SOAS University of London

Centre for the Study of Japanese Religions

Interactions Between Rivals: The Christian Mission and Buddhist Sects in Japan (c.1549-c.1647)

Silvio Vita (Kyoto University of Foreign Studies - ISEAS),Frédéric Girard (EFEO), Claudio Caniglia (SOAS), Alexandra Curvelo (CHAM - FCSH/Universidade Nova de Lisboa), Angelo Cattaneo (CHAM - FCSH), Daniele Frison (CHAM - FCSH)

Date: 6 March 2014Time: 1:30 PM

Finishes: 6 March 2014Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: 116

Type of Event: Workshop

This workshop presents the first results of the research developed in the framework of the project “Interactions between Rivals,” a three-year international project funded by the Portuguese Science Foundation. The project aims at a comprehensive analysis of the way Southern European (nanbanjin) and Japanese confronted each other, interacted and mutually experienced religious “otherness,” through the study of the composite cultural heritage created (mostly) in Japan by both European and Japanese. Members of the research team will discuss material related to four main lines of enquiry: 1) References to Buddhist sects, system of beliefs, and religious practices in missionary writings; 2) Buddhist influences in Christian literature published in Japan; 3) Interactions between Buddhist and missionary visual culture and ceremonial practices; 4) Interactions between Buddhist and Jesuit scientific cultures.


  • 1:30 Registration and Coffee
  • 14:00 - 14:15 Welcome by CSJR Chair, Lucia Dolce and Presentation of the Project PTDC/HIS-HIS/118404/2010
14:15 - 16:15 Panel 1, Chaired by Alan Strathern (Oxford)
  • 14:15 - 14:45 Silvio Vita (Kyoto University of Foreign Studies - ISEAS) - via Skype Christianity and Early Euro-Japanese Contacts: the Academic Discourse in Modern Japan
  • 14:45 - 15:15 Frédéric Girard (EFEO) In Search for a Buddhist Ecumenic Reformation in Contact with Christianity
  • 15:15 - 15:45 Claudio Caniglia (SOAS) An Important (Proto) Ethnographic Record of Shugendō Practices: The Letter by Louis Frois from Kuchinotsu of February 1583.
  • 15:45 - 16:15 Discussion
  • 16:15 – 16:30 Tea Break
16:30 - 18:30 Panel 2, Chaired by Richard Bowring (Cambridge)
  • 16:30 - 17:00 Alexandra Curvelo (CHAM - FCSH/Universidade Nova de Lisboa) Interactions Between Buddhist and Missionary Visual Culture
  • 17:00 - 17:30 Angelo Cattaneo (CHAM - FCSH/Universidade Nova de Lisboa) Learning, Space, and Identity. Some Methodological Notes on the Study of the Nanban Cartographic Byōbu
  • 17:30 - 18:00 Daniele Frison (CHAM - FCSH/Universidade Nova de Lisboa) With Nature On Our Side: The Jesuits and the Daibutsu
  • 18:00 - 18:30 – Final Discussion

Organiser: CSJR

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