Handbook of Contemporary Japanese Religions


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Representing work by some of the leading scholars in the field, the chapters of this handbook survey the transformation and innovation of religious traditions and practices in contemporary Japan. Readers will find lively scholarly studies about changes in the traditional institutions of Buddhism and Shinto, vivid examples of social activism as well as the so-called “new religions,” examination of the relationship between religion and the state, and analysis of the religiosity of individuals encompassed by “spirituality,” pilgrimage and tourism, and the marketing of religions. This groundbreaking collection of scholarly papers helps to map out the fascinating complexity and dynamism of religion in contemporary Japanese society and culture.

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Preliminary Material
Editor(s): Inken Prohl and John Nelson
Pages: i–xxii
Editor(s): Inken Prohl and John Nelson
Pages: 629–652
Inken Prohl is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Heidelberg. She is a published author of books and numerous articles on contemporary religions of Japan, including two monographs titled Religiöse Innovationen and Zen für Dummies.

John Nelson is Professor in Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Francisco. He has written two books about major Shinto shrines as well as many articles on wide-ranging topics. His forthcoming book is on innovation within contemporary Buddhist denominations in Japan.

Contributors include: Barbara Ambros, Jørn Borup, John Breen, Stephen G. Covell, Benjamin Dorman, Lisette Gebhardt, Isomae Jun’ichi, Kenta Kasai, Noriko Kawahashi, Satsuki Kawano, Gregory P. Levine, Mark MacWilliams, Levi McLaughlin, Mark R. Mullins, John Nelson, Rev. Masazumi Shojun Okano, Inken Prohl, Michael K. Roemer, Aike P. Rots, Bernhard Scheid, Shimazono Susumu, George J. Tanabe Jr., Jonathan Watts, Duncan Ryūken Williams, and Urs Matthias Zachmann.
"In this impressively extensive handbook, editors Inken Prohl and John Nelson have successfully managed to provide us with, “a fuller picture of the current situation” (xxi) of Japanese religions than any other preceding work. Even in Japanese, there has been no book, at least in a single volume, that covers topics on Japanese religions over the past two decades and their historical backgrounds as thoroughly as this handbook does."
Fujiwara Satoko, The University of Tokyo, Religious Studies in Japan, Volume 2

"This outstanding collection offers over two dozen state-of-the-art chapters written by leading scholars in the field. [...] This book overall makes an important and thought-provoking contribution that will be appreciated for many years to come by specialists and non-specialist alike."
Steven Heine, Florida International University, Journal of Religion in Japan, Volume 4

"The book can, as a library purchase, serve selectively as a valuable readings resource in an undergraduate course."
William R. Lindsey, University of Kansas, Religion 44:1

"This edited collection presents an overview on contemporary religion in Japan and some recent research on the topic. The editors have worked hard to bring together twenty-five chapters by well-known figures in the field and they provide a wealth of information within them."
Ian Reader, Lancaster University, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 40:2
All those interested in contemporary religious transformations, Japanese Studies, contemporary Japan and anthropology including specialists, university libraries, and students in undergraduate and graduate programs offering courses on East-Asian/Japanese Religions.
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