Kyoto Cosmos Club: Sub-Page Six
MEMBERSHIP AND OFFICERS
President: Morris J. Augustine, STD, Ph.D
Vice President: Professor William Reis, M.A.
Secretary: Professor Paul Kelley, M.Ed.
Morris J. Augustine, STD, Ph.D., recently retired Professor of Literature at Kansai University in Osaka, holds doctorates in Catholic Theology and in History and Phenomenology of Religion with specialization in Buddhism. He spent thirteen years as a Benedictine monk and was ordained to the priesthood in 1960. He earned a doctorate in Moral Theology, writing his thesis under Fr. Bernard Haring at the Alfonsianum in Rome, during the Second Vatican Council. He taught theology for four years at St. Bernard College, for his abbey in Cullman, Alabama, before asking for and obtaining a dispensation from his religious and priestly vows. He taught Theology and Comparative Religion for four years at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California and during this time, he also pursued doctoral studies in History and Phenomenology of Religion in a joint program at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Graduate Theological Union.
Receiving a scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Education he came to Kyoto with his wife and new son, and after four years received his Ph.D. from Berkeley and the Graduate Theological Union. On the recommendation of the Kyoto School of Philosophy leader, Professor Nishitani Keiji, he accepted a position as Professor of Contemporary American Literature at Kansai University, where he taught for 24 years and retired in 2003. He is the author of three books and some thirty articles, and is currently working on a book on Religious Faith in a Comparative Perspective. He has lived for thirty-three years in Kyoto where he and his wife raised their three sons and an adopted daughter. Many people have contributed to this web-page but Dr. Augustine is responsible its general thrust and for the religious philosophy and anthropology which appears here. He accepts responsibility for any errors or malapropos ideas or elements. Suggestions will be appreciated. They may be sent to email@example.com
Professor William F. Reis, M.A. , Associate Professor of English Language at Doshisha Women's College in Kyo-tanabe City, was born in late 1943 in suburban New Jersey. He spent the first half of highschool senior year as an exchange student (American Field Service) in Osnabrück, Germany. Studied at Georgetown, attended Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's "I Have a Dream" speech on August 28, 1963, then transfered to the University of California at Berkeley. Amid demonstrations for free speech and against the Vietnam War, he got his B.A. in 1968 from Berkeley majoring in German, minoring in linguistics.
An invitation came to teach English in Kochi on Shikoku island, for supposedly a year, starting late November, 1970. There he met his future career--and future wife. Moving to Kyoto, he practiced zazen under Kobori-Sensei, then under Abe Masao-Sensei, married Setsuko, and taught English at the then-new Shiga University of Medical Science from 1975 to 1977. Then both he and Setsuko studied for Masters degrees (he in TEFL, she in Southeast Asian Studies) at Ohio University (1979). The next move was to Cornell University, where Setsuko taught Japanese and William studied general linguistics and taught German (though his lasting research interest is sociolinguistics)--and both became Episcopalians under the Rev. Gurdon Brewster.
Returned to Japan in March 1985 to teach linguistics and English at Doshisha Women's College, spending most summers from 1986 to 2002 to help write and teach the SPENG program for Japanese Fulbright scholars, an orientation to U.S. academic life, first at Cornell and then at Bryn Mawr College. (That program was inspired and headed by Professor Eleanor H. Jorden, emerita of Cornell and Bryn Mawr.) His research interests include applied linguistics as well as sociolinguistics; his avocation is poetry.
On October 18, 2004, his sixty-first birthday, William was delivered at Kyoto University Hospital of a fist-sized tumor (lymphoma) atop his kidneys and strangling his aorta. It had not been known to be operable. He was later granted a dream of bells ringing, people cheering "Cancer is cured!" Within days his kidney function, which he had been told would not recover, came back to borderline sufficient. He lives in Uji City, south of Kyoto, where Setsuko and he have raised two daughters and a son.
Professor Paul Kelley, M.Ed. Professor of English at Kansai University of Foreign Studies - He received a B.S. in Economics in 1958 from the College of the Holy Cross and then joined the American Foreign Mission Society. He received a Bachelor of Divinity Degree and a Master's of Religious Education Degree from State University N.Y.
In 1964, he was assigned to the Japan mission where he began Japanese language studies in Tokyo. In 1969, he decided to leave the society and took a position as an English Language Instructor at Kansai University of Foreign Studies.
At the university, he became the Coordinator of the Foreign Instructors in 1975 and served in that capacity until 2003.
He has authored three books and a number of articles in the field of language learning and some dealing with cross-cultural themes. He was a founding member of KALT (Kansai Association of Language Teachers) which later became JALT (Japan Association of Language Teachers).
He and his wife are now living in Takatsuki City, Osaka Prefecture. His son was born and raised in Japan, but now resides with his family in the Los Angeles area.
What Kind of People Make Up the Kyoto Cosmos Club? Most, but by no means all, of our members are in one way or the other part of the academic world, either as professors, teachers, Post-Doctoral researchers or doctoral candidates. Others are counselors, artists, or in some way connected to religious ministry of one kind or another in one religion or another. Basically, we are a lay organization; at present we have no formally functioning ministers among our membership—but ministers or monks are in no way excluded from membership.
Certainly one of our most outstanding characteristics is the international nature of our membership. We have members from both hemispheres and from every continent. We are not a large organization—numbering only thirty members at present—but we hail from eleven different nations. Our membership is also continually shifting from Japan back to members’ native lands or elsewhere. Kyoto is an international city with many excellent universities and other institutions of higher learning; it draws scholars and teachers from literally everywhere on the planet. So it is natural that the Kyoto Cosmos Club has attracted members from all, or almost all, of the great religious traditions of the world. We are striving to have members who represent literally every major religious and spiritual tradition on earth today.
Whereas we wish to grow, we also want to remain a group small enough to gather together in one room to share our food, our ideas, and the warmth of our feelings with one another. We like to meet in members’ apartments or homes; it enhances the informal and personal friendship for which we exist.