BCA Center for Buddhist Education


ph:(510) 809-1460

fax: (510) 809-1462



Friday August 18, 2017 at 7:00 PM PST 
Saturday, August 19, 2017  all day
Sunday August 20, 2017 ends at 12 PM PST

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Jodo Shinshu Center

JODO SHINSHU CENTER                                              2140 Durant Avenue (btwn Shattuck and Fulton), Berkeley, CA  94704


 Lodging at the Jodo Shinshu Center:        Unfortunately, the JSC is already booked to capacity    for  this event. Please contact JSC Facilities Manager, Glenn Kameda for possible alternatives before booking elsewhere: (510) 809-1401 or email:

Click for Additional Lodging, Directions, and Parking Info Here

 August 18 - 20, 2017

Jodo Shinshu Center

2140 Durant Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704 


On August 18 - 20, 2017,  the Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS) and the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) Center for Buddhist Education (CBE) will present the annual Summer Pacific Seminar - 21st Century at the Jodo Shinshu Center in Berkeley, CA. 

“Shin Buddhism: Current Challenges and Future Prospects” will continue the exploration of the meaning of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism as a worldwide religion. Presenters from many corners of the world, including Australia, England, Brazil and the U.S. will share their experiences and insights on Shin Buddhism today and in the future.  


Click on image to view and download flyer

Keynote speaker, Rev. John Paraskevopoulos, a Shin Buddhist priest based in Australia, will touch upon several themes including the importance of spiritual realization and religious experience; rehabilitating the sacred in response to “secular” Buddhism; difficulties in doctrinal terminology; and the relationship of Shin Buddhism to other Buddhist schools as well as other religions. 

Seminar presenters also include: Thais Campos, who will discuss the topic of Jodo Shinshu in Brazil; David Quirke-Thornton, who will speak on Shin Buddhism in Europe.; and Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto, who will provide an overview of the global Shin Buddhist movement.  Dharma talks will be provided by Rev. Kodo Umezu, Bishop of the Buddhist Churches of America; and Rev. Ai Hironaka, resident minister of the Lahaina Buddhist Temple in Hawaii. The BCA Center for Buddhist Education co-directors, Rev. Marvin Harada and Rev. Kiyonobu Kuwahara will serve as moderators for the event.

Please join us for this special gathering to experience global perspectives on Shin Buddhism and meet Dharma seekers from many regions. Registration is still open until filled. Register online or download forms for mail-in regstration at or email or phone: (510) 809-1460. All are welcome to participate.

Register Now!


Download mail-in registration form and instructions

Deadline for registration: August 6, 2017. 

 ** Update: Registration is still open! **


Program Bios

Rev. John Paraskevopoulos is an ordained Shin Buddhist priest based in Australia and author of three books: The Call of the Infinite, The Fragrance of Light, and The Unhindered Path. He holds a first-class honors degree in Philosophy from the University of Melbourne in Australia and is editor of Muryoko the online Journal of Shin Buddhism. In 2014, Rev. Paraskevopoulos spoke at the 17th European Shin Buddhist Conference in the UK. His talk, “Jodo Shinshu: The Supreme Teaching for the Present Age,” was reprinted in the Wheel of Dharma from January through July 2015, and is also available online at 

Thais Campos is a Shin practitioner living in Brasilia, Brazil. She graduated from the University of South Santa Catarina with a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy. Her passion for Eastern Philosophy led her to Shin Buddhism via the Honpa Hongwanji Temple of Brasilia. Thais completed the Jodo Shinshu Correspondence Course in 2016. One of her JSCC essays was published in the March 2015 Wheel of Dharma, page 4.

David Quirke-Thornton is a member of the Shin Buddhist Fellowship United Kingdom (UK). Formerly a Franciscan Friar, David trained as a Buddhist Chaplain at The Buddhist Society in London and served as chaplain to the Police. David has a keen interest in Interfaith and Intra-Buddhist relations.

Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto is Provost of the Institute of Buddhist Studies and Director of the Contemporary Shin Buddhist Studies Program. He received his Ph.D. in Shin Buddhist Studies from Ryukoku University. Ordained by the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha, Rev. Matsumoto has served at BCA temples at Stockton and Berkeley.


The Institute of Buddhist Studies & BCA Center for Buddhist Education present:

Summer Pacific Seminar 
“Shin Buddhism: Current Challenges and Future Prospects”

Jodo Shinshu Center 2140 Durant Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704 
August 18-20, 2017

Tentative Seminar Schedule

Friday, August 18
6:00-  7:00pm      Optional Dinner 
7:00-  8:30pm      Book Talk and signing with Rev. John Paraskevopoulos

Saturday, August 19
8:00 - 9:00am      Continental Breakfast and Registration 
9:00 - 9:30am      Opening Service 
9:30 -12:00pm      Lecture by Rev. John Paraskevopoulos
                                            “Shin Buddhism: Current Challenges and Future Prospects”
12:00pm              Group Picture 
12:15 - 1:15pm    Lunch
1:15 - 2:15pm      Guest Speaker: Mr. David Quirke-Thornton, 
                                    Shin Buddhist Fellowship UK at Chomon House  
2:15 - 2:30pm      Break
2:30 - 3:30pm      Guest Speaker: Ms. Thais Campos,
                                    Honpa Hongwanji Temple of Brasília, Brazil 
3:30 - 3:45pm      Break
3:45 - 4:45pm      Guest Speaker: Rev. David Matsumoto
                                           IBS Provost, Director of Contemporary Shin Buddhist Studies 
4:45 - 6:00pm      Social Time
6:00 - 7:00pm      Dinner
7:00 - 8:30pm      Evening Gathering and open discussion with participants & speakers  

Sunday, August 20
8:00 - 8:45am      Continental Breakfast 
8:45 - 9:30am      Morning Service with Dharma message by Rev. Ai Hironaka, 
                                         Lahaina Hongwanji Mission, Hawaii
9:30 -11:30am      Panel Discussion
                             Rev. Kodo Umezu, Rev. Paraskevopoulos, Mr. Quirke-Thornton
11:30am               Optional Lunch


About Pacific Seminar:

Continuing in the spirit of the Pacific Seminars which enlivened the Jodo Shinshu movement in the US after WWII, the IBS and the BCA Center for Buddhist Education re-initiated the Pacific Seminar – 21st Century in 2008 shortly after the Jodo Shinshu Center first opened, ushering in a new era for Jodo Shinshu Buddhist education. In addition to the two-day annual summer session, one-day Winter and Spring Pacific Seminar sessions have been hosted in Southern California and in the Northwest.


Related Event 

A Book Talk: 

"Call of the Infinite"

with John Paraskevopoulos

 Friday, August 18, 7 - 8:30 pm

Moderated by Gayle Noguchi, BCA Bookstore Manager

The weekend seminar program includes a Book Talk: "Call of the Infinite," with Rev. Paraskevopoulos, Friday, August 18, 7 - 8:30 pm, hosted in association with the BCA Bookstore, also located in the Jodo Shinshu Center. The Book Talk is open to the public. 

“This presentation of the Shin Buddhist teachings addresses universal spiritual concerns in a way that leaves readers reassured and wanting to know more. Paraskevopoulos’ writing is luminous and soothing, as if one were reading poetry. As a pioneer of Shin Buddhism in Australia, he offers fresh insights rarely seen in Japan. His treatment, in particular, of the importance of beauty to our spiritual life is inspirational.”
– Professor Kenneth K. Tanaka, Musashino University, Tokyo, President, International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies, author of Ocean: An Introduction to Jodo Shinshu Buddhism in America.