About thirty years ago, before an international symposium in Kyoto, I had the chance to talk with a Catholic priest about the relation between the world and God. He said that the world was sacred insofar as God, the creator, has given grace to the world. I objected that Buddhists who do not believe in God consider the world to be the sacred. The priest immediately replied, “Without God, you cannot say that the world is sacred. God is the ground for believing that the world is sacred.”
The discussion stopped there, because the symposium was about to begin. I have to confess that I could not have argued the poit with confidence at that time. How to elucidate the sacredness of the world without God has been one of my main concerns ever since.
This book is a collection of articles I have published in various journals over the years, on a range of topics. The chapters are all, however, more or less concerned with the sacredness of the world, as reflected in the Representing the World as Sacred.