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Choose Life: A Dialogue

Choose Life: A Dialogue

Choose Life: A Dialogue
Arnold Toynbee, Ikeda Daisaku
¥5,500 OR BEST OFFER

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
Series: Echoes and Reflections Series

Hardback
Publication Date: 24 Oct 2007
Number of Pages: 349
Height: 234
Width: 156
Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.5 x 9.1 inches
Language: English

Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975), CH, was Professor of International History at the University of London until his retirement in 1955. His major published work was A Study of History, which appeared in successive volumes from 1934 to 1961. Daisaku Ikeda (1928-) is the President of Soka Gakkai International, a lay Buddhist organisation with millions of adherents in over 190 countries throughout the world. He is the author of over 80 books on Buddhist themes, and received the United Nations Peace Award in 1983.

Arnold J Toynbee was a historian whose 12-volume "A Study of History" had a huge impact on the thinking of his day. For "Time" magazine, Toynbee was 'an international sage' and certainly in the same bracket as 'Einstein, Schweitzer or Bertrand Russell'. Daisaku Ikeda is a figure of global stature, and has devoted his life to the promotion of education, culture and peace. Between 1971 and 1974 Toynbee and Ikeda discussed many of the vital issues which confronted their societies in the early 1970s, all of which remain current and significant. Indeed, topics such as the problems of pollution, dwindling natural resources, conflict and war, and the role of religion, are even more pressing than they were thirty years ago. In this volume - which reads as freshly as it did when it was first published, and which is now reissued for a new generation - the inspiring challenge issued by both men is framed as follows: will humankind choose to salvage its destiny by a revolution in thinking and morals? Or will disaster ensue if it pursues its present course towards self-destruction and despoliation of the environment?

While recognising that our survival is threatened by the imbalance between human immaturity and technological achievement, the optimistic message of this classic Dialogue is that man-made evils have a man-made cure.

For over two years, historian Arnold J. Toynbee and religious leader Daisaku Ikeda exchanged views on a wide range of topics, probing for answers to the urgent as well as the perennial questions that confront humanity's existence. From the personal to the international and the political to the philosophical, every sphere of human nature and interaction was vigorously discussed by these two men, who, though of different cultures and traditions, shared the same commitment to the value of human life and the biosphere that sustains it.

While their exchanges occurred in London in the 1970s, the insights they offer are timeless and relevant, providing both a panorama and a vital framework for understanding the choices and interlinked issues facing humanity in the 21stcentury.
Toynbee, raised in the Judeo-Christian tradition, and Ikeda, a product of East Asian culture and a Buddhist, agree on the dilemma facing the individual and society: self-mastery or self-destruction. This challenge underlies humanity's task in responding to the many global concerns we face, which include population growth, dwindling natural resources, armed conflict and life with technology.

The exchanges culminate in an examination of the spiritual life of the human being--the sphere from which meaning and a sense of value derive--and the role it plays in the directionality of all human endeavors. If planetary existence is threatened by our capacity for destruction, then constructive change must be the effective counterbalance.

"Changes of institutions," Toynbee and Ikeda agree, "are effective only insofar as they are symptoms and consequences of the spiritual self-transformation of the persons whose relations with each other are the network that constitutes human society."
Edited by Richard L. Gage, Choose Life contributes to the ongoing debate on the sustainability of modern civilization.
While the Oxford University Press edition of Choose Life has been discontinued, U.K. publisher I.B. Tauris re-issued the work in late-2007 as part of a 12-volume series-to be released over a three-year period-of some 50 dialogues that Ikeda has published with international leaders and scholars on subjects ranging from religion, politics, economics, science and the arts. In addition to the Japanese and English editions, Choose Life has been translated into numerous other languages.
________________________________________
CONTENTS
Preface

I PERSONAL AND SOCIAL LIFE

1. THE BASIC HUMAN BEING
Some of Our Animal Aspects
Heredity and Environment
Mind and Body
The Subconscious
Reason and Intuition

2. THE ENVIRONMENT
Oneness of Man and Nature
Natural and Man-made Disasters
Urban Problems
Returning to Rural Areas
Imminent Doom
Ending Environmental Pollution

3. THE INTELLECT
Education
Literature's Influence
Intellectuals and the Masses
Intellectual and Artistic Involvement
Limits of the Scientific Intellect

4. HEALTH AND WELFARE
Practitioners of the Healing Art
Organ Transplantation
Medical Treatment: Scientific and Total
Assisting the Aged
GNP or Gross National Welfare
The Profession of Motherhood
Breeding to the Limit

5. MAN AS THE SOCIAL ANIMAL
The Labor Movement
Leisure and Its Uses
Sense of Value in Social Organization
Allegiance to Organizations
The Establishment and the Generation Gap
Neutrality of the Mass Media
Restrictions on Freedom of the Press
Abolition of the Death Penalty
Suicide and Euthanasia

II POLITICAL AND INTERNATIONAL LIFE

6. THE SECOND HALF OF THIS CENTURY
The United States
The Space Exploration Race
Japan and Britain
No Candidate for King
Demise of the Local State
Countries Susceptible to Communism
World-embracing Patriotism

7. ARMS AND WAR
Economic Growth and War
Peaceful Utilization of Atomic Power
Proxy Wars and Asia
Self-defense and the Japanese Constitution
Future Police Forces
The Nature and Future of War

8. CHOOSING A POLITICAL SYSTEM
Qualities of a Good Leader
Safeguards against Fascism
The Nature, Means, and Ends of Power
Democracy or Dictatorship
Democracy or Meritocracy

9. ONE WORLD
International Currency
East Asia's Role
Japan's Contribution to the Future
From Bipolarity to Multipolarity
World Unification

III PHILOSOPHICAL AND RELIGIOUS LIFE

10. THE NATURE OF THINGS
Origin of Life
The Question of Eternal Life
The Universe
Intelligent Beings on Other Planets
Beyond Waves and Subatomic Particles
Religious Approaches to Ultimate Reality
The Buddhist Approach

11. ROLES RELIGION PLAYS
Religion as the Source of Vitality
Three Western Religions
Returning to Pantheism

12. GOOD AND EVIL
The Mixture of Good and Evil
Dealing with Desires
The Meaning of Fate
Defining True Progress
Love and Conscience
Compassion as Practicable Love
Expanding the Sphere of Love
The Highest Human Value

INDEX
________________________________________
REVIEWS

"Roaming across a vast field...an often engrossing tapestry of fact and opinion."
--The New York Times Book Review

"To obtain such a highly erudite cross section of Western and Eastern views on so wide a variety of social, philosophical, religious and political problems is a rare and rewarding literary treat."
--The Natal Mercury (Durban, South Africa)

"In other books, lectures and articles...Ikeda has advocated a world food bank, cutbacks in defense expenditures, and nuclear disarmament. His most consuming passion is the creation of an international people-to-people crusade against war."
--TIME Magazine

"Daisaku Ikeda is a muscular Buddhist, and administrator who tackles the problem of world peace with all the industry, optimism and persistence of a successful businessman... He is the head of Soka Gakkai, a Buddhist lay organization which believes in improving man's lot now, not in some misty afterlife."
--John Roderick, AP

Buyer to pick up. Or I can meet you at a convenient station in the Tokyo/Kanagawa area.

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