DDBC holds the Symposium of Falling, Repentance and Salvation
Can repentance really earn one's salvation? To address this question, Dharma Drum Buddhist College (DDBC) and the Academic Sinica hosted a joint Symposium of Falling, Repentance and Salvation from 4th to 6th December, 2008.
The three-day symposium was held at the DDM World Center for Buddhist Education in Jinshan Township and at the Academic Sinica in Nankang District of Taipei City. Around twenty scholars from Taiwan, China, the United States of America, and Japan were in attendance at the symposium and over twenty professional theses were presented. The principal of DDBC, Venerable Huimin; the principal of the Chung Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies (CHIBC), Venerable Guo Jing, and the assistant professor of CHIBC, Dr. Willam Magee, presented their results of long-term research for discussion.
Professor of the University of Arizona, Dr. Stephen Bokenkamp, noted the thesis of Venerable Huimin, "The Turn of Repentance Dharma in Buddhism: taking the Taisho Tripitaka" (Da Fang Deng Tou Lou Ni Jing) as an example, places great focus on "salvation". The professor believed that compassion is the common ground of religion and said that pondering over the relationship between repentance and salvation enables one to further realize the meaning behind the concept of "evil".
Consequent to bearing witness to those who suffered so tragically from the devastating earthquake in Wenchuan County of Sichuan earlier this year, Dr. Bokenkamp said that the terrible tragedy was brought about by everyone and only through repentance is salvation possible.
The Principal of DDBC, Venerable Huimin, echoed Dr. Bokenkamp's remarks by taking the story of former German Chancellor Willy Brandt kneeling down in front of the WWII Memorial in Poland to confess Germany's wrongdoings during the Second World War. Venerable Huimin said that because of the Chancellor's sincere apology, hatred eventually dispersed among European nations and peace was gradually regained. "Repentance" can be regarded as the sole opportunity of acquiring salvation for human beings.
Following the collaboration with National Chengchi University (NCCU) last year where a symposium was held on the discussion of Buddhist language, "repentance" was a revived subject for the DDBC to work together with Taiwan's other academic units.
(translated by Jin Yang/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)