17. A Postscript on Shinto Diversity
Exploring Shinto - Michael Pye
Michael Pye [+]
Marburg University (Emeritus) and Ōtani University
Michael Pye (born 1939) first resided in Japan from 1961 onwards. From 1968 he taught Religious Studies in England and, in 1982, became professor for the Study of Religions at Marburg University, Germany. On retirement he returned to Japan for several years, being associated with Ōtani University, Kyōto. He was president of the International Association for the History of Religions from 1995 to 2000 and is currently President of the International Shinto Studies Association. His major publications include Skilful Means (1978 and 2003), Strategies in the Study of Religions (2013) and Japanese Buddhist Pilgrimage (2015).
The wide range of subject-matter in Exploring Shinto suggests that this religion is more complex than is sometimes suggested. As several contributions to the book show, it has been deeply embedded in the rich tapestry of Japanese religions and culture. Moreover, the differentiation of “Sect Shinto” in modern times shows that there is also great variety within the family of Shinto. As is firmly explained in the Postscript, it is this internal diversity, rather than any artificial uniformity, that continues to give social resilience to Shinto among the populace of Japan.