Today, as spring in New England reaches its full crescendo, I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to the Boston Research Center for the 21st Century [renamed the Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning, and Dialogue in 2009] as you begin your work in your new home. It is my understanding that today’s opening ceremony has been graced by the presence of many distinguished guests, and I would like to express my most sincere thanks for support and participation.
With less than half a decade remaining before the start of the twenty-first century, our old world is wrapped in chaos. Old structures have collapsed but no new order has emerged in their place, giving rise to widespread anxiety and unease. I feel that the underlying confusion can be traced to the absence of philosophical systems adequate to the task of apprehending our world, and giving us a clear vision of the future. In this sense, an increasing burden of responsibility has devolved upon those who live and work in the world of ideas.
The objectives of the Boston Center go beyond the simple pursuit of knowledge. It was established within the context of a vaster human project; to find out the ideas that can bring hope and happiness to people in the coming century, to seek routes to a world of peace and coexistence. Despite the present modest scale of the Center, I am confident of the gravity of its mission.
It is no accident that this unique Center has come into being here in New England. This is the land that gave life to Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman, those great thinkers who gave us the brilliant currents of the American Renaissance. It is my profound hope and confident expectation that this Center will carry forward the torch lit by these great predecessors, and will share with the citizens of the coming century the warmth and light of a universal humanist philosophy.
I would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm the founding motto of the Boston Research Center for the 21st Century.
Be the heart of a network of global citizens.
Be a bridge for dialogue between civilizations.
Be a beacon lighting the way to a century of life.
In closing, I would like to express my deepest respect and appreciation for the many scholars gathered here today, who have made Boston into a global center of intellectual leadership, and request the continuance of your warm support and guidance for this Center.
May 12, 1995