Higher Education

Religion in the Japanese Experience: Sources and Interpretations, 2nd Edition

  • H. Byron Earhart Western Michigan University
  • ISBN-10: 0534524613  |  ISBN-13: 9780534524616
  • 336 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 1974
  • © 1997 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $108.25



The authors intention in compiling this anthology is to help the reader see Japanese religion more concretely, as it is found within the history of the tradition and experience of the people. The overall purpose of the selections, which represent various historical periods and schools of thought, is to show what religion means in the Japanese experience.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Nature of Japanese Religion. PART ONE: RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS. 2. Shinto. 3. Buddhism. 4. Buddhist Founders. 5. Confuciansim. 6. Religious Taoism. 8. Christianity. 9. Syncretism in Japanese Religious Life. PART II. THEMES IN JAPANESE RELIGION. 10. Closeness of Humans, Gods, and Nature. 11. Religious Significance of the Family, Living and Dead. 12. Importance of Purification, Rituals, and Charms. 13. Prominence of Local Festivals and Individual Cults. 14. Penetration of Religion into Everyday Life. 15. Natural Bond Between Religion and State. PART III. RELIGION IN RECENT AND MODERN JAPAN. 16. The Dilemma of Organized Religion in Modern Japan.17. The New Religions. 18. The History and Future of Japanese Religion.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

H. Byron Earhart

H. Byron Earhart studied under Mircea Eliade and Joseph M. Kitagawa at the University of Chicago, where he received a doctorate in History of Religions. He has conducted research in Japan for his dissertation on the "mountain religion" of Shugendo, and for work on folk religion and new religions. He is professor emeritus in the Department of Comparative Religion at Western Michigan University, which awarded him a Distinguished Faculty Scholar award for his numerous publications. A number of his works have been translated into Japanese. His most recent book is MOUNT FUJI: ICON OF JAPAN (University of South Carolina, 2011). His next book is a comparative study of amulets.