Christians and Neighbors of Other Faiths in Myanmar (2004). He also contributed numerous articles in English as well as in his own ethnic Chin dialect which is one of the eight major ethnic groups in Myanmar.
Saw Hlaing Bwa
Revd Dr Aye Min gained a DMin from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He is an Assistant Pastor at North Okkalarpa Baptist Church in Yangon and a lecturer at the Myanmar Institute of Theology (MIT). In addition, he is a Board Member of the Judson Research Center of MIT, which focuses mainly on the promotion of inter-faith dialogue in Myanmar, and Co-ordinator of the Master of Arts in Interfaith Studies and Dialogue run by the Judson Research Center.
Prof Dr Hla Myint BE (Civil Eng), MA (Buddha Dhamma), PhD (BDh) is a Professor in the Faculty of Paṭipatti at the International Theravāda Buddhist Missionary University, Yangon, Myanmar. Between 1976 and 1998, he attended and contributed to several training programmes and workshops abroad on technical and vocational education, including in Singapore, Philippines and RO Korea. He has also attended the Second Buddhist-Christian Colloquium in India, and international Buddhist conferences in Sri Lanka, China, Malaysia and Thailand.
Prof Dr Suwanna Satha-Anand teaches philosophy at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. Her teaching and research interests cover the fields of Buddhist Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, Confucian Ethics and Religion and contemporary issues.
Her major publications are Key Terms in Thai Thoughts (1992, 1994, 1999); Faith and Reason: A Philosophical Dialogue on Religion (2002, 2007); (Editor and contributor), New Essays in Eastern Philosophy (2004); (Editor) Truths in the Humanities (2006); (Editor and contributor) Emotions and Ethics (2011); The Analects of Confucius (The first philosophical translation into Thai; 2008, 2011); Emotion and the Good Life in Confucius’s Philosophy (2014). She is currently working on Thai Buddhism, a part of The Theravada Civilizations Project.
She served as President of the Philosophy and Religion Society of Thailand (2007-2009), and currently serves as Director of the Humanities Research Forum Program, Thailand Research Fund. She is also the Associate Director of the Buddhist Studies Center, Chulalongkorn University. In August 2013, at the 23rd World Congress of Philosophy in Athens, she was the first woman philosopher from Thailand to be selected a member of the steering committee of the Federation of International Philosophical Societies.
Bantoon Boon Itt
Revd Dr Bantoon Boon-Itt is the Senior Pastor of 4th Church Suebsampantawong, Bangkok, Thailand. His PhD was on ‘A Study of the Dialogue between Christianity and Theravāda Buddhism in Thailand as Represented by Buddhist and Christian Writings from Thailand in the Period 1950–2000′ (2007, United Kingdom: St John’s College, Nottingham, validated by The Open University). He is also a part-time lecturer at: Bangkok Institute of Theology, Christian University; Bangkok Bible College and Seminary; and McGilvary College of Divinity, Payap University, Thailand.
Prof Dr Parichart Suwanbubbha is an Assistant Professor within the Development and Religion Graduate Study Programme, Humanities Department, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Mahidol University, Salaya, Nakornpathom, Thailand. She is a Buddhist who studied Systematic Theology at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and AMRS at the University of Chicago. She teaches Christianity, Dialogue and Ethics.
She also serves as a director of The Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies in Thailand. This involves conducting dialogue programmes for groups that include military personnel, religious leaders, and villagers, both Buddhists and Muslims, including women and children, in three provinces in the deep south of Thailand that have experienced violence. She then feeds her dialogue work into the Contemplative Education Center, a new programme of Mahidol University, and helps students and children to understand that both outer work and inner work are important.
Dr Suwanbubbha is also a secretary of Religions for Peace and the Interreligious Council of Thailand. She is a member of the International Women’s Coordinating Committee (IWCC) of Religions for Peace and is on the Board of the Globethics.net Foundation, Switzerland. Recently, she has served on the steering committee of ‘A Child Rights Approach for Faith Community Life’, a project based in New York and also as an adviser to the ‘Interfaith Council on Ethics Education for Children’, Arigatou International, Geneva, Switzerland.
Prof Dr Martin Repp is assigned by the Church of Hesse and Nassau (Germany) as representative for dialogue with Asian religions and he is a lecturer for religious studies at Heidelberg University. He had studied theology and philosophy of religion at the universities of Marburg, Münster and Jerusalem. In his doctoral thesis he treated Paul Tillich’s concept of God (Marburg University 1984) and in his post-doctoral treatise (Habilitation) he investigated the Japanese Buddhist monk Hōnen’s work and structures of religious reforms in comparison with Luther’s reformation (Heidelberg University 2001). Between 1988 and 2009 he worked full-time, and later volunteered, at the NCC Center for the Study of Japanese Religions in Kyoto as Associate Director, Editor of its journal Japanese Religions, and Coordinator of the Interreligious Studies in Japan Program (ISJP). In 2004-2009 he taught as Professor for Comparative Religious Studies at Ryukoku University (Kyoto). His research focuses on Japanese Buddhism, Japanese new religions, structures of religious innovation processes, and intra- and inter-religious communications.
His writings and editing include: Die Transzendierung des Theismus in der Religionsphilosophie Paul Tillichs (1986); Aum Shinrikyō – Ein Kapitel krimineller Religionsgeschichte (1997); Das religiöse Denken Hōnens – Eine Untersuchung zu Strukturen religiöser Erneuerung (2005); Mondō to ronsō no bukkyō. Shūkyō-teki komyunikēshon no shatei (Didactic conversations and disputations in Buddhism – Investigating the scope of religious communications. Edited, together with Yoshiyuki Inoue; 2011); Mutō Kazuo, Christianity and the Notion of Nothingness – Contributions to Buddhist-Christian Dialogue from the Kyoto School (Ed., transl. by Jan van Bragt; 2012).
Maria di Giorgi
Dr Maria Di Giorgi was born in Italy and graduated in Cultural Anthropology from the Milano Catholic University with field research in the DR of Congo. She joined the Xaverian Missionary Sisters in 1976. Her Doctorate in Theology is from the Gregorian University in Rome. She is stationed in Japan since 1985 and is Vice-Director of Shinmeizan Interreligious Dialogue Center (Kumamoto). Also, she is Consultor to the Committee on Interreligious Dialogue of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Japan and Lecturer at the Gregorian University.
Dr Yasutomo Nishi is the associate director of Chuo Academic Research Institute of Rissho Kosei-kai, Tokyo, Japan. He holds a doctorate in Buddhism and he specializes in the study of Early Mahāyāna Buddhism, especially the Saddharmapuṇḍarīika, The Lotus Sutra.
He currently works on a series of publications titled ‘Philosophica Asiatica’ in collaboration with The Pali Text Society, Bristol, UK, and the Forum of Research Institutes Associated with Religious Organizations.
His publications include ‘Interpretation of “Ten Suchness” and its Transition’ (2007); Index to Saddharmapuṇḍarīika Pada index and Reverse Pada Index (2013).
Prof Dr Don Baker is professor of Korean civilization in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He earned his doctorate in Korean history at the University of Washington in 1983 and has been teaching at UBC since 1987. Among his publications are Korean Spirituality (University of Hawaii Press, 2008), a survey of the diversity of Korea’s religious culture. In 2013 he was asked to be chair of the International Advisory Committee for the English Translation of the Annals of the Chosǒn Dynasty.
Kim Sung Hae
Professor Sister Sung-Hae Kim was born in 1943 in Seoul. She is a member of the Religious Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill and is currently their General Councilor. She is an Emeritus Professor in Religious Studies at Sogang University in Seoul, specializing in Chinese Religion, having taught there from 1981-2008. She gained her doctorate from Harvard University in 1981 and has also worked with the Catholic University of Leuven, as part of a team researching Environmental Ethics from Multireligious Perspectives. Her publications include: The Righteous and the Sage: A Comparative Study on the Ideal Images of Man in Biblical Israel and Classical China (Sogang University Press, 1985); Understanding the History of Religion (in Korean, Benedictine Press, 1986); Zen Buddhism and Christianity (in Korean, co-authored, Paulist Press, 1996); Religious Life in Christianity and Buddhism (in Korean, co-authored, Paulist Press, 1998); Korean New Religions and Christianity (in Korean, co-authored, Paulist Press, 2002); and Daoism and Christianity (in Korean, co-authored, Paulist Press, 2003).
Ven Dr Jinwol Young Ho Lee, a Korean Buddhist monk and Seon (Zen) Master, is the Chair of the Department of Buddhist Studies at Dongguk University in Gyeongju, Korea. Born in Korea in 1950, he started the monastic life in 1968. He graduated from Hain Sangha College in 1974. He completed an MA in Religion at University of Hawaii in 1990, and a PhD in Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1998. He has been working as the Secretary General of URI Asia (United Religions Initiative) since 2010. He was elected as a Vice-President of World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) in 2012. His many publications in English include: Ch’oŭi Ŭisun: A Liberal Sŏn Master and an Engaged Artist in Late Chosŏn Korea.
Dr So Yuen-Tai holds a PhD and an MPhil from the Department of Religion, Chinese University of Hong Kong. He also holds an MCS from the Alliance Bible Seminary, Hong Kong, and an MPhil and BSc from the Department of Computer Science, Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is currently a Lecturer at the Bible Seminary of Hong Kong, and Honorary Research Associate of the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong. Additionally, he is Consultant Pastor, CNEC Chai Wan Church, Hong Kong.
Pan Chiu Lai
LAI Pan-chiu is Professor, Department of Cultural & Religious Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He authored Mahayana Christian Theology (in Chinese, 2011), and a number of books as well as articles in the areas of inter-religious dialogue and Christian theology, especially Chinese Christian theology.
Dr Xue Yu is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies, of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. (CUHK). He received his doctoral degree in Buddhist Studies from the University of Iowa, USA. Before his arrival at CUHK in 2004, he taught in Grinnell College, USA. His academic areas of interests include Mahayana Buddhism, Chinese Buddhism, and the theological and historical dimensions of Humanistic Buddhism. In 2006, he was awarded the Young Research Award by the Faculty of Arts at CUHK. In 2007, he was a visiting scholar at the French School of Asian Studies (Exole Francaise D’extreme-Orient), and in 2007-2008, at the Harvard-Yenching Institute in America. He was invited by the Geothe Institute in Germany to deliver a series lectures on Buddhism and Buddhist Studies in November and December, 2009. Currently, he serves as director of the Centre for the Study of Humanistic Buddhism at CUHK. Dr. Xue Yu is the chief editor of the Series of Study on Humanistic Buddhism. His recent publications include: Buddhism, War, and Nationalism: Chinese Monks in the Struggle against Japanese Aggression, 1931-1945 (New York: Routledge, 2005); The Participation of Humanistic Buddhism in Society and Politics (Hong Kong, 2005); Chinese Buddhism during the Anti-Japanese War (in Chinese, The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press, 2012); Humanistic Buddhism—Master Xingyun Thus Says and Acts (in Chinese, The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press, 2012); and The Socialist Transformation of Buddhism in China (in Chinese, The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press, 2014).
Travel to the Benedictine Archabbey of St. Ottilien
Sankt Ottilien, 86922 Eresing
Find your route/directions with google maps.
The nearest airport is Munich (MUC).
You can take the S-Bahn (S1 or S8) from Munich airport (Flughafen) to the main station or Hauptbahnhof of Munich city.
Change train to S4 Geltendorf. (Click here for the transport shedule of the Munich local Trainservice (MVV).
At Geltendorf, a conference shuttle service (from 3 – 6 pm) will be in place to bring you to the monastery, just wait in front of the station building in Geltndorf.
In case of problems, ring Martin on 0162 935 1984.
From the main train-station or Hauptbahnhof of Munich, take the S-Bahn (S4) to Geltendorf. A conference shuttle bus will bring you from this station to the monastery of Sankt Ottilien.
Also, there is a small train-station in St. Ottilien.
Find your way and book your ticket for train-travel here.
Rates include conference fee and catering and hosting:
EUR 370 regular
EUR 270 reduced (students)
- conference fee
- food (also vegetarian/vegan options, etc.)
- cultural tour on June 27th afternoon.
Direct payment by international banking transfer
If you want/need to pay by direct international banking transfer,
1) Please pay to: Bank Account:
Erzabtei St. Ottilien, Network for Buddhist Christian Studies
Bank: Hypobank Landsberg, Germany
IBAN: DE09 7202 0070 0016 6303 14
2) Send a copy of your payment receipt (stating the bank, your full name and payment date) to the Secretary: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please make sure to apply for your visa in time.
Please note: We cannot send invitation letters for visa application.
After registration and payment you will
- receive a letter/email of confirmation
- please use this letter/email for visa-application
- receive further information and updates on the conference shortly before the event.
If you need any furhter information, please wirte to:
Dr. Martin Rötting