Japanese Religion: A Historical Overview
- Course Code:
- Unit value:
- Year of study:
- Year 2 or Year 3
- Taught in:
- Term 2
Objectives and learning outcomes of the course
On successful completion of the course the student will have:
- a basic knowledge of the characteristics of the major religious traditions developed in Japan (figures, doctrines, texts, places) until the nineteenth century
- an awareness of the religious concerns of Japanese society at a specific historical moment. Furthermore, the student should have become aware of the different agendas and ideological positions which affect the study of Japanese religion.
Scope and syllabus
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the complex and fascinating world of Japanese religion through a historical overview of the process of the various religious traditions until the end of the 19th century. The course has two focuses:
- the relation between religious institutions and centres of political power
- and the development of the doctrines and practices which were most influential in Japanese history.
Method of assessmentOne 2,500-3,000 word essay (50%), one two-hour written examination (50%).
- Tanabe, George, ed. (1999) Religions of Japan in Practice, Princeton, Princeton University Press.
- Kasahara Kazuo, ed. (2001) A History of Japanese Religion, Tokyo, Kosei Publishing Co.