Religions of the World - Questions, Challenges, and New Directions - Leslie Dorrough Smith
Leslie Dorrough Smith [+]
Steven W Ramey [+]
University of Alabama
This chapter explores and then interrogates four different representations of Japanese Religion. In the first, a popular, romanticized view of Japanese religion emphasizes what are often seen as its meditative and peaceful components. A second representation emphasizes the distinctions and tensions between foreign religions and indigenous traditions, differences that some people in Japan continually contest in discussions of what they identify as Japanese. In contrast, a third representation of Japanese religions highlights the ways Shinto and Buddhism intersect and people participate in both in Japan, even though Shinto is often seen as indigenous and Buddhism as foreign. The fourth representation discusses the ways various governments have constructed Japanese religions through different legal classifications.