Anime, Religion and Spirituality - Profane and Sacred Worlds in Contemporary Japan - Katherine Buljan

Anime, Religion and Spirituality - Profane and Sacred Worlds in Contemporary Japan - Katherine Buljan

The New Life of Old Beliefs: Religious and Spiritual Concepts in Anime

Anime, Religion and Spirituality - Profane and Sacred Worlds in Contemporary Japan - Katherine Buljan

Katherine Buljan [+-]
Independent scholar
Katharine Buljan was awarded a PhD from the University of Sydney in 2007 and is a scholar and visual artist/animator.
Carole M. Cusack [+-]
University of Sydney
Carole M. Cusack is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Sydney. She researches and teaches on contemporary religious trends (including pilgrimage and tourism, modern Pagan religions, NRMs, and religion and popular culture). Her books include Invented Religions: Imagination, Fiction and Faith (Ashgate, 2010) and (with Katharine Buljan) Anime, Religion, and Spirituality: Profane and Sacred Worlds in Contemporary Japan (Equinox, 2015). In 2016 she became Editor of Fieldwork in Religion, and she is also Editor of Literature & Aesthetics (journal of the Sydney Society of Literature and Aesthetics).

Description

The religious and spiritual content of anime is one of its remarkable qualities, as in the West it is not common for popular cultural forms to be so saturated with the religious and the spiritual. This chapter has four distinct sections. First, it discusses the role and function of religion in Japanese society, and analyses the complex historical dynamic existing between Shinto and Buddhism, giving greater attention to Shinto as the religious tradition that has contributed most substantially to anime. Second, it considers the Western conceptual categories of animism and anthropomorphism as tools of analysis in the identification of religious and spiritual motifs in anime. The third section examines human to animal and animal to human metamorphosis in Japanese folklore, and the role of magical animals in general and their treatment in anime. The final section identifies supernatural themes and motifs in anime (for example types of spirit beings, animal transformations, and issues of life, death and afterlife) and traces their connections with Shinto, Buddhism, and to a lesser extent, the minority traditions of Christianity and new religions (shin shūkyō) in Japan.

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Citation

Buljan, Katherine; Cusack, Carole M. The New Life of Old Beliefs: Religious and Spiritual Concepts in Anime. Anime, Religion and Spirituality - Profane and Sacred Worlds in Contemporary Japan. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 63-116 Apr 2015. ISBN 9781781791103. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=25888. Date accessed: 04 Aug 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.25888. Apr 2015

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