Postgraduate Course: Japanese Religions in the Modern Era (ASST11074)
|School||School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||The course aims to give students a clear outline of modern Japanese religions by looking in detail at representative phenomena and analysing them from a number of standpoints. The course also draws on the substantial amount of material gathered over three decades, mainly photographic but also video material and paraphernalia.
1. Introduction: Meiji (1868-1911) neologisms, "shukyo" 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; excursus: 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 Koyasan
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. Inside, Outside: A Re-appraisal; 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.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2019/20, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||One essay not exceeding 4,000 words, to be chosen from a list of topics; students are also encouraged to formulate their own topics of research for the essay (100%)
||Feedback will be provided in written form, as well as face-to-face feedback if requested.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- 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
- 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
|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.
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.
Japanese Journal of Religious Studies (academic journal with online repository)
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||The course focusses on analysing the contemporary religious situation in the light of its historical context in modernizing Japan. Students are encouraged to think across the boundaries of religion, society and the state, and to come to grips with a culturally distinct approach to religious phenomena. Students will have the opportunity to analyse materials from a variety of media, from traditional textual sources through to contemporary web-based communities.
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||One two-hour session per week. Student preparation and participation is essential.
|Keywords||Japan,religion,Shinto,Buddhism,Shugendo,popular,religion,new religions,WWW,religious decline
|Course organiser||Dr Ian Astley
Tel: (0131 6)51 1358
|Course secretary||Miss Charlotte McLean
Tel: (0131 6)50 4114