• Kyodo News

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Kosuke Koyama, a theologian internationally known for his role in developing global Christianity, died of pneumonia on March 25, the Union Theological Seminary in New York said Wednesday. He was 79.

He died at a hospital in Springfield, Mass., after a long battle with esophageal cancer, the seminary said.

Koyama was born in Tokyo in 1929. After graduating from the Tokyo Union Theological Seminary in 1952, he chose to pursue his theological studies in the United States.

“He was an early proponent of multiculturalism and religious pluralism, long before these terms came into common parlance,” said the seminary, where Koyama taught between 1980 and 1996.

He taught courses on Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism and showed students how these faiths could inform Christian commitments, the seminary said.

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