This paper explores the role of Hara Tanzan 原坦山 (1819–1892) in the transformation of Buddhism into an “experiential religion” during the Meiji period. Scholars such as Sharf have argued that this transformation is due to Western influence on figures such as DT Suzuki. Japanese language scholarship has instead shown that in the early 1900s, the notion of Buddhism as experiential religion was already widespread, considering Tanzan as a predecessor of this discourse. I argue that Tanzan was among the first to discover the importance of “experience” in the confrontation with science, yet interpreted it as an empirical standard for both religious and scientific knowledge. However, Tanzan did not yet establish the separation of science and religion characteristic of the modern understanding of both terms. I conclude that Tanzan was one starting point in a dialectic that is integral to the indigenous genealogy of “religious experience” in Japan.
The article is based on a qualitative field study of how justice (in its wider sense) is understood by practitioners and religious leaders from Judaism, Islam and Christianity, who work with victims of domestic violence and abuse. The article focuses on two key questions: a) how do practitioners from the three faith communities conceptualise justice in relation to domestic violence and abuse (DVA)? b) how far do these practitioners believe that victims of DVA have access to justice within their respective faith communities? The findings suggest that the concept of structural spiritual abuse should be given more attention by the DVA literature and also by those who are working with women of faith.