Tenri University’s Faith Forum Lecture: “International Cooperation and Faith in the Path”

On December 9, 2009, Tenri University held the third Faith Forum Lecture at the Furusato Assembly Hall. Entitled “International Cooperation and Faith in the Path,” the lecture was delivered by Dr. Keiichi Ogawa, professor at the Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies at Kobe University. Dr. Ogawa—who worked for seven years until 2003 as an education economist at the headquarters of the World Bank, a specialized agency of the United Nations—has been contributing to the improvement of education in developing countries. In April 2009, he received the Early Career Award from the Teachers College of Columbia University honoring its graduates’ outstanding achievements.

This lecture series is designed to help students, faculty, and staff members to cultivate their faith. Professor Ogawa took the podium after the opening remarks were made by Tenri University President Taketo Hashimoto, who serves as chairman of the forum’s steering committee.

In the lecture, Dr. Ogawa first described an education economist as a specialist who analyzes issues of education in developing countries and figures out the most effective way to address the issues. He went on to speak about how he has been trying to help improve education in many countries through a number of support projects he launched in cooperation with governments and international aid organizations. “Through my involvement with policy research and support activities in more than 20 developing countries, I have come to realize how amazing the Tenrikyo teachings are because they tell us to have the mind to save others,” said Dr. Ogawa while touching on world poverty. He then quoted the following Ofudesaki verse: “All of you throughout the world are brothers and sisters. There should be no one called an outsider” (XIII:43). “I think this verse can serve as a core principle in promoting international cooperation activities,” he said.

He concluded his lecture by stating: “I have been basing myself on the faith while engaging in support activities. I have always felt that Oyasama is keeping me away from serious troubles and watching over me. . . . Continuing to uphold my motto, ‘Nurturing human resources leads to strengthening a country,’ I would like to contribute to alleviating poverty in the world by further developing human capital through education.”

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