The Category Of Religion In Contemporary Japan

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Author: Mitsutoshi Horii
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319735705
Size: 32.61 MB
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The Category Of Religion In Contemporary Japan by Mitsutoshi Horii


Original Title: The Category Of Religion In Contemporary Japan

This book critically examines the term ‘religion’ (shūkyō) as a social category within the sociological context of contemporary Japan. Whereas the nineteenth-century construction of shūkyō has been critically studied by many, the same critical approach has not been extended to the contemporary context of the Japanese-language discourse on shūkyō and Temple Buddhism. This work aims to unveil the norms and imperatives which govern the utilization of the term shūkyō in the specific context of modern day Japan, with a particular focus upon Temple Buddhism. The author draws on a number of popular publications in Japanese, many of which have been written by Buddhist priests. In addition, the book offers rich interview material from conversations with Buddhist priests. Readers will gain insights into the critical deconstruction, the historicization, and the study of social classification system of ‘religion’, in terms of its cross-cultural application to the contemporary Japanese context. The book will be of interest to students and scholars across a range of disciplines including Japanese Studies, Buddhology, Religious Studies, Social Anthropology, and Sociology.

Religion As A Category Of Governance And Sovereignty

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Author:
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9004290591
Size: 76.32 MB
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Religion As A Category Of Governance And Sovereignty by


Original Title: Religion As A Category Of Governance And Sovereignty

Religious-secular distinctions have been crucial to the way in which modern governments have rationalised their governance and marked out their sovereignty – as crucial as the territorial boundaries that they have drawn around nations. The authors of this volume provide a multi-dimensional picture of how the category of religion has served the ends of modern government.

Genealogies Of Religion

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Author: Talal Asad
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 0801895936
Size: 42.52 MB
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Genealogies Of Religion by Talal Asad


Original Title: Genealogies Of Religion

In Geneologies of Religion, Talal Asad explores how religion as a historical category emerged in the West and has come to be applied as a universal concept. The idea that religion has undergone a radical change since the Christian Reformation—from totalitarian and socially repressive to private and relatively benign—is a familiar part of the story of secularization. It is often invokved to explain and justify the liberal politics and world view of modernity. And it leads to the view that "politicized religions" threaten both reason and liberty. Asad's essays explore and question all these assumptions. He argues that "religion" is a construction of European modernity, a construction that authorizes—for Westerners and non-Westerners alike—particular forms of "history making." -- James R. Wood

From Good Goddess To Vestal Virgins

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Author: Ariadne Staples
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 113478788X
Size: 12.57 MB
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From Good Goddess To Vestal Virgins by Ariadne Staples


Original Title: From Good Goddess To Vestal Virgins

The role of women in Roman culture and society was a paradoxical one. On the one hand they enjoyed social, material and financial independence and on the other hand they were denied basic constitutional rights. Roman history is not short of powerful female figures, such as Agrippina and Livia, yet their power stemmed from their associations with great men and was not officially recognised. Ariadne Staples' book examines how women in Rome were perceived both by themselves and by men through women's participation in Roman religion, as Roman religious ritual provided the single public arena where women played a significant formal role. From Good Goddess to Vestal Virgins argues that the ritual roles played out by women were vital in defining them sexually and that these sexually defined categories spilled over into other aspects of Roman culture, including political activity. Ariadne Staples provides an arresting and original analysis of the role of women in Roman society, which challenges traditionally held views and provokes further questions.

Theories Of Religion

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Author: Seth Daniel Kunin
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 9780813539652
Size: 14.18 MB
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Theories Of Religion by Seth Daniel Kunin


Original Title: Theories Of Religion

This book provides a comprehensive selection of readings that relate to and explore the definition of religion. The texts come from a wide range of approaches, unified both by the questions they address and their broadly social scientific perspective. The disciplines covered include anthropology, phenomenology, psychology and sociology. The editors have also included some key texts relating to the feminist approach to and critique of religion. The initial section of the book includes some of the foundational texts, such as materials by Marx, Freud, and Durkheim. The remaining sections look at more recent discussions of the issues from the different disciplinary perspectives. Each reading is introduced by a biographical sketch of the author. The book also includes introductory discussions to each section that both raise the key issues developed in a particular discipline and address the disciplinary approaches from a more critical stance. Theories of Religion: A Reader is an invaluable critical resource, accessible to a broad audience as well as students of theology and religious studies.Seth D. Kunin, dean of Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Durham, is author of Religion: the Modern Theories, coeditor of A Companion to Religious Studies and Theology, and editor of Themes and Issues in Judaism. Jonathan Miles-Watson is lecturer in anthropology at the University of Wales Swansea.

Relating Religion

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Author: Jonathan Z. Smith
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226763873
Size: 29.85 MB
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Relating Religion by Jonathan Z. Smith


Original Title: Relating Religion

One of the most influential theorists of religion, Jonathan Z. Smith is best known for his analyses of religious studies as a discipline and for his advocacy and refinement of comparison as the basis for the history of religions. Relating Religion gathers seventeen essays—four of them never before published—that together provide the first broad overview of Smith's thinking since his seminal 1982 book, Imagining Religion. Smith first explains how he was drawn to the study of religion, outlines his own theoretical commitments, and draws the connections between his thinking and his concerns for general education. He then engages several figures and traditions that serve to define his interests within the larger setting of the discipline. The essays that follow consider the role of taxonomy and classification in the study of religion, the construction of difference, and the procedures of generalization and redescription that Smith takes to be key to the comparative enterprise. The final essays deploy features of Smith's most recent work, especially the notion of translation. Heady, original, and provocative, Relating Religion is certain to be hailed as a landmark in the academic study and critical theory of religion.

Understanding Religion

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Author: Benson Saler
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
ISBN: 3110218658
Size: 44.48 MB
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Understanding Religion by Benson Saler


Original Title: Understanding Religion

This volume consists of 12 essays published by the author between the years 1997-2007, a thirteenth paper read at a conference in 2006, and a long introduction prepared specifically for the collection. All of the essays deal with epistemological issues attendant on conceptualizing and defining religion, understanding what is likely to be involved in studying and discussing beliefs, and attempting to explain religion and religions by drawing on the contemporary cognitive and evolutionary sciences.

The Invention Of Religion In Japan

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Author: Jason Ananda Josephson
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226412350
Size: 76.23 MB
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The Invention Of Religion In Japan by Jason Ananda Josephson


Original Title: The Invention Of Religion In Japan

Throughout its long history, Japan had no concept of what we call “religion.” There was no corresponding Japanese word, nor anything close to its meaning. But when American warships appeared off the coast of Japan in 1853 and forced the Japanese government to sign treaties demanding, among other things, freedom of religion, the country had to contend with this Western idea. In this book, Jason Ananda Josephson reveals how Japanese officials invented religion in Japan and traces the sweeping intellectual, legal, and cultural changes that followed. More than a tale of oppression or hegemony, Josephson’s account demonstrates that the process of articulating religion offered the Japanese state a valuable opportunity. In addition to carving out space for belief in Christianity and certain forms of Buddhism, Japanese officials excluded Shinto from the category. Instead, they enshrined it as a national ideology while relegating the popular practices of indigenous shamans and female mediums to the category of “superstitions”—and thus beyond the sphere of tolerance. Josephson argues that the invention of religion in Japan was a politically charged, boundary-drawing exercise that not only extensively reclassified the inherited materials of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Shinto to lasting effect, but also reshaped, in subtle but significant ways, our own formulation of the concept of religion today. This ambitious and wide-ranging book contributes an important perspective to broader debates on the nature of religion, the secular, science, and superstition.

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