RELIGION & CULTURE IN CONTEMPORARY JAPAN: THE EMERGENCE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF NEW RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS

Robert Kisala

Abstract


Although the sarin poison gas attack on the Tokyo subways more than two years ago has become something of a watershed in the study of religion in Japan, in broader relief the tragic events of March 20, 1995 – as well as consequent religious and social developments in Japan – have served to highlight several issues whose importance is limited neither to the particular cultural context of that country nor to the age in which we live.  Aum Shinrikyo reminds us of the power - occasionally dangerous power - of religious belief, and society’s desire to protect itself from further attacks by such groups raises fundamental questions concerning the limits of religious rights.  Consideration of the latter issue has been influenced by the fluid political situation in Japan, adding questions of religious-state relations and the proper role of religion in society of the current debate.

Keywords


Japan; religious movements; Aum Shinrikyo

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/64-0-1493

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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