This volume brings together contributions that, from different disciplinary perspectives, highlight certain aspects and problems related to the configuration of the relationship between the religious and the secular in Japan. In the background stands the question of the historical path dependencies that lead to the formation of a specifically Japanese secularity. Based on the assumption that existing epistemic and social structures shape the way in which Western concepts of secularism were appropriated, the individual case studies demonstrate that the culturally specific appropriation of Western regulatory principles such as secularism has created problems that are of political relevance in contemporary Japan.
Ugo Dessì, Ph.D. (2006), is OeNB Professorial Fellow at the University of Vienna. He has published widely on Japanese Buddhism and Japanese religions under globalization, including The Global Repositioning of Japanese Religions: An Integrated Approach (Routledge, 2017).
Christoph Kleine, Ph.D. (1995), is Professor for the History of Religions at Leipzig University. He has published widely on Buddhism and the religious history of Japan, including Der Buddhismus in Japan: Geschichte, Lehre Praxis (Mohr Siebeck, 2011).
Contributors are: Ugo Dessì, Satoko Fujiwara, Christoph Kleine, Kawata Koh, Hans Martin Krämer, Aike P. Rots, Katja Triplett.
Introduction: Secularities in Japan Ugo Dessì and Christoph Kleine
Formations of Secularity in Ancient Japan? On Cultural Encounters, Critical Junctures, and Path-Dependent Processes Christoph Kleine
Religion, Medicine and the Notion of Charity in Early Jesuit Missionary Pursuits in Buddhist Japan Katja Triplett
Secularization and the Jōruri Plays: The Decline of Religious Belief and the Search for Secular Salvation in Early Modern Japan Kawata Koh 川田耕
“Even Three-Year-Old Children Know That the Source of Enlightenment is not Religion but Science”: Modern Japanese Buddhism between ‘Religion’ and ‘Science,’ 1860s–1910s Hans Martin Krämer
Practicing Belonging? Non-religiousness in Twenty-First Century Japan Fujiwara Satoko
World Heritage, Secularisation, and the New “Public Sacred” in East Asia Aike P. Rots
Scholars and students of Japanese religions, secularity, and more in general religion and society in diachronic and synchronic perspective