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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Asian Studies

Postgraduate Course: Japanese Religions in the Modern Era (ASST11074)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaAsian Studies Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThe course aims to give students a clear outline of modern Japanese religions by looking in detail at representative phenomena and questioning them from a number of standpoints. The course also draws on the substantial amount of material gathered by the course organiser over three decades, mainly photographic but also video material and paraphernalia, a goodly proportion of which features in the Living Buddhism project.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 1, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 16/09/2013
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Please contact the School directly for a breakdown of Learning and Teaching Activities
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Please contact the School directly for a breakdown of Assessment Methods
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
- Solid understanding of the major developments in modern Japanese religions (from c.1868), including the social and political background to those developments;
- Critical assessment of sources, documents and fieldwork related to Japanese religions in the modern era and the ability to form judgements about pertinent issues, against the background of relevant secondary literature;
- The ability to use the extensive electronic on-line resources on Japanese religions
Assessment Information
One essay not exceeding 4,000 words, to be chosen from a list of topics in the course handbook (100%)
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus 1. Introduction: Meiji (1868¿1911) neologisms, shu¿kyo¿ ¿¿ and religious activity
2. Kami (gods) and hotoke (buddhas): Never shall the twain meet again ' Meiji attempts to purify Japan's religious roots
3. The religious response to the Meiji Restoration
4. Buddhism goes west: Shingon Buddhism at the British Museum
5. Shugendo¿: Society and its peripheries
6. Forms of pilgrimage in Japan
7. Buddhism in crisis: Institutions, clergy, and finances on the ground; Excursus: The cemetery at Ko¿yasan
8. KanZeOn: Two film-makers look at the state of Japanese religion (a showing of KanZeOn (2011, 80 minutes), followed by discussion)
9. Aum Shinrikyo and the question of religious terrorism
10. The Yasukuni Shrine: The souls of the dead and the international politics of the living
11. Japanese religions: Inside, Outside ' A reappraisal (short student presentations); Having begun the course by questioning our understanding of religion in Japan as a social and historical phenomenon, this session will give students the opportunity to propose and defend their revised presuppositions and approaches in the form of short presentations of precise theses.
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list D. Lu, Japan: A documentary history contains important primary sources in translation; as does R. Tsunoda et al., Sources of Japanese tradition, vol. 2.
I. Reader, E. Andreasen, and F. Stefánsson, Japanese religions: past and present. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1995. [Relevant primary texts from the above works will be prescribed for pertinent topics.]
Murakami, Shigeyoshi, Japanese Religion in the Modern Century. Tokyo: Tokyo U.P., 1980.
J. Breen and M. Teeuwen, A new history of Shinto. Blackwell brief histories of religion, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.
I. Reader, Religion in contemporary Japan. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1991.
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern 2 hours weekly lecture/seminar
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Ian Astley
Tel: (0131 6)51 1358
Course secretaryMiss Sarah Harvey
Tel: (0131 6)51 1822
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