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Expert Perspectives

Interviews with activists and scholars on topics of shared concern as well as publications offering viewpoints and perspectives on the Soka Gakkai.


On the Soka Gakkai

A selection of books offering viewpoints and perspectives on the Soka Gakkai, its development and core philosophy.

  • Encountering  the Dharma: Daisaku Ikeda, Soka Gakkai, and the Globalization of Buddhist Humanism  

    by Richard Hughes Seager


    In Encountering the Dharma, Richard Seager, an American professor of religion trying to come to terms with the death of his wife, travels to Japan in search of the spirit of the Soka Gakkai. This book tells of his journey toward understanding in a compelling narrative woven out of his observations, reflections, and interviews, including several rare one-on-one meetings with Soka Gakkai president Daisaku Ikeda. Along the way, Seager also explores broad-ranging controversies arising from the Soka Gakkai’s efforts to rebuild post-war Japan, its struggles with an ancient priesthood, and its motives for propagating Buddhism around the world.


  • Waking  the Buddha: How the Most Dynamic and Empowering Buddhist Movement in History Is Changing Our Concept of Religion 

    by Clark Strand


    Waking the Buddha tells the story of the Soka Gakkai International, the largest, most dynamic Buddhist movement in the world today—and one that is waking up and shaking up Buddhism so it can truly work in ordinary people’s lives. Drawing on his long personal experience as a Buddhist teacher, journalist, and editor, Clark Strand offers broad insight into how and why the Soka Gakkai, with its commitment to social justice and its egalitarian approach, has become a role model, not only for other schools of Buddhism but for other religions as well.

  • How  Soka Gakkai Became a Global Buddhist Movement: The Internationalization of a Japanese Religion 

    by Daniel A. Métraux


    This work examines Soka Gakkai International chapters in Australia, Southeast Asia, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Quebec to determine why the movement has developed strong roots among people from widely divergent cultures.


    “. . . clearly explains the origins and expansion of arguably the least understood, yet most ethnically diverse form of Buddhism practiced [in] North America. Dan Métraux’s extensive research about this lay-led religious community provides an important scholarly explanation of why this hopeful, empowering movement has spread beyond Japan.” – Prof. Bruce Dorrries , Mary Baldwin College

  • Global  Citizens: The Soka Gakkai Buddhist Movement in the World 

    by David Machacek (Editor) and Bryan Wilson (Editor)


    Edited by David Machacek and Bryan Wilson, two well-known and respected authors in the sociology of religion, this collection of essays provides an historical overview of the importance of the development of the Soka Gakkai movement internationally. Global Citizens is a study of the Soka Gakkai Buddhist movement, which was founded in 1930 in Japan, spread rapidly after the Second World War, and has since developed a world-wide following.