This article explores Lay Buddhism’s journey over two millennia and its role in peacemaking, arguing that such work isn’t an afterthought but an integral part of its belief system. It discusses the transition of Buddhism into a more modern form, liberalizing religious symbols and entering what is known as Bellah’s fifth stage of religious development.
The piece further examines the ‘Bodhisattva way,’ positing that anyone, given their inherent buddha-nature, can become a bodhisattva, promoting equality and fostering liberation from suffering through peaceful actions. Niwano’s quote at a UN Symposium underscores the continuous evolution of humanity and the rising importance of peace. Published in Studia Missionalia in 1989, this article offers a deep dive into Lay Buddhism’s journey towards modern religious symbolization and its unwavering commitment to peace.