SGI News: Global activities for peace, education and culture

New Books

David Machacek, lecturer at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Bryan Wilson, professor emeritus at Oxford University, have published a new study of the Soka Gakkai. Global Citizens: The Soka Gakkai Buddhist Movement in the World is a unique and objective study of the lay Buddhist movement. Divided into two parts, "Origins and Changes in Japan" and "International Appearances," the work breaks new ground in research in English on the Soka Gakkai because it is comprised largely of material contributed by Japanese scholars. The book includes perspectives on the movement's evolution, its political endorsement in Japan, the influence and role of women, and analyses of SGI organizations in varied parts of the world such as the United States, Brazil and Europe.

Another recently published work is The International Expansion of a Modern Buddhist Movement by Daniel A. Metraux of Mary Baldwin University. The first English-language study of the SGI movement in Southeast Asia and Australia, the study investigates the reasons for the success of the movement based on interviews and surveys of local members. The findings include the changes practitioners experience in their personal lives, the organization's emphasis on community and respect for local culture and individuality, as well as the favorable reaction given to a Japanese religion that opposed the militarism of Japan's wartime government.