David Wellington Chappell

David Wellington Chappell

February 02, 1940 - December 02, 2004

David Wellington Chappell

February 02, 1940 - December 02, 2004


David Wellington Chappell 64

David Wellington Chappell died of heart failure on December 2, 2004 in Laguna Hills, California. He was a well-known teacher-scholar in Buddhist Studies and the principal founder of the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies 1987, as well as the founding editor of this Society’s journal, Buddhist-Christian Studies. He received his BA degree from Mount Allison University, his BD from McGill University, and his Ph.D. in history of religions from Yale University. David’s academic specialty was Chinese Buddhist tradition, where he published significant work on the T?ien-t?ai Buddhism, including Buddhist and Taoist Practice in Medieval Chinese Society and T?ien-tai Buddhism: An Outline of the Four-fold Teachings, Buddhist Peace Work: Creating Cultures of Peace, and Unity in Diversity: Hawaii’s Buddhist Communities. He was Emeritus Professor of Religion at the University of Hawaii, where he taught for twenty-eight years, before assuming a position as Professor of Comparative Studies at Soka University of America in 2000. Always interested in balancing scholarship and teaching, David was the recipient of a number of grants in support of his work, including the Hung-Wo and Elizabeth Lao Ching Foundation, the University of Hawaii Institute for Peace, the Japanese Studies Foundation, The Niwano Peace Foundation Tokyo, and the Lilly Foundation. In the last few years of his life he was also actively engaged in Buddhist-Muslim dialogue in Asia, Europe, and North America, working with Dharma Master Hsin Tao, founder of the Museum of World Religions in Taiwan.
David is survived by his wife Stella Chappell, daughters Cindy Rice Las Vegas, Laura Demitria, Gwen Demitria, Jeannie Barnes, and son Mark Chappell California. He is also survived by five grandchildren and his brother, Gordon Chappell Canada.

A celebration of David’s life will be held in Founder’s Hall at Soka University of America, Aliso Viejo, Saturday, December 11, 2004 at 2:00 PM.

The following services will also be held in addition to the service at Soka University:

A service for David will be held at the Honpa Hongwanji Mission, Honolulu, HI, December 27, 2004, at 7 pm.

A Celebration of David’s life will be held during the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies Seventh International Conference at Loyola Marymont University, Los Angeles, CA, June 3-8, 2005.

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33 responses to David Wellington Chappell

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  1. I’ll never forget what an amazing person David was. I thank him for being in my life, even if just for a short while.

  2. I took his classes at Soka University of America. I was very fortunate to be a student of Dr. Chappell. I can’t forget his smile and sophisticated humor. I want to be a peace-activist and a compassionate scholar like him.

  3. Blue says:

    Thank you my friend for those extended discussions, all of which inspired me. What an international man you had become to offer so much wisdom from so many religions.

    So kind and so real, if only people like you were one-in-ten, instead of one-in-a-million. You opened so many eyes to the potential for peace on this lonely planet. Many blessings on your new and exciting journey.

    Much love to all your family & friends.

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